NewsBrief – April 12, 2024

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 12, 2024

Cost estimates for IRS’s Direct File program were incomplete, GAO says

(FedScoop) As the IRS’s Direct File pilot approaches the end of its 2024 runway, a new watchdog report finds that the tax agency’s cost estimates for the program were incomplete and would need “a comprehensive accounting” ahead of a potential takeoff in 2025. The Government Accountability Office said pricing estimates for Direct File — the electronic filing program made available this tax season for payers in 12 states — didn’t include start-up costs, including for the technology underpinning the system. Read More

State Department trims several uses from public AI inventory

(FedScoop) The Department of State recently removed several items from its public artificial intelligence use case inventory, including a behavioral analytics system and tools to collect and analyze media clips. In total, the department removed nine items from its website — several of which appeared to be identical use cases listed under two different agencies — and changed the bureau for a handful of the remaining items. The State Department didn’t provide a response to FedScoop’s requests for comment on why those uses were removed or changed. Read More

When can US spies buy your personal data? New guidelines are coming

(NextGov/FCW) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence will soon release guidelines to help the intelligence community better gauge ethical considerations for operatives who purchase commercially available data that can include sensitive personal identifiers, a top Pentagon lawyer said. DOD associate deputy general counsel for intelligence Lindsay Rodman said ODNI is “nearly complete” with the framework that aims to help the IC identify privacy concerns that may arise when it purchases datasets sourced and aggregated by data brokers, who sell the information to other entities for marketing or intelligence purchases. Read More

Congress tries again for comprehensive data privacy bill

(Government Executive) A bipartisan, bicameral privacy bill would direct companies to establish nationwide data security practices and require large firms to hire privacy and data security leads in an effort to put more pressure on the private sector to safeguard customers’ data from hackers and cybercriminals. The American Privacy Rights Act is backed by Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell and House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Read More

New Congressional task force looks to make sure it’s not left behind by AI advancements

(Federal News Network) Twelve members of Congress shave been appointed to a new commission to lead the House’s exploration of AI’s transformational opportunities and potential challenges. Their mission? To create guiding principles, recommendations and bipartisan policy proposals for the regulation of AI. One of those members joined Federal News Network’s Eric White on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss the task ahead: Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) Read More

Lawmakers push skills-based hiring for federal contractors

(Federal News Network) As agencies have been gradually shifting toward skills-based hiring, a pair of lawmakers is seeking to expand that effort to another group: federal contractors. Trying to take skills-based hiring a step further, Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) introduced the bipartisan ACCESS Act Tuesday. If enacted, the legislation would remove college degree requirements from jobs in the federal contracting space. Read More

10 Things to Know About the Senior Executive Service (SES)

(FedWeek) I am often asked about what someone needs to know about applying for a SES position. Here are 10 things I think are important: 1. You need to have SES qualifications; this means having specific accomplishments to document your leadership experience in each of the ECQs and any Technical Qualifications (TQ) required. Being qualified for the SES means having done more than just your job. Read More

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