Editor’s Note: Welcome to Technocrat, Bloomberg Government’s weekly newsletter for federal technology leaders! Here’s what makes Technocrat different. If you’re a federal technology leader, or work with them, Technocrat is your resource for leading right now. Technocrat doesn’t dwell on the uncertainty of the political circus, but we do acknowledge it—and give you the resources to meet your mission in spite of it. We help you drive modernization, enable better service delivery through technology and always—always—remember the human element powering technology (and the subtle art of getting things done). We hope you’ll enjoy and share with your colleagues. – Kevin Brancato, Managing Editor
What’s New This Week: NDAA Implications and a Tech Wish List
What’s new this week that affects you? While Washington politicos have their eye on on the Mueller investigation and the president’s Supreme Court nomination, federal technology leaders should turn their attention to some important spending developments. Here’s what you should know as you get ready for the week ahead…
Last week, for the 58th year in a row, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act. Who says Congress can’t get anything done? Here’s what’s in the $717 billion NDAA that affects you:
A government ban on federal purchasing of Chinese telecommunications equipment made by ZTE Corp. and Huawei continues, F-35s for Turkey are on hold and a “Cyberspace Solarium Commission” has been established to reevaluate U.S. cyber doctrine. And Amazon Web Services is likely rejoicing as the Pentagon reaffirms its commitment to a $10 billion single award for the Pentagon’s expansive cloud system known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI.
Speaking of the force, as you start thinking about your 2020 budget, check out this memo issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (P.S., they recently got a new leader). OSTP highlighted the Trump administration’s top priorities for the technologies you should be spending your hard-earned budget dollars on. The wish list of goodies/buzzwords includes AI, 5G, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, and clean energy investments.
Are you sad blockchain didn’t make the list of buzzy tech trends? Don’t worry, BGOV’s Chris Cornillie has a full rundown of public-sector use cases for blockchain that every cyberpunk / GS-15 should read.
Did you miss last week’s “Automating the Federal Future” webcast?
Click here to watch the webcast replay today! See what FEMA’s Chief Technology Officer, Ted Okada, and U.S. Digital Service Expert, Clare Martorana, had to say about the impact of automation on the delivery of government services:
- The areas where automation can deliver the greatest return on investment.
- How to make a business case for modernization.
- The skills and tools needed to position your teams for success.
- How to measure success and communicate that to stakeholders.
The webcast is brought to you by Red Hat .
Here’s what else is new:
“Blockchain technology has the potential to secure and protect the critical data we entrust to the government.” – Kevin Brancato of Bloomberg Government
Read more in this week’s Bloomberg Government exclusive.
Strategy & Leadership
Emphasis on “might.” According to GovExec, the Senate approved a $154 billion spending bill that would give feds a 2019 pay bump of 1.9 percent. But the House and White House probably aren’t having it. Read more.
Robert Wilkie was sworn in as secretary of Veterans Affairs at the White House last week. Said President Trump: “It’s a tough job but it’s a beautiful job.” Read more.
DoD’s head of acquisition is working to educate the military about technology vendors with foreign connections they view as high-risk, reports Defense One. Check the “made by” before you buy. Read more.
The Russian hacking threat remains real. California recently got an “all clear” from the government, but, according to Government Technology, a UC Davis computer science professor says the government should still be nervous. Read more.
FedRAMP Is Still Evolving Under New Authorizations
Eight years after the creation of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, the program is still evolving and one lawmaker wants to push that along, says NextGov. Read more.
Biomedical innovation is getting a tech-powered jumpstart, thanks to a new partnership between the National Institutes of Health and Google. Read more.
VA.gov Prepares for a Major Modernization Overhaul
According to FedScoop, Veteran Affairs is working to become “the first federal agency to deliver a digital experience on par with the private sector” as part of its VA Digital Modernization effort. Read more.
Trump’s Modernization Plan Takes Shape
The Trump administration has issued its vision for the future of a digital, modern government. It’s part of a wide-reaching plan to reorganize the federal agencies. Read more.