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FCW Insider: Oct. 18

The General Services Administration is consulting with potential federal users to get them ready to use its upcoming e-commerce platform. Mark Rockwell reports.

Elijah Cummings, the powerful chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform passed away after battling illness for months. He'll be remembered by federal employees as a passionate advocate for their interests. Adam Mazmanian has more.

Poor software design and lack of trainings were found to be responsible for a series of data breaches at the Consumer Products Safety Commission that touched 10,000 manufactures and 30,000 consumers, according to a Senate committee report. Derek B. Johnson explains.

The Office of Management and Budget is currently drafting a memo and soliciting feedback from industry partners to regulate how agencies should use artificial intelligence in the workplace, according to Federal CIO Suzette Kent. Lia Russell has the story.

Quick Hits

*** Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Oct. 16 that he was waiting for Senate Republicans to relent on plans to include $5 billion for a border wall in the current slate of appropriations bills awaiting action on the Senate floor.

"They know that's not going to happen," Schumer said. "The disappointment we have is over the last two weeks they really haven't started negotiating in a serious way yet."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) took note of the Senate's seeming stalemate on funding bills at an Oct. 16 press conference. "We're concerned about that, but we're going to work very hard between now and Nov. 21 and thereafter if necessary, I hope it's not necessary, to get agreement so that the government can be operational."

The current continuing resolution funding the government lasts until Nov. 21, and a subsequent continuing resolution may be required to keep the government open if Congress and PresidentDonald Trump can't agree on a funding package. Hoyer declined to answer reporter questions on what Trump might do about government funding if faced with ratcheting pressure on impeachment.

*** Energy Secretary Rick Perry offered his resignation to President Trump on Oct. 17, a move that many in the press have linked to the growing controversy around Perry's role in administration attempts to initiate a probe of the son of former vice president Joe Biden by authorities in Ukraine. Perry's tenure as head of the Department of Energy had up till this point been largely untainted by scandal and Perry himself won plaudits from both sides of the aisle for his efforts to step up cybersecurity protection of the U.S. energy grid and energy infrastructure. According to remarks by Trump late Thursday afternoon, Perry will exit at the end of 2019, while a replacement is in the wings and will be named shortly.

*** Colorado is launching its own state-based digital service, Gov. Jaris Polis announced on Twitter today. Polis invited techies including software engineers, designers and project managers to sign up for a "tour of duty" model similar to the U.S. Digital Service. The Colorado service will be run out of the Governor's Office of Information Technology.

Posted by FCW Staff on Oct 18, 2019 at 2:10 AM


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