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FCW Insider: June 4

House Democrats offered $35 million for the Technology Modernization Fund. The Financial Services and General Government appropriation gives the central tech fund gets a slight increase in 2020, but proposed funding for the federal CIO office is down almost 50% from 2019 levels. Adam Mazmanian has the story.

Priorities are shifting as Democrats roll out their first House defense bill in nearly a decade. Lauren C. Williams takes a look at what's coming for background checks, weapons system cyber and more.

The House Armed Services Committee is pushing for more visibility into cyberwar and offensive cybersecurity policy. Derek B. Johnson reports that a subcommittee mark of the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act requires the military to notify Congress when using its expanded offensive cyber authorities.

The Federal Communications Commission wants to re-examine spectrum set aside for vehicle-to-vehicle communications to help speed next-generation Wi-Fi and 5G – potentially teeing up a bureaucratic wrangle with the Department of Transportation. Mark Rockwell explains.

Quick Hits

*** House Democrats proposed a 3.1% civilian pay raise in the Financial Services and General Appropriations bill. The Trump administration called for a pay freeze in its 2020 budget request.

*** The Navy is giving civilian employees at the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command the chance to convert from the General Schedule to the new Cyber Excepted Service, according to a May 29 announcement. The move doesn't change pay or grade, but it would put those who switch in line for future assignments across cyber units and offices in the Department of Defense. The conversion is voluntary, and employees are expected to decide within 30 days of being offered conversion to CES. Implementation of the cyber service, which was created by Congress in 2016, hit snags in the early going.

*** The Department of Energy wants to set up at least two new research centers to support developments in the emerging fields of quantum information science, according to a recent Federal Register notice. Paul Dabbar, the department's undersecretary for science, said on May 31 that the centers would serve as the "flagship" of the agency's efforts under the National Quantum Initiative Act. The law calls for a $1.2 billion jumpstart over 10 years to fuel quantum research.

*** Darrin Jones was appointed to the post of assistant director of the FBI's Information Technology Infrastructure Division on May 31. Jones had been special agent in charge of the agency's Kansas City Field Office.

*** Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, known as SPAWAR, has changed its name to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. The new NAVWAR designation, "more accurately describes the full totality of the mission, supporting naval warfare -- from seabed to space," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said.

Posted on Jun 04, 2019 at 2:02 AM


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