GovConJudicata Weekly Debrief (10/28–11/1)
This week's Weekly Debrief covers a number of interesting topics, such as the 2020 NDAA, procurement fraud, JEDI, "Zombie Payments," and Interior drone news.
Defense One – The Pentagon Doesn’t Need a ‘Skinny’ Authorization Bill
"Sen. Inhofe’s proposal for a place-holder NDAA isn’t necessary, and could be counterproductive.Autumn is my favorite season of the year. It’s a time for picking apples, raking leaves, and flavoring everything with pumpkin. But in Washington, it’s also the season for panicking over whether Congress will pass a defense authorization bill and, to compound the worry, whether the Defense Department will end up being funded through a full-year continuing resolution. The actual historical record shows that lawmakers have passed an authorization bill for 58 years running, and that they have never resorted to a full-year CR for defense. But that doesn’t stop the annual worry that this will be the year the streak ends."
Defense News – Defense spending bill fails Senate vote over in fight over border wall
"The Senate on Thursday failed to advance a defense spending bill for 2020 amid partisan fighting over the president’s use of military funding for the border wall.The package of spending for the Department of Defense and for the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services failed on a procedural vote, as most Democrats withheld their support. The vote was 51-41, which fell short of the 60 votes needed."
FCW – An insider's guide to avoiding procurement fraud
"Fraud is an ugly word, but it might not mean what industry thinks it means in federal procurement, according to a new book on the ins and outs of federal procurement law. Sometimes, the federal government's response to procurement fraud is "often disjointed, inconsistent, and occasionally overwhelming," said David Robbins, a partner at D.C. law firm Crowell and Moring, and chief author of The Procurement Fraud Guidebook, published by the American Bar Association."
FedScoop – With JEDI awarded, DoD turns to modernizing software development
"The Department of Defense must decide how to use Microsoft and build secure applications now that the agency’s $10 billion, enterprisewide cloud computing contract has been awarded to the tech giant. Peter Ranks, a deputy CIO at DOD, told reporters after speaking at a Professional Services Council event that awarding the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract was a “prerequisite” to faster software development."
Federal News Network – Microsoft wins DoD's controversial JEDI cloud contract
"The Defense Department said Friday evening that it has chosen Microsoft as the winner of its up-to-$10 billion JEDI Cloud contract. The procurement is one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government’s history, and has been the subject of intense controversy since its inception. Defense officials chose the Redmond, Washington, technology giant from a field of two remaining bidders. IBM and Oracle had already been excluded from the competition for failing to meet the contract’s initial gate criteria."
GovExec – Senate Panel Tackles Unauthorized Appropriations, or ‘Zombie Payments’
"The top Republican and Democrat on a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday expressed their willingness to work together to remedy the long-standing issue of unauthorized appropriations. A hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management took up unauthorized mandates, which are programs Congress created that have expired, yet still receive appropriations. Subcommittee Chairman Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ranking Member Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., said they will work together on determining what type of “hammer” could be used to eliminate such payments—whether it’s a freeze, suspension or wind-down of programs."
NextGov – Interior Grounds All Drones With Ties to Chinese Companies
"The Interior Department on Wednesday announced it will ground all drones that were manufactured in China or contain Chinese-made parts, pending a review of the agency’s growing unmanned aircraft program. The decision comes months after agency officials approved purchases of aircraft built by DJI, a Chinese firm that many national security experts see as a potential conduit for government espionage. When authorizing the procurements, the agency took multiple technical precautions to ensure DJI couldn’t access the data collected through the aircraft."
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