NewsBrief: December 1, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: December 1, 2023

GAO Agile Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Adoption and Implementation

(U.S. Government Accountability Office) Agile is an approach to software development in which software is developed incrementally and is continuously evaluated for functionality, quality, and customer satisfaction. Agile can reduce the risks of funding a program that fails or produces outdated technology. This updated guide presents federal auditors and others with best practices to assess the adoption and use of Agile processes in federal agencies and elsewhere. The federal government spends at least $100 billion annually on IT investments and has struggled with the management of IT acquisition and operations. This remains on our High Risk List. Read More

Data science helps cross-check space discoveries ‘across time and telescopes’

( We are living in the age of information, and this sentiment also pertains to astronomy. Quite a few telescopes are trained to scan large sections of our sky, cataloging and imaging millions, even billions, of objects. Having this much information can do wonders for science, but it can also make things extremely difficult. With so much data, it is often hard to match objects to one another across surveys. That’s why one group at Johns Hopkins University turned to data science to develop a new method of making such matches. Read More

New Navy office to dismantle nuclear carriers has ‘a century’ of work ahead: Admiral

(Breaking Defense) A senior US Navy official today confirmed the existence of a new office focused on nuclear carrier inactivation and dismantlement, as first reported by Breaking Defense, and emphasized that it has its work cut out for it. Rear Adm. James Downey, special assistant to the service’s acquisition executive, said the new office was established within the past two to three months, following the Navy’s formal decision on its plan to dismantle the former nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN-65). Read More

Reorganizing government acquisition for the digital age

(Government Executive) The self-described “procurement arm of the federal government” is undergoing a reorganization years in the making. The Federal Acquisition Service, housed in the General Services Administration, supports over $87 billion in contracts across the government as part of its mission to help provide products and services to federal agencies. In September, the agency announced that it would be implementing a reorganization in fiscal 2024 to simplify the experience for agencies using FAS by replacing a legacy, regional structure with something more centralized. Read More

How one national lab is getting its supercomputers ready for the AI age

(FedScoop) At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the government-funded science research facility nestled between Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains and Cumberland Plateau that is perhaps best known for its role in the Manhattan Project, two supercomputers are currently rattling away, speedily making calculations meant to help tackle some of the biggest problems facing humanity. You wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at them. A supercomputer called Summit mostly comprises hundreds of black cabinets filled with cords, flashing lights and powerful graphics processing units, or GPUs. Read More

Aussie procurement minister offers new AUKUS industrial details, pushes back on budget critique

(Breaking Defense) hree days before the defense ministers of AUKUS are gathering in California, the Australian minister for defense industry, Pat Conroy, offered a full-throated defense of his government’s approach on the massive plan for Australia to buy at least three Virginia-class submarines and create a whole new class of subs to be known as SSN AUKUS. The minister, speaking to reporters yesterday, also confirmed a number of details about the AUKUS plan and how Canberra will approach industrial participation for the tri-lateral agreement, which ties the US, UK and Australia together on miliary issues, most prominently with nuclear-powered submarines. Read More

Here’s who’s responsible for AI in federal agencies

(FedScoop) As part of the Biden administration’s wide-ranging executive order on artificial intelligence, many federal agencies are required to name chief AI officers (CAIOs). Charged with both promoting the use of AI and managing its risks, the officials appointed to this position will hold an enormous amount of power. According to the order, agencies are required to identify their chief AI officers within 60 days of the Office of Management and Budget finalizing its guidance for federal use of the technology. OMB released a draft version of that guidance for public review in October. Read More

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