Cyberattacks are ever-increasing and lawmakers today called for increased cyber collaboration and a stronger cyber workforce in order to stop the next cyberattack from happening, as well as to bolster the nation’s cyber posture and global leadership.

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General Services Administration GSA

The General Services Administration (GSA) issued an updated request for information (RFI) this week that aims to help Federal government senior executives improve workforce policies and initiatives.

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The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) plans to publish new regulations governing Federal anti-discrimination and whistleblower protection, following a 2021 law to improve agency accountability and transparency in discrimination-related incidents.

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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

Effective 5 a.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, the Pentagon Reservation will be moving to Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie, with workspace capacity required to be at less than 25 percent and supervisors continuing to provide maximum telework opportunities.

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Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja emphasized in a recent report summing up the Federal government’s experience with telework during Fiscal Year 2020 that the practice will remain important to the government going forward particularly in creating further resiliency of agency operations and in helping workforce recruiting efforts.

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Former Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd – who was a leading voice on technology issues during his three terms in Congress and now advises on similar issues as a managing director at Allen & Co. – said this week that a national data privacy standard is needed to put ground rules in place for wider use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

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COVID-19 vaccine
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

With the United States involved in a great-power competition, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is being challenged to provide faster and better products and services for the nation to prevail. But meeting the test in this heightened level of competition, according to NGA CIO Mark Andress, demands more than just speed.  

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CISA

A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is asking Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the agencies’ ability to meet their responsibilities as co-Sector Risk Management Agencies (SRMA) to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats to critical transportation infrastructure.

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ICAM

As identity management takes a front seat in agencies’ zero trust security journeys, Federal and industry leaders agree that the government’s Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM) framework is an essential element to the application of zero trust architectures, along with consolidating ICAM approaches within agencies.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) can help make small improvements to discrete agency operations, or it can be a game changer that helps agencies meet their missions in ways we can’t imagine today. MeriTalk sat down with David Kushner, executive vice president of sales at enterprise IT solutions provider ViON to discuss how agencies can move beyond narrow use cases to achieve long-lasting, impactful change with AI.

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Air Force

The United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) said in a recent posting on SAM.gov that it wants industry to submit research white papers that drive toward the goal of using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to help the service branch cut down on tasking order planning cycles.

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health

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a request for information (RFI) in the Federal Register today seeking examples of digital health technologies that could be used to strengthen “community health, individual wellness, and health equity.”

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Cyber workforce

The Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) has appointed Nick Leiserson – who spent the previous decade working his way up to be Rep. Jim Langevin’s, D-R.I., Chief of Staff – deputy chief of staff for National Cyber Director Chris Inglis’ office.

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in its annual report on governmentwide improper payments – defined as payments that shouldn’t have been made or were made for  incorrect amounts – jumped to 7.2 percent in Fiscal Year 2021 with the increase driven in part by soaring rates of unemployment insurance fraud during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The White House on Jan. 4 sent to the Senate fresh nominations for dozens of senior Federal government posts, including key positions at the Department of Energy (DoE), the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

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The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) is partnering with two private medical research centers to develop a portable tool using machine learning technology that allows soldiers – even those without a medical background – to assess and treat burn wounds on the battlefield.

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While the Federal government has been busy pouring billions of dollars into artificial intelligence (AI) technology development, it’s time to take stock of those efforts and start exploring the critical questions of what that work means for Federal agencies, employees, and citizens.

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