Army CIO Leo Garciga continues his march to revamp technology policy

The Army's generative AI and large language model policy is weeks away.

  • The Army's Chief Information Officer continues his march to revamp technology policy, with two new ones on tap in the coming months. The Army's next set of policy updates are around generative artificial intelligence and large language models, and the continuous authority to operate. Leo Garciga, the Army CIO, said the GenAI and LLM policy is weeks away. "It's really going to be focused around mostly data protection, and what we think the guardrails need to be and what our interaction between the government and industry will look like in this space," Garciga said, adding that the continuous ATO policy will focus on six critical controls. It is expected out later this summer.
  • The Defense Innovation Unit launched a new emerging technology portfolio, which will focus on technologies including quantum, hypersonics, advanced materials and propulsion, microelectronics, nanotechnology and additive manufacturing. The portfolio will coordinate closely with National Security Innovation Capital, which funds companies developing emerging hardware technologies. This is DIU’s seventh portfolio. The portfolio’s first solicitation is already live.
  • The Office of Personnel Management is brainstorming ways to make in-office work more appealing to federal employees. Things like special in-person events, team building activities and strategic planning sessions could help ensure in-person work makes sense, OPM Acting Director Rob Shriver said. At the same time, Shriver said OPM is also focused on bringing more attention to employees’ mental health and wellness, especially now in a hybrid work environment. OPM is looking to bridge together in-person opportunities and mental health awareness in the hopes of improving the overall employee experience.
  • A watchdog report said breakdowns in leadership led to the Department of Veterans Affairs paying nearly $11 million in bonuses to career executives not eligible to receive them. VA’s inspector general office said the department gave critical skills incentives to more than 180 executives. But Congress authorized those incentives to retain in-demand workers, such as police officers, housekeepers and food service workers. VA said more than 90% of critical skills incentives went to eligible recipients and that it continues to recoup bonuses it shouldn’t have awarded.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is in need of "cultural and structural change" to reverse years of workplace harassment, discrimination and other interpersonal misconduct. Those are the findings of the Special Review Committee of the FDIC’s Board of Directors. The committee issued the report in late April, as requested by the FDIC board, after a scathing Wall Street Journal story in November found systemic problems with the workplace culture. In the report, the committee made seven recommendations, including developing a more transparent and timely process for communicating about workplace investigations, and implementing leadership and management training focused on creating a working environment that is psychologically safe.
  • DoD’s new software acquisition pathway has gone some way toward speeding up software development, but Defense officials said the procedures have not taken off as quickly as they hoped. To help speed up adoption, the assistant secretary of Defense for acquisition is standing up a cadre of software experts. Their job will be to consult with program managers on how to use the software pathway and adopt agile methodologies. Congress first ordered the creation of that team in the 2022 Defense authorization bill.
  • Federal records requirements for UFOs are coming. The National Archives and Records Administration released guidance for information needed to create and manage the unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) records collection. The 2024 National Defense Authorization Act required NARA to establish the collection to make federally held information about unidentified aerial phenomena available to the public. Agencies have until October to review, identify and organize each UAP record in its custody for disclosure and transmission to the National Archives.
    (National Archives releases guidance on unidentified anomalous phenomena - National Archives and Records Administration)
  • An in-depth Air Force study to Congress recommends moving all National Guard space missions into the Space Force. But pushing against the move are all state governors, a bipartisan group of 85 lawmakers and the Air National Guard. The 2024 defense bill required the Pentagon to examine the feasibility of giving the Space Force its own Guard component, leaving things as they currently are, or moving Guard space units to the Space Force. The study found that overall costs for all options are about the same and that the Air Force has the capability of executing any of those options.

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