Technocrat | September 3, 2018: Inside GSA’s New Government-wide Contract

What’s New This Week:

Contracts, Contracts Everywhere

Another week, another contract, and this time with even catchier acronyms. The General Services Administration is in the process of creating a new government-wide contracting vehicle for services related to manned and unmanned systems.

Known simply as ATLAS, the program is a big deal since it could consolidate billions of dollars in services annually that currently flow through hundreds of different contracts. Although the GSA hasn’t yet finalized the scope of the new program, it could potentially support the government’s fleet of civilian and military land vehicles, as well as ships and aircraft. If that’s the case, the scope of ATLAS could be huge.

BGOV’s Chris Cornillie has your exclusive look at ATLAS and overall federal spending on vehicle support services. He will update this story as it develops.

Since we’re on the subject of contracts, the Defense Department’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract is making headlines again. Oracle just updated its legal argument against the DOD’s decision to award JEDI to a single vendor and filed a supplemental protest. While it’s unclear on what grounds Oracle made the supplemental protest, its victory could force the Pentagon to revisit the whole single vendor conundrum.

Can’t we all just get along? Oracle is upset with the DOD. President Trump is upset with Google. And we’re just sitting here…bummed that NASA is shopping for a new commercial spacecraft and sending humans to the Moon by 2026–and didn’t invite us. Wait, we got sidetracked…

Back to the president’s beef with Google. The president claims Google is feeding up “rigged” search results. Some believe it’s a sign the biggest internet companies could face bipartisan pressure in Washington to be more transparent in how they manage information. It’s also raising all sorts of questions about whether these companies are abusing their market dominance.

Will Google and others be subject to some form of federal regulation? This conversation is still just getting started.

What else has the president been up to? Calling off pay raises for civilian federal workers. Trump wrote a letter to House and Senate leaders stating that “for 2019, both across the board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero.”

In the meantime, keep reading. There’s more you need to know.

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Get Smart

 “GSA is embarking on gathering market research to determine whether there is a need for a government-wide contract vehicle for operations, readiness, maintenance, integration, and development of manned, optionally manned, and unmanned platforms, as well as support functions for these platforms.”

 —  Pamela Dixon, GSA press secretary

Big Moves

VA’s New EHR Leader Calls It Quits

The Department of Veterans Affairs had a rough week after two execs leading the agency’s multibillion-dollar electronic health record overhaul suddenly quit. The resignations left lawmakers scratching their heads about the future of the ambitious modernization project. Read more.

Army Looks to Future IT Acquisition

The Army’s new Futures Command will focus heavily on IT, as it prepares for impending combat situations. The goal is to improve its networks and invest in new technologies. That’s good news for IT contractors not only in Austin but all across the U.S. Eye on Security

USCIS Seeks Cloud-Based Cybersecurity

It’s no secret U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has moved much of its citizen-facing operations online in the past year. The agency is currently in the market for a cybersecurity-as-a-service solution that could work across different cloud platforms. Read more.

Fix Needed for Cyber Vulnerabilities Database

The government’s Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures program has long faced problems with bugs and security flaws. House lawmakers are pushing for reforms of this key cybersecurity database, claiming that piecemeal, short-term contracts aren’t working. Read more.Beyond Legacy

White House Will Put Bots to Work

The Office of Management and Budget has a plan in place this year to use automated bots that would handle repetitive tasks. But don’t worry, the bots aren’t likely to steal any jobs. They’d be doing “low-value” work required for financial analysis and contracting documentation. Read more.

Merger Can’t Stop Education’s IT Modernization

Technology changes should be the first step in merging the Labor and Education Departments, agency officials said. Whether the merger happens or not, the Education Department means business in pushing forward on its IT modernization efforts. Read more.Tech & Policy

Policy Reviews Are Coming Soon

Federal CIO Suzette Kent stressed the need to update government IT policy by comparing antiquated cybersecurity metrics to using a 10-year-old cell phone. Expect to see some updates by year’s end under FISMA, Kent said. Read more.

Fight Over California’s Privacy Bill Continues 

It’s been two months since advocates celebrated passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act, which would give consumers more data control. But now they’re worried pressure from powerful businesses could end up gutting the law completely. Read more.

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