Underneath its more headline-grabbing aspects such as the proposed merger of the Departments of Labor and Education, the Trump administration’s Federal agency reorganization proposal issued on June 21 marks another step in the wider push toward greater Federal government IT modernization, a former Department of Commerce (DoC) official told MeriTalk.

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While the White House’s proposal to reorganize the functions of many Federal agencies made the biggest headlines today with major steps like the proposed merger of the Departments of Education and Labor, the lengthy proposal document released today also touches on a host of other significant issues including the Federal cybersecurity workforce, delivery of government services to citizens, and handling of background checks for Federal Employees.






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The White House said on Thursday that it will create a new artificial intelligence (AI) advisory committee–dubbed the Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence–that will advise the White House on AI research and development efforts in government and industry.






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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross emphasized on Tuesday that the Trump administration is prioritizing deployment of 5G wireless technology even as major service providers are restructuring their operations in pursuit of similar goals.






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The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by President Trump on Friday gives a sizable boost to the Department of Defense, including a respectable 2.4 percent pay raise for DoD personnel, and for now at least gets Pentagon leaders off the frustrating, and at times wasteful, treadmill of continuing resolutions. And, while the bill doesn’t get into specifics about critical efforts such as cyber operations and artificial intelligence, it does continue programs DoD has underway.






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Opening day for the Nationals might be a week away, but four Beltway insiders have already knocked one out of the park. The latest omnibus spending bill, which passed through the Senate early Friday morning, includes $100 million for the MGT Act’s centralized revolving capital fund. President Trump signed the MGT Act into law late last year as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.






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This week, two members of the White House technology policy team, Grace Koh and Reed Cordish, announced that they are leaving their positions. The White House already selected replacements for both positions.






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The Trump Administration’s proposed $4.4 trillion budget for FY2019 would add some money to the cybersecurity pot, supporting ongoing programs and manpower levels, while cutting back on cybersecurity research and redistributing where the research money goes. Administration budget requests are largely political documents whose numbers won’t hold up once Congress gets done with making the sausage, but they do reflect White House priorities.






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The Trump Administration proposes spending nearly $45.8 billion on IT investments at major civilian agencies next year, a slight rise from the $45.6 billion in fiscal 2018, according to the 2019 budget proposal released Monday.






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