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*** The General Services Administration is expected to refresh its Multiple Award Schedule solicitation on Jan. 15, according to a late-December posting on the agency's blog. The refresh is the next step in plans to consolidate the 24 buying schedules on the Multiple Award Schedule into a single schedule by the end of 2020. The refresh also will include new regulations on the acquisition of Chinese-made telecommunications gear and the re-mapping of some legacy Special Item Numbers used to acquire goods and services.

*** The popular social video app TikTok is now banned by the U.S. Army on government-owned devices. The move followed a push by the Defense Department to get rid of the application, which is owned by the Chinese technology firm ByteDance. Army spokeswoman Lt. Col Robin Ochoatold Military.com that TikTok "is considered a cyber threat." In October, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote to the acting director of national intelligence seeking more detail on potential risks posed by the widespread use of TikTok.

*** A pending Secret Service program to monitor the social media activity of job applicants during background checks could introduce false or inaccurate information into the process, according to a new Privacy Impact Assessment. The program tasks a third-party contractor with reviewing publicly available social media information to screen applicants for evidence of four categories of misconduct: unlawful sexual deviant behavior, unlawful violent behavior, unlawful racist acts and membership in a terrorist organization or information depicting acts of terrorism. 

While Secret Service officials say they will only use the information as a starting point for investigating misconduct, the assessment did find a risk that such social media information could be inaccurate and thus result in "a negative outcome for hiring selectees, contractors or employees undergoing reinvestigation."

Posted on Jan 03, 2020 at 6:44 AM


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