Technocrat | March 25, 2019: The Numbers Are In

What’s New This Week:

The Numbers Are In

The White House has released more details about President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget request, and it’s filled with suggestions to modernize an antiquated civil service system.

The administration wants to work with Congress to scrap approximately 5,000 statutory and regulatory rules that have resulted in an “incomprehensible, administratively burdensome, and unmanageable” system, according to the budget proposal.

After the initial soft launch of the president’s budget request, it appears the administration wants to decrease the government’s IT funding next year.

Last week’s request included a proposed cut in IT funding of roughly $182 million across civilian and defense agencies — although some of those funds may have shifted to the Pentagon’s classified IT spending budget. BGOV’s Chris Cornillie says the administration may invest more in classified programs, with unclassified defense IT spending dropping slightly.

Compared with the funding civilian agencies expected to receive at this time last year, the fiscal 2020 IT budget will be enough to support governmentwide modernization efforts. Cornillie explains more in this week’s exclusive story.

One thing that wasn’t mentioned much in the budget request is automation. It’s cited in only a few places and mostly focuses on reducing head counts.

The Office of Personnel Management previously emphasized the significance of automation and the fact that it could replace approximately 5 percent of jobs currently carried out by federal employees. More important, automation could reduce workloads by an estimated 30 percent.

But enough about automation. Let’s talk about innovation for a minute.

The National Security Agency has expanded its list of technologies for the private sector to develop. It recently added several new patents to the Technology Transfer Program, which allows companies to license NSA’s patents. The agency is calling them “hot technologies,” in hopes of attracting more private sector participants.

Don’t miss other important news in federal IT. Keep reading!


Become a Government for the Digital Age

Relationship building across your agency starts with the experience. That means there must be a renewed focus on putting people at the center of every interaction and providing the personalized, relevant touch points that are not only desired, but expected. Learn more.


Get Smart

“Funding increases are necessary to support investment in emerging technologies while at the same time maintaining legacy systems that remain key to agency operations.”

— Chris Cornillie, federal market analyst with Bloomberg Government

Read more in this week’s exclusive from Bloomberg Government.

Beyond Legacy

Defense Health Agency Migrates to Amazon Cloud

The Defense Health Agency, which provides health and medical services to Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel, has tapped Amazon Web Services for cloud migration. It joins a growing list of defense agencies that have moved their data to the commercial cloud. Read more.

GSA Switches Contracting Identification Provider

The General Services Administration is moving to a new entity verification service provider, ending a longstanding relationship with Dun & Bradstreet. Using entity validation services, federal agencies can confirm the identity of companies that do business with the government. Read more.

Eye on Security

Updated Encryption Protocols in the Works

Experts believe quantum computers will make today’s encryption protocols obsolete. That’s why the National Institute of Standards and Technology is in the process of developing updated encryption standards, which would tackle new and emerging cybersecurity threats. Read more.

Defense Department Shares Cyber Mission Goals

Newly released budget documents reveal that the Defense Department is requesting substantial funding for the U.S. Cyber Command’s two major programs — the Unified Platform and the Persistent Cyber Training Environment — for cyberwarrior training and operations. Read more.

Strategy & Leadership

CIO Shuffle at Transportation, CIA, State Dept.

The Transportation Department has hired Ryan Cote as its new chief information officer, while the State Department is losing its acting CIO, Karen Mummaw, who will retire in April. Over at the CIA, the agency just named Juliane Gallina, who comes from IBM, as its new CIO. Read more.

Agencies Want to Improve Online User Experience

Federal agencies are on a mission to move more of their interactions with the public online and to mobile platforms. The Departments of Education and Homeland Security are among the agencies simplifying the online experience by giving users what they want. Read more.

Next Tech

White House Launches AI Initiatives Site

There is a new “hub” for information on the federal government’s artificial intelligence efforts. The AI.gov website reinforces President Trump’s executive order on AI signed earlier this year. It also links to several agency-level AI programs and workforce training programs. Read more.

HHS Thinks Blockchain Can Secure Log Files

The Department of Health and Human Services is in search of new blockchain applications to test. One potential application involves using blockchain to capture audit log records and secure log files that are automatically collected by HHS across its systems. Read more.

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