Inside the Reporter’s Notebook – Countdown to launch of CDM dashboard begins

Jason Miller
Jason Miller

Inside the Reporter’s Notebook is a biweekly dispatch of news and information you may have missed or that slipped through the cracks at conferences, hearings and other events. This is not a column or commentary – it’s news tidbits, strongly-sourced buzz, and other items of interest that have happened or are happening in the federal IT and acquisition communities.

As always, we encourage you to submit ideas, suggestions and, of course, news to Jason via email.

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Countdown to launch of CDM dashboard begins

The first iteration of the cybersecurity dashboard under the continuous diagnostic and mitigation (CDM) is scheduled to be released this month.

The Homeland Security Department and the General Services Administration plan to roll out the three components of the Arrow Electronics tool that is based on the RSA Archer eGRC platform to task order awardees under the CDM program in August, according to a DHS/GSA PowerPoint presentation detailing the program’s plans obtained by Federal News Radio.

The dashboard modules include a federal enterprise management module, a continuous monitoring module and an on-demand applications (ODA) capability, the presentation stated.

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Barry West surfaces; Recovery Board CIO heads to industry; New expertise at Treasury, GSA

There is a little more clarity about the mystery of Barry West, the seemingly now-former chief information officer at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

West updated his LinkedIn page over the weekend, writing he’s the president of the Mason Harriman Group, a management consulting firm that utilizes former CXOs as advisers or consultants. Mason Harriman holds several contract vehicles including EAGLE II at the Homeland Security Department, three General Services Administration’s schedules contract — financial and business solutions (FABS), 70 and MOBIS — and Immigration and Customs Enforcement independent verification and validation services.

West’s LinkedIn page says he left the FDIC in this month and also started at the Mason Harriman Group this month.

An email to West seeking comment was not immediately returned.

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Rethinking cybersecurity on the GSA schedule

The General Services Administration’s IT schedule currently lists six different special item numbers (SINs) for cybersecurity products and services. GSA wants to know from agencies and vendors whether it would make sense to consolidate those six SINs into one major grouping called cyber and information assurance, then break the categories and subcategories down within that grouping.

GSA released a request for information Aug. 12 detailing some ideas and concepts to make this change.

“The purpose of this change would be to improve the way that GSA offers Cyber/IA products and services through IT Schedule 70, increase visibility, improve access to CyberIA offerings and to provide industry partners the opportunity to differentiate their Cyber/IA products and services from other IT related products and services,” GSA wrote in the RFI. “This effort would support initiatives to improve customer procurement of Cyber/IA offerings and enable agencies to take full advantage of Cyber/IA benefits to maximize capacity utilization, improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, and minimize cost.”

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Where’s the transparency, GSA?

Let me get back on my soap box for a minute. This is reason number 347 why GSA needs to make access to RFQs and RFIs on the schedules available for everyone to see.

GSA, on behalf of the Defense Information Systems Agency, made a $296 million award for email-as-a-service to Dell Federal. GSA made the award to Dell June 19.

This award is good news. It’s the largest task order ever on the email-as-a-service blanket purchase agreement. It’s a huge commitment by DISA to move Defense Department agencies to the cloud.

Here’s the long-standing frustration with the schedules: No one but the 15 vendors, DISA and GSA know about the good news, and trying to get a copy of the RFQ is painfully difficult.

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Civilian agencies drawn to DoD’s secret-level mobile device program

The Defense Department’s program to let employees use smartphones on the secret network is becoming more popular than ever imagined. After moving from the pilot to the full production stage in June, the Defense Mobile Classified Capability — Secret (DMCC-S) is in demand not just in the military, but across the government.

At least 10 civilian agencies are interested in the devices and the State Department already put in an order for the hardened version of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

In fact, Secretary of State John Kerry was a part of the Defense Information Systems Agency pilot over the last year. DISA tested about 2,000 Samsung Galaxy S4 devices.

Additionally, DoD coalition partners also are interested in using the technology to communicate with American military units.

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