GovConJudicata Weekly Debrief (10/21–25)
This week's Weekly Debrief appeals to the masses, covering topics from a cloud initiative for Federal courts (Judiciary Cloud) and proposed agency relocations out of the DC area, to the Navy's plans to boost cyber and Senators pushing FTC to investigate Amazon's role in the Capitol One hack.
"The judiciary anticipates moving to a hybrid cloud environment and issued a request for information on cloud services and providers as it updates its acquisition strategy. Specifically, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts wants to learn more about other agencies’ multi-phased approaches to cloud adoption."
"The Trump administration’s decision to move three agency components outside the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area has spurred a sizeable amount of controversy, but Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., want to keep going with that trend. The two senators introduced a bill Oct. 23 that would move about 90 percent of the workforce at the headquarters for 10 federal agencies to other states around the country and pop the “bubble” of D.C. federal employment." Under the proposal, the following relocations would take place:
USDA to Missouri
Commerce to Pennsylvania
Education to Tennessee
Energy to Kentucky
HHS to Indiana
HUD to Ohio
Interior to New Mexico
Labor to West Virginia
Transportation to Michigan
VA to South Carolina
"The House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday gave its stamp of approval to legislation that would significantly expand the scope of one of the government’s signature cybersecurity programs. Launched in 2013 by the Homeland Security Department, the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program offers agencies across government a full suite of cyber tools, dashboards and services. The tools and their associated sensors feed network data back to a central dashboard, which gives both agencies and Homeland Security officials a bird’s-eye view of the government’s cyber landscape."
"The share of Pentagon spending hidden from public view is rising, as are defense contractors’ revenues from it. The U.S. Defense Department’s overall budget request increased nearly 5 percent from 2019 to 2020, but classified spending rose 6 percent, according to the consulting firm Avascent. It accounts for about $76 billion, or almost 11%, of the $718 billion requested for the current fiscal year."
"Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was blunt: the service is struggling to beat back threats to cybersecurity and the supply chain. 'We are woefully behind,' Spencer said Oct. 23 at the Brookings Institution. Spencer said the service has a plan to improve and pointed to the newly established position of special assistant/chief information officer filled by Aaron Weis. That job has four directorates aimed at modernizing the service for a digital age and keeping the Navy sharp against top cyber threats."
"A pair of Senate Democrats called on the Federal Trade Commission Thursday to investigate whether Amazon violated federal law by neglecting to secure the breached servers Capital One rented from the tech giant during the July hack that compromised millions of Americans’ personal information. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., penned a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simmons, urging him to open an investigation into how potential negligence from Amazon could’ve caused that attack. The senators note that the Capital One hacker used a popular cyberattack technique—server side request forgery, or SSRF—to steal the data from servers the bank was leasing from Amazon’s cloud-based computing platform, Amazon Web Services."
"Congress and the Office of Personnel Management could go a long way toward helping agencies overcome one of many glaring challenges with the federal hiring process, the Merit Systems Protection Board said Monday in a new memo. Specifically, MSPB said Congress should help agencies develop — and pay for — better tools to assess the skills and qualifications needed to succeed in a federal job. Additional appropriations, MSPB said, would help agencies administer assessments at little or no cost."
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