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FCW Insider: Aug. 13

The Defense Department is making big moves to improve cybersecurity among industrial base companies. The contracting community has big questions about the requirements and whether small- and medium-sized businesses can play by the rules and survive. Derek B. Johnson reports.

Army-funded researchers are tapping artificial intelligence to explore combinations of materials that could be used to improve battery life – with real world ramifications on the battlefield and in everyday life. Lauren C. Williams explains.

The General Services Administration is seeking input on the next iteration of its key small-business-focused IT acquisition vehicle Stars III. Mark Rockwell has more.

Quick Hits

*** The 2018 revisions of the Government Accountability Office's Yellow Book – the official repository of government auditing standards – are in effect. The new edition applies to audits and reviews launched July 1 or later. Jim Dalkin, a director on GAO's Financial Management and Assurance team, noted that the new edition includes a definition of waste for the first time. Speaking at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference, Dalkin said that a definition of waste was hard to come by, but was needed to complement definitions of fraud and abuse.

Defining waste in a government context raised passions. A common complaint among commentators was the suggestion "everything this department does is a waste," Dalkin related.

In the end, the Yellow Book defined waste as " the act of using or expending resources carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose." Waste does not necessarily include abuse or violations of the law but "related relates primarily to mismanagement, inappropriate actions and inadequate oversight."

*** The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program is giving cloud service providers a bit more time to submit business cases for the next round of consideration by the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board. The new due date for FedRAMP Connect Business Cases, which the JAB uses to prioritize its review efforts, is now Sept. 13.

Providers still working on their submissions are urged to "read the JAB Prioritization Criteria and Guidance document in detail."

Posted on Aug 13, 2019 at 2:11 AM


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