Calling all zero trust experts, ICE is looking for your help

In today's Federal Newscast, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it requires the expertise and analysis of industry-leading zero Trust analysts, consultant...

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  • More news from the Biden administration’s plan to use federal procurement for meeting the president’s environmental goals. Yesterday, the White House released a list of initiatives to make the construction supply chain more sustainable. A new Buy Clean Task Force will support low-carbon materials made in American factories, while the General Services Administration and the Department of Transportation promote low-carbon materials in construction projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. And the Department of Energy will form an Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee to create a strategy for lowering the carbon footprint of the U.S. industrial base.
  • The Energy Department looks to boost cyber defenses across the electric grid. DOE’s approach to combating digital threats to the grid includes encouraging electric utilities to adopt monitoring technologies using “financial and other incentives.” It’s also setting up an Energy Threat Analysis Center to “share threat intelligence information across industry and government.” That’s according to Kate Marks, acting deputy assistant secretary for preparedness, policy and risk analysis. ““Our hope, ultimately, is really that we’ll have the ability to have automated threat detection and response. In the long term, that capability is what we’re aiming for.” (Federal News Network)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement is looking for zero trust security consultants. ICE is planning to buy cybersecurity advisory services, according to a recent request for information. The Biden administration released its zero trust security strategy last month. ICE says it requires the expertise and analysis of industry-leading zero trust analysts, consultants and practitioners to meet the new White House requirements. The partner would support ICE’s chief information officer.
  • The Postal Service’s regulatory agency seeks feedback on the dashboard it’s building to track USPS delivery performance. The Postal Regulatory Commission launches the beta version of its USPS data dashboard, but is looking for public feedback for its final launch. The dashboard will display national-level service performance data for the Postal Service’s market-dominant mail products. The commission says the dashboard reflects information that is already available to the public, but not easily accessible on its website. The dashboard doesn’t have the capability to visualize USPS performance at a regional or ZIP code level. The commission will accept comments through March 18. (Federal News Network)
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency is on the path to modernize its communications capabilities. Over the next five years, FEMA’s voice and data services as well as its Contact Center Capability Modernization Program and its National Warning System will receive technology and capability upgrades. FEMA awarded AT&T four separate contracts worth $167 million through the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions or EIS program. As part of the voice and data upgrades, FEMA’s wireless services will move to WiFi 6. It also will reduce the footprint of its enterprise network, making it more scalable and secure.
  • Agencies get some help to make the most out of their cloud services. With the continued proliferation of cloud services, agencies need a strategy to ensure they are optimizing, refining and controlling costs. The Federal CIO Council is providing some help with a new cloud tagging strategy guide. The guide aims to help agencies develop and maintain an internal standard for tagging infrastructure-, platform- and software-as-a-service. The strategy guide details four kinds of tags — security, technical, business and automation — and a five-step process to implement the tagging strategy agencywide. The council also lays out best practices to formalize tagging and naming conventions.
  • The Senate is taking up another attempt to make the Plum Book an online living document. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) are reintroducing the Periodically Listing Updates to Management or PLUM Act. The bill would require the Office of Personnel Management to maintain a public directory of data on the president’s appointees and other senior positions. Agencies would have to submit data to OPM every month. Today OPM works with the House and Senate oversight committees to publish a roster of agency appointments every four years.
  • The Navy is authorizing an extra week of leave for new parents in the Marine Corps and Navy. Secondary caregivers can now take three weeks of time off to help with a newborn or newly adopted child. Adapting to the changing lifestyle of service members have been a main component of the Navy and Marine Corps’ personnel plan. The services are trying to hire top tier talent while competing with private companies.
  • The Air Force will be paring back some of its scientific investments in the future. It’s starting to think about what technologies it needs for the future. After spending years investing in many different ideas, the service says it’s now time to bring those ideas to fruition. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall says he will sit down with top military advisors to decide which nascent innovations will get cut. Kendall noted that some technologies will need analysis to determine how valuable they are to the Air Force before a decision can be made.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to change some of its rating criteria for respiratory, auditory and mental disorders. VA says the proposed changes will help it incorporate modern medical data and terminology to provide Veterans with more accurate and consistent decisions. The updates include modernizing the rating criteria for sleep apnea, Evaluating tinnitus as a symptom of the underlying disease which causes it, rather than as a stand-alone disability, and treating mental health conditions based on a more robust and holistic approach that determines how it effects a patient’s daily life.

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