MerITocracy 2021

In the lead-up to the July 21 forum, we are table-setting a host of big issues that will get serious attention at MerITocracy 2022. The overarching question we are asking is this: can technology innovation – coupled with the boldest kind of leadership – work together to start fixing the most intractable problems facing America?

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The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 22 unanimously approved the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2023 to authorize funding, provide legal authorities, and enhance congressional oversight for the U.S. intelligence community (IC).

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Health and Human Services HHS

Fifteen years after Congress approved legislation requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a public health situational awareness network to facilitate information sharing about public health threats, the agency has made little progress toward making that project a reality.

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EHR

President Biden on June 23 signed into law the VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act that aims to increase the transparency of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) problematic Electronic Health Records Modernization (EHRM) program through regular reporting requirements.

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The State Department is seeking feedback from industry on requirements for building a procurement forecasting application that would provide vendors with status updates on potential future requirements and acquisition activities.

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Customer experience CX-min

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is pressing the departments of Treasury and Homeland Security (DHS) to assess whether a further Federal response is needed to address the government’s existing terrorism risk insurance program, which may not cover losses from cyber and other attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure.

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General Services Administration GSA

The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded the third and final cohort of the $50 billion 8(a) STARS III Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) to streamline procurement for purchasing IT solutions from prime contractors.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has outlined 11 priority open recommendations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including to improve IT management, according to a new report from the watchdog agency.

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 15 released its National Cyber-Informed Engineering (CIE) Strategy that focuses on providing a framework for engineering, training, tools, and practices against cyber threats to the energy sector and the electricity grid.

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CISA

Jaime Noble, CISO and Director of IT Security at the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), explained this week how the organization is moving away from legacy systems as well as integrating ICAM systems for government grant funding at the (DoJ).

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As many U.S. technologies rely on critical minerals, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is recommending Federal agencies update the national strategy for ensuring secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals to align with recent advancements.

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NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has selected an 18th cybersecurity firm – PC Matic – to participate in its Implementing a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) project.

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A Federal judge in D.C. on June 7 gave preliminarily approval to a $63 million settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by victims of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breaches in 2014 and 2015 that rocked the government cybersecurity community and exposed data on millions of Federal employees to Chinese state-sponsored hackers.

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As the market for non-fungible tokens (NFT) grows – with NFT revenue now expected to exceed $130 billion by 2030 – the Federal will need additional expertise to address the policy and regulatory needs of the market required to best protect consumers, a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says.

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General Services Administration GSA

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is continuing to press the General Services Administration (GSA) for progress on a recommendation that the agency needs to work on ensuring “that street address information in the public database is complete and correctly formatted” for its Federal Property Management area.

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IRS

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has added five new priority recommendations for action to the to-do list of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including new items related to improving taxpayer services and reducing tax fraud.

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The National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force – established by the Biden administration in June 2021 to determine the viability of establishing a NAIRR and develop a roadmap to establishing the resource – is working toward delivering its final report in December.

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Some of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) major IT acquisition business programs lack approved cybersecurity strategies and have failed to develop plans to address ICT supply chain risks, as well as report operational performance data to the Federal IT Dashboard, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

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FCC, Chinese suppliers

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce today voted to approve the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 (H.R. 7624) which will provide clarity on the auctioning of low gigahertz spectrum mandated by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, while also directing up to $3.4 billion of proceeds from the auction to help pay for communications service providers to “rip and replace” untrusted IT equipment from their networks.

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Health

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has added three new priority recommendations to its list for the Small Business Administration (SBA) including new items that aim to improve COVID-19 response oversight and communications in order to reduce related risks.

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The world’s top space agency has decided to join in the hunt for unidentified flying objects (UFOs), “bringing in a more scientific perspective to the discussion,” officials said Thursday.

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IRS
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