Author Archive

Chris Riotta

Staff Writer

Chris Riotta is a staff writer at FCW covering government procurement and technology policy. Chris joined FCW after covering U.S. politics for three years at The Independent. He earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as 2021 class president.
People

Former DHS acting IG pleads guilty in software scheme

A former acting top watchdog at the Department of Homeland Security pleaded guilty in a scheme to steal case management software from multiple federal agencies in order to create a new system to sell back to the government.

Security

Is there a path forward in Congress for mandatory cyber incident reporting?

A group of lawmakers is seeking legislation that would require private companies to report cyber incidents and ransomware attacks to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, despite their efforts being derailed late last year.

IT Modernization

SBA faces fraud risks and IT security woes, IG says

The Small Business Administration has struggled to cope with an onslaught of potentially fraudulent activity within its direct lending programs spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, Inspector General Hannibal Ware testified to the House Small Business Committee.

Security

House FISMA draft codifies federal CISO role, looks to shared services

The House Oversight Committee is considering the first updates to the Federal Information Security Modernization Act in seven years, amid increasingly sophisticated cyber risks and threats.

Acquisition

GAO uses uses covert testing scheme to assess SBA screening processes

The Government Accountability Office sent applications from four fake firms to the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program to see whether SBA had made progress addressing long-standing oversight issues.

Security

FTC warns of legal risks of failing on Log4j mitigation

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning this week urging companies to take "reasonable steps" to mitigate known software vulnerabilities or face potential legal consequences, recalling the $700 million settlement Equifax paid for a major breach in 2017.

Security

CISA, FBI issue new guidance on addressing Log4j risks

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and its partners are providing new ways to identify Log4j risks and mitigate possible exploitation.

Acquisition

USAID plans new ‘Digital Front Door’ portal for contractors

The U.S. Agency for International Development is seeking public feedback on a plan to streamline data reporting requirements for contractors by establishing a single portal for all digital information.

Security

CISA issues emergency directive to patch Log4j flaw

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released an emergency directive on Friday ordering all federal agencies to take immediate action against a critical security flaw with potential long-term consequences for public and private infrastructure.

Acquisition

GSA preps draft solicitations for major cloud BPA

The General Services Administration released new details this week about an upcoming multiple-award blanket purchase agreement to help speed up enterprisewide modernization initiatives and meet increased demand for secure commercial cloud products and services.

Security

DHS scales up bug bounty program

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced a plan to pay vetted cybersecurity researchers between $500 and $5,000 for identifying cybersecurity vulnerabilities within agency systems.

Acquisition

Government watchdog calls out TMF for low rate of cost recovery

The Government Accountability Office said its previous recommendations for the Technology Modernization Fund have not been followed, leading to unrecovered operating costs and unreliable proposal cost estimates for new projects.

Acquisition

Biden executive order calls for 65% drop in federal government emissions by 2030

A new White House executive order looks to leverage the purchasing power of the federal government to support clean energy goals, and sets ambitious targets for a carbon neutral government by 2050.

Acquisition

Federal court blocks contractor vaccination mandate

A nationwide injunction from a federal court blocks the Biden administration from enforcing its vaccination mandate for the federal contract workforce.

Workforce

White House presses for improved agency-IG cooperation

The White House has called for increased collaboration between federal agencies and inspectors general after conducting a review which revealed some agency leaders had not fully communicated their endorsement of IG policies and whistleblower protections to staff.

Acquisition

White House instructs agencies on contracting equity goals

The Biden administration detailed policy pivots needed to fulfill a commitment to steer $100 billion in federal contracting opportunities to small disadvantaged businesses over the next five years.

Acquisition

Trade group warns of contractor workforce shortfall over vaccine mandate

A Professional Services Council (PSC) committee has forecasted potential workforce issues and billions of dollars in lost IT spend as the White House battles legal challenges to enforce a vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

IT Modernization

Senate inches closer to FedRAMP legislation

Senators expressed concerns over potential conflicts of interest, high costs and inconsistent review processes during a roundtable meeting with federal officials and IT experts overseeing the General Service Administration’s cloud security authorization program.

Security

CISA mulls plan to safeguard federal civilian email

According to contracting documents, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is looking to take a leading role in identifying and defending against threats against federal civilian executive branch email systems and networks.

Workforce

Biden to nominate Shalanda Young as OMB director

The Biden administration is looking to elevate the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget into the top job on a permanent basis.