White House wants $17.6B for cybersecurity in 2020 budget, mostly DoD

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  • The White House plans on spending even more to secure federal networks and data in 2020. President Donald Trump requested $17.6 billion for federal cybersecurity efforts next year. In the detailed version of the 2020 budget request released earlier this week, the administration asked for a 5 percent increase, or $790 million dollars more than this year’s spending. The Defense Department continued to account for more than half of the cybersecurity request with the White House seeking about $9.6 billion. The newly-formed Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security wants more than $1.2 billion in 2020, with $450 million going specifically to federal cyber efforts. (Office of Management and Budget)
  • The Trump administration revived a series of familiar proposals designed to shorten the federal employee disciplinary appeals process. The Office of Personnel Management’s 2020 budget request suggested shortening the time both agencies and employees have to decide and appeal firings and suspensions. The legislative proposals would shorten the appeals process for performance-based and disciplinary actions. OPM also wants the Federal Labor Relations Authority to streamline its process for resolving bargaining disputes. (Federal News Network)
  • The General Services Administration is asking for $50 million to cover part of the Trump administration’s proposed reorganization of OPM. The request is part of a joint 2020 budget submission from GSA and OPM. GSA said the funds will cover the move of OPM’s systems into the GSA network, plus the transition of staff and other business processes. The two agencies are asking for another $25 million to cover a merger of OPM’s inspector general office with that of GSA. (Federal News Network)
  • For the third time, the Trump administration has called for the elimination of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E). Under the president’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal, ARPA-E would use the remainder of its un-obligated funds to shutter the agency by fiscal 2022. ARPA-E supports emerging energy projects such as next-generation batteries and improving the basic components of solar panels. (Federal News Network)
  • GSA is offering a new service to help agencies find money to modernize their technology infrastructure. GSA launched the Software License Management, or “SLM-FAST,” service to provide an eight-week analysis of an agency’s software inventory. The no-cost approach develops a current list of software licenses and then helps agencies develop a road map to consolidate and reduce spending on software. GSA said SLM-FAST will establish a centrally hosted license repository to provide cross-agency sharing and make it easier to coordinate buying based on common requirements. (General Services Administration)
  • Four veteran members of Congress are asking the FBI to investigate allegations that foreign governments are using social media to target service members and veterans with propaganda messages. The request, led by Rep. Gil Cisneros, follows up on an investigation by Vietnam Veterans of America. VVA’s research found numerous Facebook accounts that impersonated legitimate veterans service organizations, but their main purpose seems to be to sow political division. Some have hundreds of thousands of followers. (Rep. Gil Cisneros)
  • Outgoing Food and Drug Administrator Scott Gottlieb said the only measurable negative effects at the FDA from the shutdown will be fewer inspections than projected this year. The agency had expected an increase this year, so the net effect will be a smaller increase than anticipated. Gottlieb said the shutdown had no immediate effects on hiring or retirement, though more data and time is needed to determine if FDA’s hiring prospects were damaged long term. (Gottlieb remarks at Brookings Institution)
  • California took in more Defense dollars than any other state in 2017, according to a new report from DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. The Golden State brought in a total of $49 billion. About $35 billion of the figure was for contracts, the rest was in personnel spending. Virginia saw the second-most spending with $46.2 billion. (Federal News Network)
  • The Navy has opened a new home for research, development, test and evaluation on positioning, navigation and timing technologies. The Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, opened the new laboratory last week to work on improved GPS technologies and enhancing its navigation systems. The Navy said the $3 million laboratory will also work with Defense Department and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency partners. (U.S. Navy)
  • The Trump administration’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal would slightly increase the IRS’s top-line budget, but would cut about 1,600 jobs, with more than half of those coming from the agency’s taxpayer services division. The budget proposal would give the agency $11.5 billion next year, $200 million more than in fiscal 2019. The National Treasury Employees Union says the budget request and workforce cuts would lower the level of service provided to taxpayers by phone. (Office of Management and Budget)

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