MeriTalk compiles a weekly roundup of contracts and other industry activity. Here’s what happened this week in the Federal Information Technology community. […]

The GSA is concerned that current cloud procurement methods are leading to confusion and a lack compliance with FedRAMP requirements. To curb the contract discrepancies, the GSA released a new RFI seeking industry input to “identify examples of preferred contract language agencies should incorporate to convey FedRAMP requirements in their solicitations,” according to a FedRAMP blog.






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Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Cyber Diplomacy Act, clearing the path for a new cyber ambassador. If signed into law, the act would establish an Office of Cyber Issues within the State Department and give the office’s head the status and rank of an ambassador.






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In honor of National Veterans and Military Families Month, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is recommitting itself to its mission to “memorialize veterans in perpetuity.” The NCA is turning to crowdsourcing to revamp its outdated Nationwide Gravesite Locator, a web portal that allows users to access burial information for cemeteries across the […] […]

The Department of Health and Human Services is looking for ways to combat stovepiped systems by using shared services across the agency for data management. “For us, data is front and center,” said Ed Simcox, deputy chief technology officer at HHS.






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The Office of Personnel Management released the Federal Human Capital Business Reference Model (HCBRM), a tool that establishes a common human resource (HR) experience for Federal employees across agencies. The HCBRM provides a simplified view of operational functions and policy ownership and a common structure intended to align HR operations, finance, and acquisition.






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The Government Accountability Office found that 62 percent of major information technology software development investments were certified by the agency chief information officer for using adequate incremental development in fiscal year 2017. However, a number of responses for the remaining investments were incorrectly reported due to agency error.






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The Inspector General for the Department of the Interior assessed the information that the agency submitted under the DATA Act, and found that some of the data was incomplete or inaccurate. The report noted “deficiencies in completeness, timeliness, quality, and accuracy of the data submissions we sampled.”






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The innovations of the Internet of Things can only improve health care in rural America once there is complete broadband access and adoption. “The benefits of telehealth are not available to patients without access to high-speed Internet across America. As technology and health care services expand to meet patients where they live, broadband coverage must improve to make this care accessible,” Michael Adcock, executive director of the Telehealth Center University of Mississippi Medical Center, told the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.






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In the event of a cyberattack, it’s important for information about the attack to be shared with the public in order to prevent further problems. Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security, said that the agency shares timely, accurate information with its partners and constituents so that they can take proper action to protect themselves.






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The May Cybersecurity Executive Order and the White House’s IT Modernization Report have encouraged agencies to look for ways to use shared services to improve cybersecurity. The Department of Justice has been looking into using shared services before the push from the White House, giving the agency a head start at shared services centered on cybersecurity for the enterprise.






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President Donald Trump signed the Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology to Eradicate Cyber Threats to (PROTECT) Our Children Act of 2017, which reauthorizes the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program through 2022.






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Agency IT leaders said that Application Programming Interfaces have been essential in modernizing their legacy systems. Param Soni, deputy administrator and deputy director at the Department of Labor, said, “The goal is to always use existing services.”






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The Justice Department has evidence to charge six Russian government officials for involvement in the hack of the Democratic National Committee. U.S. authorities are considering charging the Russian officials to make it difficult for them to travel, but they are unlikely to be arrested and prosecuted in the U.S.






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The Department of Commerce has made strides to manage the IT costs and oversight of new systems before the 2020 Census, after reports of poor oversight and planning. A Government Accountability Office report, released in October, found that the Census Bureau faced challenges in managing and overseeing the IT programs, systems, and contracts supporting the 2020 Census.






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The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Program last week held its first data exchange between the Federal CDM dashboard and an agency dashboard. All of the CFO Federal agencies have agency dashboards to comply with the CDM program, and the Federal dashboard is in production.






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The Department of Energy plans to roll out an enterprise risk management framework that would provide cybersecurity data about the agency in one place and enable better information sharing between departments.
“The enemy isn’t a hacker in the basement,” said Micah Czigan, director of the Integrated Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center for DOE. “The enemy is a world power nation-state.”






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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said that he is concerned about the Trump administration’s widespread adoption of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. “The NIST Framework has never been adequately validated,” he said, adding that he wonders whether agencies have accepted it because it’s effective or because “compliance demands so little effort.”






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Following a House hearing on the cyber workforce shortage, the Department of Homeland Security released information about cyber training programs.






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