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FCW Insider: June 25

The Defense Intelligence Agency is diving into analytics with its plan for the Machine-Assisted Analytic Rapid-Repository System. The system, dubbed MARS, will get going in fiscal year 2020 and use algorithms to help generate intelligence from its massive repositories of data. Lauren C. Williams has the story.

In his latest FCW blog post, Steve Kelman explains why a study about everyday honesty might have implications for managers who want to set standards for good behavior in their organizations.

The Chinese drone manufacturer DJI got raked over the coals in a Senate hearing last week, with witnesses alleging that systems can siphon geospatial data and images from unsuspecting users -- including critical infrastructure operators and local governments. The company is making its case to lawmakers and the public that data generated by its drones are safe -- and that its gear is cleared for use by federal government agencies. Mark Rockwell reports.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) have introduced legislation that would require social media companies to calculate the value of the data they collect and provide clear options for users not to share it. Derek B. Johnson explains.

Quick Hits

*** The Federal Emergency Management Agency is set to use the careers website Glassdoor to expand job recruitment. In a June 21 notice, FEMA's Office of the Chief Component Human Capital Officer said the agency intends to award a sole-source contract to Glassdoor to help develop a talent pipeline.

The agency said the company's job recruiting website, where former and current employees from thousands of companies from across the country can write reviews on their experiences and rate their employers, can "enhance the agency's presence nationwide."

In making its agreement, FEMA said it was looking for a company that could provide access to a database of almost 70 million monthly active job-seeking candidates, customize job slots through an automated candidate tracking system and automatically cross-post FEMA jobs from USAJobs.gov.

*** The IRS could save money on hardware if it did better market research, including taking into account large-scale contracts available via the General Services Administration, according to an inspector general report. While the report did not advocate the selection of any particular governmentwide contract, it did urge the tax agency to do a better job of documenting its market research.

*** The Trump administration is pulling back from plans to eliminate nine Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, after bipartisan pushback from Congress and opposition from unions. The plan was to deactivate nine of 25 centers that supplied trainees to the Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture. The plan was for USDA to transfer the 16 CCC centers to the Department of Labor, which intended to contract out the program to the private sector, resulting in the loss of about 1,000 federal jobs. The scuttling of the plan, which has been reported in the press, will be made official in a June 27 notice in the Federal Register.

Posted on Jun 25, 2019 at 2:15 AM


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