Friday, May 20, 2016
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending May 20, 2016.

Report card day: Agencies remain average or below on IT reforms. House lawmakers are set to release the second scorecard grading agencies’ implementation of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) and the progress across all four categories is limited.

Is census 2020 running out of runway? As the timeline shortens, House overseers are demanding that the CIO-less Census Bureau prove it is on track to get the technology and leadership ready for the 2020 headcount.

EPA struggled to fire employees with serious misconduct.The Environmental Protection Agency says it’s gotten tough on employee misconduct and administrative leave abuse, but the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says the agency still doesn’t do enough to fire its worst offenders

Vendor hired to improve security of OPM’s network goes out of business.The Office of Personnel Management terminated its contract with Imperatis on May 9 after the small business alerted the agency it had financial trouble and would be ceasing operations immediately.

Navy will ask its workforce for help to solve legacy IT, cyber challenges.The Navy said it wants to look outside the box for new solutions to its challenges with cybersecurity and embedded platform systems. Navy Deputy CIO Janice Haith said the service will launch a contest later this month to solicit ideas from its own workforce on getting rid of or modernizing outdated, tactical systems.

John Kamensky

Citizen’s Single-Sign-On to Government.  FedScoop reports: “The plans of the General Services Administration’s digital tiger team, 18F, to build a single online sign-in interface through which Americans can log on to digital government services are over-reaching, duplicative and out of sync with administration policy, according to critics. . . .Defenders of 18F's ID play charge that the criticism is driven by self-interested sour grapes.”

Legislating Better Program Management.  Government Executive reports: “A Senate-passed bill to bring private-sector performance standards to federal program management cleared the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday by voice vote. . . The bipartisan Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (S. 1550) . . . would create new agency specialists in the discipline of program management; require the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget to create a Program Management Policy Council; and direct agencies to appoint program management improvement officers.

DATA Act Off Track?  According to Federal News Radio: “The Office of Management and Budget’s DATA Act procurement pilot program is behind schedule and off target, and a group of senators want to know why. . . . A recent Government Accountability Office report found that the procurement pilot is four months behind schedule, does not adhere to leading management practices and is unlikely to yield information that is broadly scalable to all contractors.”

FITARA Report Cards Improve.  According to FedScoop: “The second round of grades tied to the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act show an incremental improvement over the initial set of scores last year, with half of the 24 CFO act agencies scraping a pass.”  In addition, GAO reports that agencies need to devote more attention to implementing different provisions of the law.

Will Feds Track Your Social Media Postings?  According to the Washington Post, “The government will start scanning Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts of thousands of federal employees and contractors applying and re-applying for security clearances in a first-ever policy released [last] Friday.”

John Lainhart


Survey: Federal cyber execs underwhelmed by ‘cyber sprint’. Many federal cybersecurity executives are underwhelmed by the government’s "cyber sprint" in response to the Office of Personnel Management’s massive data breach last year, according to a new report Thursday.  More than half of respondents (52 percent) in the small-scale survey said the administration’s “cyber sprint” — a 30-day push led by U.S. CIO Tony Scott to strengthen agencies’ network defenses — hadn't improved the overall security of federal systems. The report was produced by the nonprofit International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium and sponsored by KPMG.

OMB teaches privacy pros about tech. "There is no tension between the principles of privacy and the principles of security," said Marc Groman, senior privacy adviser in the Office of Management and Budget, at the (ISC)² CyberSecureGov leadership event on May 19. To help privacy professionals have a meaningful role in discussions, OMB has begun offering them technical training. Groman told FCW the training sessions have been offered about twice a month since January and have covered such topics as encryption and online tracking. The sessions will continue as long as someone needs training.

James Clapper: Cyber Attacks Target US Presidential Campaigns.James Clapper, director of national intelligence, has warned about what he calls indications of cyber threats against the 2016 U.S. presidential campaigns. Clapper considers cyber as the top risk that the U.S. faces due to the diversity of the intrusion types and their impact on economic security.

 * * * * *

The Business of Government Radio Show. Conversation with Paul Bartley,   Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Support at Department of Health & Human Services, and director of its Program Support Center. What are the benefits of adopting a shared services model? How does the Department of Health and Human Services’ Program Support Center manage the business of government? What is the Center doing to differentiate its products and services? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Paul Bartley, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Support at Department of Health & Human Services, and director of its Program Support Center.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED