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FCW Insider: May 21

Lawmakers continue to worry that the Pentagon's $10 billion single-award Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract will lock the department into the same cloud system for a generation despite ongoing improvements in technology. Even though the House is now run by Democrats, familiar objections and demands for new information appear in a draft report from the latest Defense funding bill. Adam Mazmanian has the story.

The Trump administration is cracking down on Chinese telecom manufacturers Huawei and ZTE and is looking to ban their gear from U.S. 5G networks. Derek B. Johnson reports that some foreign equipment will be needed to build out networks.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is looking for a vendor to help develop data policy, establish a chief data officer position and manage its troves of data. HUD is tapping the Centers of Excellence program at the General Services Administration for program and acquisition assistance. Chase Gunter has more.

Major and minor political parties in the U.S. are still displaying some sloppy digital security practices that led to hacks in 2016, according to a vendor report. Derek has more.

Quick Hits

*** Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are questioning the motivations behind the Trump administration's plan to reorganize the Office of Personnel Management as a service within the General Services Administration. Under the reorganization proposal, government-wide human resources policy would be shifted to the Office of Management and Budget, and run by an administrator without Senate confirmation.

"We wish to express both our frustration about the lack of transparency that defined the Administration's drafting of this proposal and our grave concern that these changes will negatively impact and further undermine our country's federal workforce," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to acting OMB director Russell Vought. "Federal workers have every right to be concerned with this proposal and the administration owes them substantially more information and transparency than has been provided to date."

Last week, the White House requested congressional authorization to go ahead with the proposed move, but both chambers of Congress so far have been reticent to give the okay. The planned move will be discussed at a May 21 hearing of the Government Operations subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

*** Two senators from the Homeland Security and Government Affair Committee are proposing legislation to support the faster resolution of constituent services requests involving federal agencies. The Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents Act offered by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) would allow constituents to electronically authorize their senators and representatives to take action on their behalf without the need for written authorization as required under the Privacy Act. A companion bill passed the House earlier this year without opposition.

Posted on May 21, 2019 at 2:30 AM


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