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FCW Insider: June 26

The JEDI saga may be nearing its end. Defense Department CIO Dana Deasy told reporters that an award in the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud buy – Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure -- is expected for August. Deasy said that the planned award is "disconnected" to timing of an ongoing lawsuit from Oracle against DOD which claims the requirements in the solicitation were rigged in favor of Amazon Web Services. AWS and Microsoft are the last two bidders standing in the procurement. Lauren C. Williams has more.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) is proposing an amendment to a funding bill to check an administration threat to furlough about 150 employees at the Office of Personnel Management. The administration told lawmakers last week that it would consider the layoffs in the event that a merger with the General Services Administration can't move forward. Adam Mazmanian reports.

Customer experience has become a driver for agencies modernizing their IT systems. Mark Rockwell reports on how agencies like USDA and HUD are sifting through data to measure and improve CX.

Smarter buying, better hiring and multilayered security practices are at the heart of Cloud Smart, the federal government's updated cloud vision. Derek B. Johnson explains.

Quick Hits

** The Census Bureau needs to tighten up its cloud controls, according to a June 19 report from the Commerce Department Office of Inspector General. The report found "fundamental security deficiencies," including unsecured root keys in its Amazon Web Services GovCloud deployment which was rushed into production for the 2018 end-to-end test. The Census Bureau is required by law to safeguard sensitive data from population surveys.

*** The Defense Department’s top tech job has officially become a presidentially nominated, Senate-confirmed position. The White House announced June 25 of its nomination of current DOD CIO Dana Deasy for the newly converted position.

The DOD CIO position became Senate-confirmed Jan. 1 as part of a slew of new authorities passed in the 2018 NDAA.

Deasy was alerted to the White House email announcing nomination during a Defense Writers Group breakfast. He told reporters that he's been going through the preparatory process necessary for the nomination since the beginning of the year and expects to go through the Senate confirmation hearing process.

"There's no doubt that technology -- think of any conversation you would have with any secretary, any three or four-star [general] today -- I guarantee somewhere in that narrative, technology is going to be front and center of what concerns them and is what is going to enable them," Deasy said.

*** Amid other top DOD leadership shuffles, Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy has assumed responsibilities of Army secretary. Mark Esper, Army Secretary, has already begun acting as DOD chief earlier this week. As for the Army, Jim McPherson, general counsel, will perform undersecretary duties, a spokesperson confirmed to FCW.

*** John Sanders, acting administrator of Customs and Border Protection, resigned June 25 amid turmoil at the department over substandard living conditions provided for migrant children at border facilities. Sanders was elevated to the top CPB job when his former boss, Kevin McAleenan, was tapped to serve as acting Homeland Security secretary. Sanders previously was COO at the agency and in between stints in the private sector, also served as the chief technology officer at the Transportation Security Administration.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the departure was more evidence of "chaos" at DHS. "CBP needs proven, Senate-confirmed leadership as soon as possible," Thompson said.

Posted on Jun 26, 2019 at 2:20 AM


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