FedRAMP looks to speed up authorization process

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on  Federal Drive with Tom Temin. 

  • The Small Business Administration has unveiled a new online tool to close gaps and cut red tape for small businesses hoping to work with the federal government. Certify.sba.gov cuts down and clarifies the application process. The first version of the site focused on women-owned small businesses. Last year SBA hit its 5 percent women-owned small business contracting goal since the bar was set in 1996. (Small Business Administration)
  • Cloud Service Providers can now show they meet the government’s cybersecurity standards before the official audit process to do so. The General Services Administration released the FedRAMP Readiness Assessment Report. It will serve as a template for CSP’s to show they’re technically capable of FedRAMP authorization prior to the official process of providing documentation. (General Services Administration)
  • President Obama’s blue-ribbon cyber panel enters phase two. The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity needs your help identifying challenges, possible solutions and/or recommendations around 10 areas. The commission is issuing a request for information today seeking feedback from industry and other experts as a way to inform their recommendations to the President. The topics range from critical infrastructure to cyber insurance to the workforce to federal governance. The commission is asking for insights into what can or should be done in the short term, in the long term and the potential future challenges the government could face. Comments are due by Sept. 8. (Federal Register)
  • Dave DeVries is leaving the Defense Department to be the new chief information officer at the Office of Personnel Management. DeVries currently is DoD’s principal deputy CIO, and will join OPM in the coming weeks. OPM and DoD are working closely to get the the National Background Investigations Service to full operating capability. DeVries has worked for the Pentagon for 35 years, including the last seven in the CIO’s office so he knows the culture and intricacies of DoD. (Federal News Radio)
  • Federal executives have a new worry: Employee anxiety during presidential transitions. Career employees know that 4,000 appointee jobs will be up for grabs. People they’ll have to answer to. Deloitte and the Partnership for Public Service said, this will produce uncertainty, with anxiety permeating the workplace. That finding based on a new look at Federal Employee Viewpoint results. The best antidote: Constant communications about what’s going on during each phase of transition, especially the first hundred days after inauguration. (Partnership for Public Service)
  • Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert Nelle said units may soon have assistant squad leaders. Those new positions would be used to fly the squad’s unmanned aerial vehicles. Those aren’t the only force structure changes the Marine Corps is considering. Nelle said the makeup of infantry battalions will look different in the future as well. The Marine Corps is currently conducting a review of its force structure so it can be better prepared for future wars. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Veterans Health Administration has improved how well and how quickly it delivers care to veterans over the past two years. That’s according to an independent Joint Commission that did unannounced reviews and surveys at all 139 VHA organizations and 47 outpatient clinics. It’s the first time an independent organization looked at VHA as a system and not as individual organizations and hospitals. The commission said it saw noticeable improvements in scheduling appointments once it recommended VHA be more clear about its expectations. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • A new audit found the Pentagon spent at least $112 million to field technologies designed to fight improvised explosive device before it determined whether those systems actually worked. The inspector general’s report, released on Tuesday, found internal control problems in the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency, but also in the military departments it’s meant to serve. In one case, it found the Army and JIDA were both paying the same contractor to build a system that was eventually cancelled, $10 million later. And a $6 million IT system designed to track deconflict the anti-IED projects each of JIDA’s branches were working on was only used as intended by one of those branches. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Air Force is looking to educate its members as well as leaders in the Defense Department about the new Blended Retirement System. It’s introduced a new online course on the subject. The training looks to provide military and civilian leaders of Airmen working knowledge of the BRS before it’s implementation at the beginning of 2018. (Air Force)

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