This edition of the Weekly Debrief covers GSA's $50 billion telecom contract, the Federal government's spending deal, more JEDI contract news, Microsoft's temporary authority to host secret classified data, Homeland's cyber hunt and incident response teams, and commentary on suspension and debarment.
"After more than two years, the General Services Administration’s $50 billion telecommunications contract is now truly, fully open for business, as the last two vendors were cleared to accept task orders. GSA awarded spots in August 2017 on the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions, or EIS, contract, developed to replace the governmentwide Networx and WITS-3 contracts. The next generation contract was designed to offer an array of telecom services and spur agencies to modernize their networks."
"The federal government’s modernization cash pool survived a funding scare in the latest Capitol Hill budget agreement after not receiving funds in the Senate’s version of the bill. The Technology Modernization Fund, which helps fund modernization projects throughout several agencies, was appropriated $25 million in the budget agreement released Dec. 16, just days before the government would run out of money."
"WASHINGTON (AP) — House leaders on Monday unveiled a $1.4 trillion government-wide spending package that’s carrying an unusually large load of unrelated provisions catching a ride on the last train out of Congress this year. A House vote is slated for Tuesday on the sprawling package, some 2,313 pages long, as lawmakers wrap up reams of unfinished work — and vote on impeaching President Donald Trump. The legislation would forestall a government shutdown this weekend and give Trump steady funding for his U.S.-Mexico border fence. The year-end package is anchored by a $1.4 trillion spending measure that caps a difficult, months-long battle over spending priorities."
"The Defense Department is one step closer to getting out from under a continuing resolution.The House voted 231-192 to pass the national security appropriations minibus bill Dec. 17 that doles out $738 billion in overall funding. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill before Dec. 20, when the current continuing resolution funding expires."
"Two years ago, as part of an ongoing quest to tamp down on federal bid protests, Congress imposed new demands on the Defense Department, requiring procurement officials to deliver much more information to losing bidders about why they didn’t win a particular contract. But to hear Amazon Web Services tell it, in one of the Pentagon’s most high-profile procurements in recent memory — the JEDI cloud contract — DoD flat-out ignored that law."
"Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, received an important—albeit temporary—accreditation from the Defense Department this week that allows the tech giant’s cloud to host data classified as secret for the next 90 days. According to Defense Departmen spokesman Christopher Sherwood, the Defense Information Systems Agency granted Microsoft Azure a three-month provisional authorization to operate its infrastructure-as-a-service offering at Impact Level 6."
"Congress codified the role of Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity professionals designated for hunting for and responding to cybersecurity threats as part of a larger spending bill that passed the Senate Dec. 19. The bills were passed by the House earlier in the week and is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump with just one day to spare before government funding runs dry. Tucked inside the domestic spending minibus is the “DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019,” legislation that some members of Congress have been trying to push through for years. Under the legislation, DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, or NCCIC (pronounced N-Kick), must maintain cyber hunt and incident response teams to assist both public and private sector entities with their cybersecurity upon request."
"Benjamin Franklin once said, “There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.” That’s probably because people often forget that the ultimate victim of such fraud is not some faceless, faraway bureaucracy. It’s taxpayers like you and me. The Labor Department does business with thousands of entities every year. We spend billions of dollars to help Americans obtain and maintain good, family-sustaining jobs. When we do business with individuals and companies we have a duty to remember that it’s taxpayer dollars we’re spending and we must spend them responsibly. We take that duty very seriously."