The Government Accountability Office on Oct. 16  denied a bid protest filed by Equifax with the IRS. The bid protest is a result of Equifax losing a taxpayer identification and verification services contract with the IRS to rival consumer credit reporting agency Experian. With the denial, the IRS can now begin work with Experian on a one-year contract worth up to $795,000. […]

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is working on the text of his bill to create the Cyber National Guard, a scholarship program that will help train students for cybersecurity jobs in the Federal government. Students who apply for the Cyber National Guard would receive scholarship money for cybersecurity training programs. Once the students graduate, they would spend the same number of years working for a Federal agency as they did receiving scholarship money to attend school.






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The Federal government is finding new ways to make Federal spending data more transparent to citizens by launching the Treasury Department’s Data Lab, and considering a bill that would add open data requirements to Federal grants.






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The Startup Act reintroduced in the Senate would grant more visas to immigrants in the STEM field. Among other things, it would create a new limited STEM visa so that 50,000 U.S.-educated foreign students who graduate with a master’s or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics can receive a green card and stay in the United States.






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Senators in hearings this week denounced Equifax’s handling of the data breach that is now estimated to have affected 145 million Americans. Equifax Chairman and former CEO Richard Smith testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Oct. 4.






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A bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation to extend certain provisions in the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The extension would add two years to agencies’ data center consolidation efforts. The bill is the same as the FITARA Extension amendment that was adopted by the House of Representatives in July.






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Industry experts told Congress on Oct. 3 that regulations are necessary to secure the Internet of Things. “Is the industry doing enough to ensure the security of IoT devices?” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., asked at the IT Subcommittee hearing on the Cybersecurity of IoT.






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, called for the administration to nominate more permanent agency chief information officers. “I’m worried that we don’t want to stall some of the progress that we’ve achieved over the last couple of years,” Hurd said.






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he plans to track the IT modernization working capital fund, which will come from his Modernization Government Technology Act, on the FITARA scorecard.






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