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FCW Insider: June 20

That ticking sound you hear is the clock winding down on the governmentwide electronic records management deadline. By the end of 2019, the National Archives and Records Administration requires all electronic records to be managed in electronic format. Michael Lewis, vice president and general manager of Iron Mountain Government Solutions, notes in this FCW commentary that while agencies have largely met previous deadlines, this could be the most difficult mandate so far.

The Department of Homeland Security is looking for contractors to help develop, integrate and implement capabilities for a host of software systems that collect and share biometric data. Derek B. Johnson has more on the push to widen access to the government's biometric databases.

Experts and public officials warned lawmakers at a Senate hearing of the risks in China's increasing dominance in low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles as well as the need to change the rules around anti-drone capability testing. Mark Rockwell reports.

The General Services Administration issued its solicitation for the contract that will support Federal Acquisition Service technology. Mark has the latest on COMET.

Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department are filling staffing gaps with temporary workers rather than hiring career staff. According to a new report from the National Employment Law Project, it's part of a coordinated assault on the federal workforce by the Trump administration. Adam Mazmanian explains.

Quick Hits

*** A new study from IBM's Center for the Business of Government shows how agile methodology can be leveraged to create citizen- and customer-focused products designed to solve complex mission problems. The study tracks the work of The Opportunity Project at the Census Bureau, which builds cross-sector teams to prototype solutions over a 12-14 day period. The IBM study examines TOP's processes and offers case studies to show how other agencies can take draw on its lessons to incorporate agile problem solving and public-private collaboration in their own efforts.

*** The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reported favorably on a bill sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) that would prohibit federal agencies from buying internet-of-things devices that don't meet minimum security standards.

The bill was first introduced in 2017. A companion bill offered in the House recently passed committee.

"As these devices continue to transform our society and add countless new entry points into our networks, we need to make sure they are secure, particularly when they are integrated into the federal government's networks," said Gardner in a statement.

*** Warner also released an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act based on a previous stand-alone bill, the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections Act, that would require presidential campaigns to report attempts or contacts with foreign governments seeking to interfere in U.S. elections.

The amendment was introduced in response to comments by President Donald Trump, who said "I think I'd take it" when asked in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos whether he would accept information about his opponents from a foreign government.

Warner fiercely criticized those comments in a statement, saying Trump "rolled out the welcome mat for Russia" and that if a foreign country contacts your campaign to offer dirt, "you don't say 'thank you' -- you call the FBI."

*** The Department of Homeland Security's own cyber scam alert system is being used in a scam, according to a June 18 warning from its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The agency noted in the warning that an email phishing scam making the rounds uses spoofed email address for DHS' National Cyber Awareness System to get recipients to click on an attachment that downloads malware. CISA said it will never send NCAS warnings with attachments and urged caution in opening email from unauthenticated, questionable sources.

Posted on Jun 20, 2019 at 2:12 AM


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