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FCW Insider: May 22

Acting federal human resources chief Margaret Weichert trooped to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to try to sell lawmakers on a plan to merge the Office of Personnel Management into the General Services Administration while moving some key policy roles to the White House. Democrats are opposed to the plan, and Republicans appear skeptical. Chase Gunter reports on the latest in the government reorg plan.

Lockheed has cautiously moved to modern software development processes in its work on the F-22 program. Steve Kelman recounts how an old-school defense contractor learned to love agile.

The slow processes of the Election Assistance Commission may work against stakeholders who would like to see more frequent updates to voluntary voting machine standards to keep pace with technology and new threats. Derek B. Johnson explains.

Security screeners at the Transportation Security Administration post some of the lowest satisfaction scores and have the highest attrition rates of any government employees. Chase heard from lawmakers, watchdogs and union officials about what should be done to improve pay and working conditions.

The Coast Guard is looking to DOD's artificial intelligence center to help draw intelligence insights from its troves of data. Mark Rockwell has more.

Quick Hits

*** The federal government is looking to leverage its role as an issuer of identity attributes such as the Social Security Number to help improve the digital identity ecosystem. As part of a May 21 memo to agencies calling for updated and improved identity and credential management, Russell Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said that certain agencies will be tapped to establish "privacy enhanced data validation APIs for public and private sector identity proofing services to consume, providing a mechanism to improve the assurance of digital identity transactions based on consumer consent."

*** Associate Deputy Attorney General Sujit Raman touted the new policy of prosecuting cyber malefactors who are acting on behalf of foreign governments. The increasing number of cases "reinforces the lesson that our adversaries’ conduct lies outside the norms of responsible behavior," Raman said at a May 21 American Bar Association conference on cybersecurity law in Washington, D.C.

Publicly blaming the governments behind major cyberattacks has been a feature in many of the Justice Department's cyber indictments over the past two years.

"Without attribution, there will be no consequences, and thus no deterrence," Raman said. "Attribution through the criminal justice system escalates the stakes for state-sponsored activity in a way that a press release or a public statement alone will not."

*** The National Security Administration's top lawyer cast doubt on the notion that U.S. Cyber Command will be ready to split from the intelligence agency in the near future. At the same ABA cyber conference, NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell said that while the ultimate decision will be up the secretary of defense and the president, he does not anticipate an imminent break between the two agencies.

"My own personal -- and I underscore personal -- guess is that at some point it would make sense to do this and the government will do this," Gerstell said. "But whether that's imminent or not, my personal view is I doubt [it] and I think it’s something where we need to see U.S. CyberCom… mature a little more before a split."

*** Cyber Command is at least mature enough to have its own Twitter handle. The combatant command celebrated the ninth anniversary of reaching full operational capability by launching the @US_CYBERCOM account.

Posted on May 22, 2019 at 2:01 AM


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