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Jason Miller covers civilian agencies in the federal government with a focus on technology and acquisition. He is also an executive editor at Federal News Radio. Jason's reports can be heard Monday - Friday on the Federal Drive and In Depth.
SBA released data today that showed the amount of total dollars going to small firms is down as are the overall percentage of contracts small businesses won in 2011. Agencies made only one governmentwide goal for SDBs last year.
The administration will kick off the 2012 program to find money-saving ideas in a few weeks. Agencies will get to vote on a final list of ideas in the next few months.
The director of the Federal Network Security Branch becomes the fifth senior-level official to leave in more than a year. Danny Toler will assume his responsibilities at least in the interim.
The government is investigating allegations against Symplicity Corp. for allegedly accessing without permission the internal networks of two competitors in the education sector. Symplicity, which runs three governmentwide websites, denies any wrongdoing and calls the government's search warrant a one-sided justification for the investigation. Experts say the company could face suspension from new federal procurements.
Homeland Security releases policy and guidance on how departments and vendors will implement continuous monitoring and get away from static reports on the cyber health of their systems. DHS is hoping Congress approves a $200 million funding request to buy five different commercial cyber tools, a dashboard and a security data warehouse in 2013.
Lawmakers have about 23 real work days left before the end of the fiscal year to pass USPS reform, comprehensive cyber, DoD authorization and all the 2013 spending bills. Experts hold out little hope even after the passage of the FDA bill and the expected approval of the highway legislation.
CWTSatoTravel objected to the $1.4 billion E- Travel award going to Concur Technologies. SAIC protested DISA's $4.6 billion award for the Global Information Grid management services to Lockheed Martin. Both protestors are the incumbent contractors.
Linda Gooden, the executive vice president of the aerospace and technology giant's information systems and global solutions business area, said agencies are spending more time than ever helping contractors understand their needs. Gooden and Lockheed CEO Robert Stevens' statements are in stark contrast to comments made by a major competitor about the challenges companies face in talking to agencies.
Rosemary Wenchel is the new deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity coordination at DHS. She replaces Adm. Mike Brown, who retired in January.
The U.S. Agency for International Development saw
their FISMA scores drop to an F grade. Jerry
Horton, USAID's chief information officer, said
they will fix their shortcomings this year.
June 21, 2012
NIST, DHS experts say protecting smartphones and tablets shouldn't be any different than securing typical desktop or laptop computers. DHS will release mobile security reference architecture to help agencies understand common concepts. NIST is updating security control guide with 250 new requirements, including mobile controls.
Secretary Steven Chu announced several leadership changes, including naming Robert Brese as the department's new chief information officer.
The largest federal contractor is struggling to prepare for about $1 trillion in cuts that are due to take effect in January. Retiring-CEO Robert Stevens said agencies will ask vendors to modify contracts and that in turn will drive up the costs of those programs. Lockheed Martin already is taking steps to reduce its spending by consolidating facilities and reducing staff.
The Homeland Security Department is taking a two-pronged approach to protecting the federal supply chain. The first addresses the DHS mission cargo crossing into the U.S. The second is an interagency effort to ensure the government is working together on investigations. DHS said seizures of counterfeit goods at the border increased by 20 percent in 2011.
Federal Chief Information Officer Steve VanRoekel and Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Joe Jordan released the guidance that highlights possible risks or challenges, and offers checklists, templates and other tools to make the move to this smaller, more outcome based approach easier for agencies.
The White House, Congress, DoD and many others are trying to stem the tide of counterfeit products and software with malicious code from entering federal systems. The administration soon will release recommendations for how all agencies and vendors can improve the security of their products. DoD issued a memo in March requiring changes to how services protect their supply chains.
Private contractors received $102 million to review Medicaid fraud data, yet had only found about $20 million in overpayments since 2008, according to a new report by the federal government.
The Homeland Security Department showed lawmakers and staff how easy it is to create a spear phishing attack against a federal employee using free, open-source tools. The agency also said the Einstein 3 program is under development and will rely on vendors to provide intrusion prevention services. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said he expects the cyber bill to go to the Senate floor for debate no later than July.
The two influential senators say the mistakes the Defense Department and others made in the 1990s during the last serious budget reductions can't be repeated this time around. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) said budget cuts shouldn't be balanced on the backs of the acquisition workforce. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) added reductions in acquisition staff mean the government will pay more for goods and services.
GSA, Commerce and others are using supply chain management techniques to buy smarter and more efficiently. Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Steve Kempf said a recent survey of their contractors will help influence the next generation of schedules.