Charles Phalen, director of the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), said Sunday in an appearance on Government Matters that his organization has been working with the Defense Department since December 2017 to shift the entirety of its operations over to DoD, long ahead of a coming executive order from President Trump that will make the move official. […]

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), a Federal government entity within the Department of Commerce that is working with AT&T to build out a nationwide broadband communications network for first responders, said today that Sue Swenson is stepping down as chair of the FirstNet board, and Jeffrey Johnson is resigning as vice chair.






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Department of Homeland Security DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today that it awarded DataRobot $200,000 to begin testing a prototype of a machine learning platform for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Travel Assessment System.






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U.S. Patent Trademark Office USPTO Commerce

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said today that an internal IT systems failure–that has shut down its major electronic database for patent-related activities since last Wednesday–has yet to be remedied, and that teams are working to restore service following an ongoing five-day outage.






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Joann Collins Smee

We’re sitting at a critical inflection point in Federal IT.  Cloud wars are raging, AI’s bubbling, and IoT’s, well, almost literally, everywhere.  And, as in any conflict, the first casualty is all too often the truth. 






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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is looking to significantly overhaul its online presence, and on Wednesday opened bidding on a contract to develop a content management system for VA.gov–the agency’s primary website.






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Department of Homeland Security DHS

The Department of Homeland Security today released a request for information (RFI) calling on the private sector to provide DHS with information on strategies and tools to augment its cyber supply chain risk management program.






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Bill Zielinski GSA IT Category Acquisitions FAS assistant commissioner

Bill Zielinski has been tapped to replace Kay Ely and will serve as the acting assistant commissioner of the IT Category (ITC) for the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), a GSA official confirmed to MeriTalk today.






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The Government Accountability Office released a report Wednesday that says the Federal government needs to provide more reliable data on employee misconduct, and suggested that Federal managers need better training to ensure that inappropriate employee behavior is dealt with appropriately.






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Ajit Pai, FCC Commisioner

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today defended his year-long public insistence that the FCC was the victim of a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack which impacted its electronic comment filing system during the agency’s net neutrality rulemaking proceeding last year, but admitted to having his own doubts about the cause of the system problem.






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Lisa Murkowski

While members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today appeared to be generally positive toward the nomination of Lane Genatowski to be the director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at the Department of Energy, they also had some sharp questions for the nominee over his stated support for President Trumps’ plan to get rid of the organization.  






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Look at that plane taking off at an airport.

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., has requested that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division investigate “whether the uses of facial recognition technology – as currently utilized – by law enforcement agencies are in violation of civil rights protections.”  In a letter to assistant attorney general John Gore yesterday, Cleaver noted the potential benefits of facial […] […]

Kay Ely, assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category in the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) with the General Services Administration (GSA), will move to a task force to merge OPM and GSA operations and will subsequently retire, a GSA official confirmed to MeriTalk. Ely has served across the Federal government with the Office […] […]

Robert Bohn, cloud computing program manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), said today that NIST is collaborating with IEEE to create standards that would allow for interoperability between different cloud environments that currently do not exchange data freely.






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Ajit Pai

In advance of his appearance before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee scheduled for tomorrow, four House Democrats hammered Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai over statements he made in 2017 that the FCC was a victim of a distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attack which impacted its electronic comment filing system during the agency’s net neutrality rulemaking proceeding last year.






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The White House said President Trump has signed into law the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act, S. 770, which directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide resources to small businesses to help them implement NIST’s voluntary cybersecurity framework.






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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) technology budget is vast. At just over $4 billion, it exceeds most Federal agencies’ technology budgets, and in some cases, dwarfs entire operational budgets.






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Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., is pressing major electric utility companies for details about whether and when their systems have been penetrated by Russian-affiliated hackers, and at the same time is querying several Federal agencies about what they are doing to help utilities recognize and prevent attempts to break into their networks and control systems.






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