As Federal agencies move away from older telecom contract vehicles and transition to the new Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract–completion of which is due by the spring of 2020–a logical place to start is with conducting an inventory of all network devices. This will provide a good look at what type of future network is needed to achieve mission goals and objectives.

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A new government-wide strategic plan on Category Management covering FY18-FY20 and released in late April aligns with the President’s Management Agenda and declares the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contracting vehicle one of its key IT components.

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Action plans to accelerate Federal agency migrations to cloud platforms and services as outlined in the White House IT Modernization Report have been in effect for nearly three months now. For instance, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was directed to conduct a data call within 30 days of the report’s release, requesting agencies to identify systems that might be ready for cloud migration, but have not because of some perceived or encountered difficulties.

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The new President’s Management Agenda (PMA) outlines 14 Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals to foster better government services. Goal No.1? IT Modernization. And the other 13 goals buttress and intersect across the board with that overarching directive to build more modern, secure, and resilient IT systems.

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The new President’s Management Agenda solidified the administration’s focus on IT modernization. In the 54-page agenda, released last week, the White House laid out its roadmap for improving the Federal government. Central to its plans? Modernizing the government’s IT infrastructure. 

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data management

It’s an old axiom: “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” And nowhere is that axiom truer these days than with Federal IT investments. Federal executives need to better understand, manage, and show value from money spent on IT resources.

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The cloud is not a one-size fits all solution, and, as such, the government is looking to invest in two or three cloud models to support the differing security and risk-tolerance postures of agencies and to leverage various shared services, according to the President’s IT Modernization Report.

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In a report released on Dec. 7, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that while Veterans Affairs (VA) has made some progress on key IT initiatives under Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) requirements, it has nonetheless fallen short of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) targets regarding consolidating and optimizing its data centers.

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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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The White House Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum for agencies to submit their Federal Information Security Modernization Act reports to the Government Accountability Office by March 1, 2018.

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As Federal agencies and the Office of Management and Budget work to develop reorganization plans as part of a March executive order, Congress needs to improve its oversight of those agencies, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp D-N.D., said at a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing.

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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he expects his Modernizing Government Technology Act to pass the Senate within the next week as an add-on to the Senate’s 2018 National Defense Authorization Act deliberations. “Buying IT goods and services in the Federal government is pretty silly,” said Hurd, criticizing the fact that agencies must use all of their IT funding for the year or risk losing it. “That is an insane way to purchase things to defend our digital infrastructure,”

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The Federal government is working on improving its inter-agency information sharing process during cyber threats, but Greg Touhill, former Federal CISO, said that information sharing is useless if recipients of the information don’t act on it. “You can share all day long but if people aren’t listening and they aren’t acting on it, bad things are going to happen,” Touhill, president of Cyxtera Federal Group, said at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference on Sept. 12.

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Federal agencies are working on ideas to reorganize and streamline, as requested by the Office of Management and Budget and President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan to Reorganize the Executive Branch.
“Many manual processes remain, especially when it comes to processes that cut across multiple departments. Initiating a cross-cutting, agencywide approach to service delivery is necessary but challenging, especially when we look at holistic service delivery that marshals the data stored in legacy systems,” said Bob Osborn, chief technology officer for ServiceNow Federal.

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The government is counting on education, financial incentives, and minority outreach to help expand the cybersecurity workforce. The Office of Personnel Management created a Strategic Recruitment for Cybersecurity Model to complement the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy, which was released last year, and plans to release the details of the model on July 25.

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Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, gave an overview of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, which focuses more on the taxpayer than the recipients of Federal programs.

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The recent Office of Management and Budget agency reform plan will have a positive impact on government acquisitions, according to government officials who spoke at the Association for Federal Information Research Management’s speaker series.

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The Office of Management and Budget today unveiled its plan to reorganize Federal agencies, called the “Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce,” which responds to President Trump’s March 13 Executive Order to OMB.

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Federal agencies need more help from IT groups within government and from the private sector to mitigate cybersecurity threats, according to Grant Schneider, acting Federal chief information security officer at the Office of Management and Budget.

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday that authorized the reorganization of the executive branch of the Federal government. Within 180 days the heads of each agency are required to submit proposals for how their agencies should be restructured.

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