Month after defeat, Virginia lawmakers still fighting to land FBI HQ

On today's Federal Newscast: CENTCOM's got a new chief data officer. A month after the decision was announced, Virginia lawmakers are still fighting to be the s...

  • Intelligence agencies are giving some employees a chance to spend time in the private sector. The intelligence community’s public-private talent exchanges just launched this fall. An initial cohort of intelligence officers will spend time working at companies in the space sector. The IC is also looking to partner with companies working on artificial intelligence and machine learning, finance and economic security, data science, and human capital. Cynthia Snyder is helping to oversee the exchange as assistant director of national intelligence for human capital. “So when they come back, they'll be able to bring those new skillsets back to continue to infuse into our work place,” Synder said.
  • New guidance from the White House Office of Management and Budget is doubling down on Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity. Agencies have until September 30 to create an enterprisewide inventory of devices or systems that are interconnected with hardware or software. These IoT devices are anything from programmable controllers to integrated circuits, sensors and other technologies that collect and exchange data with other network devices. In the fiscal 2024 Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) guidance, OMB outlined eight data points agencies should include in their inventories. Additionally, agencies shall prioritize the inventorying of assets whose failure would lead to the disruption of critical functions of systems or their mission.
    (OMB 2024 FISMA guidance - White House: Office of Management and Budget)
  • Virginia lawmakers are calling for a delay in moving the FBI to a new headquarters. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) joined nine House lawmakers in telling the Office of Management and Budget to hit pause on the project until a government watchdog completes its review of how the decision was made to build a new headquarters in Greenbelt, Maryland. The inspector general for the federal government’s landlord, the General Services Administration, agreed last week to begin looking into the selection process.
    (Letter to OMB - Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.))
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs has outlined a plan to fix IT problems that are causing delays in veterans receiving their benefits. The department is responding to website issues found earlier this year, which may have delayed benefits for more than 120,000 veterans. The VA is creating a “watchtower” of monitors that will automatically alert employees to a major IT error within 24 hours. VA Chief Technology Officer Charles Worthington said the watchtower will reduce the chance of major IT errors from occurring on the site again. “We are designing it so that we have more confidence in the specific health of any given feature at any given time," Worthington said.
  • By the end fiscal 2025, the Office of Personnel Management plans to lead or facilitate 28 pooled or shared hiring actions for agencies to fill critical vacancies resulting in 700 agency hires. The General Services Administration will increase the disposal of underperforming assets and reduce leased real estate costs. And the Small Business Administration will unify government contracting certification programs onto a single platform. These are among the dozens of new agency priority goals for the next two years released yesterday. OMB said the updated goals serve as markers of an agency’s commitment to improving outcomes, customer experiences and efficiency.
  • U.S. Central Command has named Michael Foster as its chief data officer. In his new role, Foster will lead CENTCOM’s data efforts across the organization's headquarters and components. Foster comes to CENTCOM after serving as the head of solutions engineering at CrowdAI for the past two years. Foster’s experience ranges from big data management to artificial intelligence model development, including 11 years of active duty in the Air Force and seven years at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
    (CENTCOM names CDO - U.S. Central Command)
  • The Defense Information Systems Agency has retired its legacy DISANet infrastructure and moved over 10,000 users to a new, single-service network called DODNet. This effort is part of DISA’s Fourth Estate Network Optimization initiative kicked off in 2019. DISA said the shift was a critical first step in standardizing DoD’s global network. In the coming months, the agency will focus on enhancing the current version of DODNet and begin migrating to version 2.0 to improve its cyber resiliency.
    (DISA migrates to DODNet - Defense Information Systems Agency)
  • Agencies can get out of the paper business by following a few key standards. That is according to "Success Criteria For Digitizing Permanent Records," released by the National Archives and Records Administration this week. NARA said the criteria, which include ways to measure digitization policies and systems, are crucial to achieving the vision of a fully digital government. Starting next July, agencies will be required to transfer all permanent records to NARA in a digital format.

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