DISA’s new five-year plan will consolidate support for the warfighter

The Defense Information Systems Agency details four strategic imperatives, six operational imperatives and eight goals.

  • Lt. Gen. Bob Skinner adds another piece to the Defense Information Systems Agency's modernization puzzle. DISA's new five-year strategic plan is more about emphasizing and highlighting its current roadmap than making any new or dramatic changes. But DISA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Bob Skinner said simplifying and consolidating support for the warfighter will continue to drive these initiatives. In the 2025 to 2029 strategic plan, DISA detailed four strategic imperatives, six operational imperatives and eight goals. DISA said it remains focused on several departmentwide, enterprise-level tools, such as by 2030 delivering a common IT environment, developing a DoD enterprise cloud environment and integrating identity, credential and access management and zero trust capabilities.
  • The IRS plans to keep adding more employees, but it also needs more money to keep them. The IRS is looking to grow its workforce by about 14% between now and 2029, tapping into some of the $60 billion it got to modernize under the Inflation Reduction Act. But the agency is asking Congress to bump that funding up to $104 billion that it would have to spend through the next decade. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said that if those funds run out, the agency will not be able to sustain its growing workforce. “Either you don't replace people that retire, you furlough, and a last resort, you RIF," Werfel said, referring to a reduction in force. "Those are the realities that could happen.”
  • The Office of Personnel Management is rethinking the job skills needed for more than 40,000 human resources employees. Across all agencies, OPM has created new competency models for HR positions. Those models cover all HR management work, as well as more specialized skills. It is part of a broader effort to address strategic human capital management, while emphasizing skills-based hiring. Many of the newly defined skills, like decision-making and teamwork, emphasize hands-on qualifications.
  • The Defense Innovation Unit is looking for new ways to track down cyber adversaries who might already be inside DoD networks. DIU is shopping for what it calls a "hunt kit," which must be able to function without any internet connection. It also cannot rely on any additional resources from a partner’s on-premise infrastructure. The hunt kit must be able to fit in a carry-on bag and it has to meet weight and dimension limitations of international commercial flights. The vendor has to complete a prototype hunt kit for government testing within four months of receiving an Other Transaction award. Responses are due by June 14.
    (DIU seeking joint cyber hunt kit solutions - Defense Innovation Unit)
  • The IRS is letting some of its employees keep working remotely until the start of 2025. IRS planned to end its remote work pilot program in June, but now it will keep it running until January, to continue gathering more feedback and data. The IRS will not add more employees to the pilot program, but employees already in it can choose to opt out. A Treasury Department assessment found jobs advertising remote work led to the most hires, and that retention and engagement scores remained stable. The IRS is already meeting the Biden administration’s requirement to have federal employees working in the office about 50% of the time.
  • Vendors providing technology products to the government now have a better sense of how much of their product agencies are buying, and who is buying it, through the schedules program. The General Services Administration expanded the "demand data" program to vendors who provide technology products like laptops or software licenses. GSA said through demand data, contractors can customize their price list to those items that customers are more likely to buy. GSA launched the demand data effort in January 2023 for the general supplies and services schedule and found a relatively small number of products generated 50% of overall sales.
  • The federal HR workforce may soon see more support from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM is making plans to launch an HR career growth website this fall. The online platform will be a way for federal HR practitioners to access information and interact as a community. In the meantime, OPM is currently piloting an HR career pathing model at nine agencies. The end goal is to encourage better retention of HR employees, and help them grow in their careers.
    (Upcoming launch of HR career growth platform - Office of Personnel Management)
  • Sasha Baker, the acting under secretary of Defense for policy, officially stepped down from her post last week. She has been serving in that role since 2023, when Colin Kahl left the position. Amanda Dory, the director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, will temporarily step into Baker’s role. Last year, President Joe Biden nominated Derek Chollet to be the Pentagon’s policy chief and renominated him earlier this year, because the nomination has been stalled in the Senate.

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