GovConJudicata Weekly Debrief (11/4–8)
This week's Weekly Debrief contains some retirement news: FBO website retires on Tuesday and DoD announces COLA increase for military retirees and survivors. In addition, there are a couple of notable developments in cyber/tech, including Google's push for more DoD work, DISA's 2020 tech preview, CISA's Cyber Essentials for small business, and USDA's $1 billion to boost rural broadband and electric infrastructures.
"The government’s transition to a new federal awards system begins Friday, marking the end of FedBizOpps.gov. Come Nov. 12, the website beta.SAM.gov will become the official source for federal business opportunities in its 'contract opportunities' section, as the General Services Administration merges its 10 legacy award systems into one."
"Today, the Department of Defense announced annual cost of living adjustments that will benefit military retirees and survivors during calendar year 2019. Most military retirees will receive a 2.8 percent increase to their retired pay beginning with the pay they receive on Jan. 1, 2019. Likewise, survivors of members who died on active or inactive duty, or survivors of military retirees who participate in the Survivor Benefit Plan, will, in most cases, see a 2.8 percent increase to their annuities beginning in January."
"If you thought that Google was getting out of the national security business, think again. The company’s senior vice president for global affairs said Tuesday that the search giant has Pentagon contracts to work on cybersecurity, business automation, and deepfake detection — and is looking for more. 'It’s been frustrating,' said Google’s Kent Walker, referring to rising public perceptions that the company is opposed to doing national security work — and to the narrative pushed by some Google rivals, such as Palantir’s Peter Thiel and their allies in Congress, such as Rep. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri."
"The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to award nearly 100 new contracts for tech-related services in fiscal 2020, with a dozen valued at more than $100 million. During an industry day on Nov. 4, DISA officials previewed major IT projects they expect to open up to vendors over the next year. The contracts spanned the broad swath of technologies under DISA’s purview as the military’s IT shop, such telecom infrastructure, satellite networks, cloud platforms, research support and cybersecurity services."
"Today, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released its Cyber Essentials, a starting point for small businesses and government agencies to understand and address cybersecurity risk as they do other risks. Developed in collaboration with small businesses and state and local governments, Cyber Essentials aims to equip smaller organizations that historically have not been a part of the national dialogue on cybersecurity with basic steps and resources to improve their cybersecurity. Cyber Essentials includes two parts – guiding principles for leaders to develop a culture of security, and specific actions for leaders and their IT professionals to put that culture into action."
"The Trump administration is pressing Congress to permanently reauthorize expiring surveillance authorities under the Patriot Act, including the controversial Section 215 powers that gave U.S. spies the greenlight to collect bulk phone call information on Americans. At a Nov. 6 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, officials from the National Security Agency and Department of Justice said that the Section 215 authorities, along with the ability to conduct "roving" wiretaps for individuals seeking evade monitoring and an as yet unused provision allowing surveillance of "lone wolf" terrorist suspects were needed."
"The Agriculture Department infused rural communities this week with more than a billion dollars in funding to boost broadband and electric infrastructures. The agency announced it’s invested more than $31 million across three states to create and improve rural e-connectivity and $1.4 billion for projects to build and upgrade rural electric infrastructure in 21 states."
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