Technocrat | May 13, 2019: Power to Purchase

What’s New This Week:

Power to Purchase

With aging voting systems — including outdated software and hardware — the federal government doesn’t have time to waste as it works across party lines to ensure a secure 2020 election.

The message comes from several cybersecurity experts who testified before the House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration last week. One expert recommended longer-term funding for risk assessments and upgrades for critical infrastructure.

At the same hearing, the secretaries of state of Michigan and Alabama asked for more money to secure election systems against cyberattacks. Although members of the committee voiced concerns about potential roadblocks, they said they were committed to making election security a major focus.

Microsoft seized an opportunity to help modernize antiquated voting systems by launching a new platform called ElectionGuard. The tech giant says voting systems will be more secure and transparent with its free, open-source platform, which will be piloted during the 2020 election.

In this week’s exclusive BGOV story, federal market analyst Chris Cornillie explores how the Army is planning to use its other transaction authority to fast-track six contracts for enterprise IT services at hundreds of bases nationwide.

The Army says it needs these contracts because its current network cannot meet immediate and future requirements, but the move raises questions about the Pentagon’s use of expedited buying powers, Cornillie explains.

Meanwhile, the FBI is making some small yet significant changes in how it buys IT services. The agency just released a revised draft solicitation for an enterprise IT services contract, which was valued at $5 billion at one point. The new solicitation doesn’t come with a projected dollar figure, but includes some updates from previous drafts.

There’s more news where that came from, so keep reading!


Red Hat Ansible Automation

Deploy Apps. Manage Systems. Crush Complexity.
Automation is the use of technology to perform tasks without human assistance. This can be found in manufacturing, robotics, vehicle control, and other industries. It can also be found in the world of technology-in IT systems and business decision software.

Click here to learn more about Red Hat Ansible Automation.


Get Smart

“We are using the other transaction authority process to do the prototyping of how to execute [enterprise IT as a service] more rapidly. The flexibility that the OTA process provides us in refining requirements will be invaluable in getting the process right.”

—Tara Clements, a spokesperson for the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems

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

Beyond Legacy

New Supercomputer Coming in 2021

The Department of Energy will soon be exploring a new Frontier — that’s the name of the “world’s fastest supercomputer,” which will be built in the U.S. by 2021, according to the agency. The new machine will be used to perform advanced calculations in nuclear and climate research. Read more.

VA Digitizes Resource Management

An open-source tool called Light Electronic Action Framework (LEAF) has helped the Veterans Affairs Department save time and money. There are dozens of LEAF use cases across the VA. For example, medical centers use it to digitize clinic cancellations and manage resources. Read more.

Strategy & Leadership

IRS CIO to Retire

The Internal Revenue Service is losing its chief information officer, Gina Garza, who will retire at the end of May after more than 34 years in government. Nancy Sieger, the IRS deputy CIO for filing season and tax reform, will be filling Garza’s role on an interim basis. Read more.

FEMA Gets New CIO

Lytwaive Hutchinson is taking over as CIO of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Before joining FEMA, Hutchinson worked in IT acquisition at the Pentagon, most recently as vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Joint Service Provider. Read more.


Red Hat Ansible Automation

Deploy apps. Manage Systems. Crush complexity.
Automation is the use of technology to perform tasks without human assistance. This can be found in manufacturing, robotics, vehicle control, and other industries. It can also be found in the world of technology-in IT systems and business decision software.

Click here to learn more about Red Hat Ansible Automation.


In the Cloud

GSA Developing Civilian Cloud Contract

Emulating DEOS, the Defense Department’s $8.2 billion cloud email and business services program, the General Services Administration is creating a civilian version of the contract. The program is in the early stages of development and won’t follow the same timeline as DEOS. Read more.

GAO Finds Cloud Savings Inconsistencies

A new Government Accountability Office report examined IT investments at 16 agencies and found savings of hundreds of millions of dollars, thanks to cloud services. But it also found data shortcomings, as agencies struggle with inconsistent tracking of investments. Read more.

Eye on Security

CIA Unveils Secure Site on Dark Web

The Central Intelligence Agency has launched a website that can be accessed securely by people around the world. The “onion service,” which runs on the Tor anonymity network, was the right decision for the agency because “there’s a trend moving in that direction,” the CIA said. Read more.

Agencies Share Best Ways to Deploy CDM

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for complying with Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation, a program requiring enhanced cybersecurity in all federal civilian networks and systems. Here’s a look at how some agencies have successfully deployed CDM tools. Read more.

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