Contracting

Air Force Taps GSA to Fast-Track Cloud Platform Buy

The Air Force is partnering with the General Services Administration on a fast-track buying procedure to acquire a cloud-based development platform for artificial intelligence and “internet of things” applications.

Federal Contract Spending Trends: Five Years in Five Charts

Contract spending has grown by almost 6 percent per year over the past five years as federal agencies relied increasingly on governmentwide contract vehicles and simplified acquisition procedures. Bloomberg Government has identified five important spending trends that developed from fiscal 2014 through 2018.

Authoritarian Regimes Pay Millions to K Street Lobbyists

Saudi Arabia and other countries with records of human rights abuses spend tens of millions of dollars every year to put their best faces forward in Washington.

Pentagon Seeks Agile Fix for Federal Security Clearance Backlog

The current backlog of security clearance applications has prompted the Defense Department to seek out industry partners skilled in Agile development methods. The Pentagon wants a contractor to take over management of a new IT system designed to streamline the process for performing background investigations.

GSA Forges Ahead With Commercial E-Commerce Plan

The General Services Administration is pushing forward a plan that could enable government contracting officials to start buying everyday products more easily using online marketplaces run by companies like Amazon.com Inc. or Walmart Inc. Critics say this will enable agencies to bypass federal acquisition regulations and will adversely affect competition.

Lawmakers Applaud Improved FITARA Scores, But Urge More Progress

Federal technology leaders are making progress on modernizing their information technology systems, according to the latest FITARA scorecard released Dec. 11. Lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee commended agencies for the improvements, but raised concerns that they aren’t taking advantage of new ways to fund the enhancements.

Trump’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy Arrives This Spring

The Trump administration will release a national strategy for artificial intelligence in the spring of 2019, according to a senior White House official.

The strategy will focus on setting priorities for investment in AI-related research and development, preparing the U.S. workforce for the economic opportunities and challenges posed by AI, and identifying ways to preserve the U.S.’s technological advantage, said Lynn Parker, assistant director of artificial intelligence at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), at a Dec. 4 conference.

Five Takeaways from GAO’s JEDI Decision Denying Oracle

Security risks and concerns about excessive complexity were among the factors leading the Pentagon to choose a single-award contract for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract, a Government Accountability Office ruling reveals.

FAA Competes $500 Million Flight Scheduling Technology Contract

The Federal Aviation Administration released a market survey on Nov. 5 for the recompete of a 10-year, $500 million contract known as Time Based Flow Management (TBFM).

FAA’s Time Based Flow Management is a NextGen aviation system used to optimize planning of airport arrivals and departures using flight, radar, GPS and weather data.

DISA Seeks Network Upgrades Ahead of Pentagon’s Cloud Move

The Defense Information Systems Agency is planning major upgrades to the Pentagon’s classified and unclassified networks, according to twosolicitations released Nov. 15. The move represents a key technical milestone that will enable the department’s shift to cloud computing.