NewsBrief December 17, 2021

Posted by


Cost Estimating NewsBrief: December 17, 2021

How GAO went from a small accounting office to Congress’ supreme auditor in 100 years

(Federal Times) Congress established a small accounting office 100 years ago to keep an eye on the disbursement of federal funds. But as the Government Accountability Office celebrates its centennial, the agency’s main purpose has gained clout, making recommendations to Congress on how to better run the government while still keeping an eye on spending. According to three current and former GAO executives who spoke with Federal Times , GAO evolved over the past two decades in particular in three key ways: it built trust with Congress and federal agencies, strengthened its culture of collaboration and became one of the most forward-thinking branches of government. Read More

NSA improperly assessed proposals for WildandStormy cloud procurement, says GAO

(fedscoop) The National Security Agency improperly assessed technical proposals from Microsoft submitted as part of the WildandStormy cloud procurement, according to the Government Accountability Office. The government watchdog in a bid protest decision agreed with Microsoft’s argument that technical proposals were evaluated unreasonably by the NSA and in a way that was inconsistent with the terms of the solicitation. As a result, GAO has recommended that NSA reevaluate technical proposals and potentially make a new source selection. GAO in October sustained the bid protest brought by Microsoft over the award, but details of the decision were not published until Monday. Microsoft earlier this year contested the award of the intelligence community cloud contract to Amazon Web Services. Read More

Army to expand BYOD pilot after successful National Guard testing

(Federal News Network) For once, it’s the National Guard and Reserves who get first pick on the Army technology front. The Army is expanding a “bring-your-own-device” policy in 2022 after seeing “tremendous operational benefit” as part of a pilot program this past fall, according to Lt. Gen. John Morrison, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, G-6. “In all candor, we also see some fiscal opportunity as well,” Morrison said during a Tuesday call with reporters. “And so we want to explore that and we will do an expanded pilot as we head into the spring.” The fall pilot was led by the National Guard and featured security testing, according to Raj Iyer, the Army’s chief information officer. “The technology that we implemented not only met the requirements from a functional perspective, but went through extensive cybersecurity red teaming and testing from both [the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation] as well as the Army’s threat systems management office, and came back with flying colors,” Iyer said. Read More to serve as ‘digital federal front door’ to shared services

(fedscoop) The executive order to improve customer experience across 17 agencies directs the General Services Administration to “develop a digital federal front door” to government services starting with GSA will also explore including sites like and in the entrance to shared services addressing major life experiences. The executive order signed Monday builds on the vision of the President’s Management Agenda for effective, equitable and accountable service delivery by introducing 36 customer experience (CX) improvement commitments. Read More

DISA is ending milCloud 2.0 in June

(fedscoop) The Defense Information Systems Agency is terminating its hybrid cloud service program milCloud 2.0, FedScoop has learned. Lead contractor General Dynamics IT and DISA confirmed to FedScoop that the agency has decided not to renew the contract when it expires in June 2022. The milCloud 2.0 program was developed to provide commercial cloud infrastructure services with on- and off-premise options to the Department of Defense, and recently, DISA has looked to move non-combat agencies in the DOD’s fourth estate to the cloud by way of milCloud. While GDIT led the operations under the contract, it managed a range of cloud service and tech providers including AWS, Red Hat and others. Read More

Real World Application of Machine Learning in Networking

(iotforall) Rapidly rising demand for Internet connectivity has put a strain on improving network infrastructure, performance, and other critical parameters. Network administrators will invariably encounter different types of networks running multiple network applications. Each network application has its own set of features and performance parameters that may change dynamically. Because of the diversity and complexity of networks, using conventional algorithms or hard-coded techniques built for such network scenarios is a challenging task. Machine learning has proven to be beneficial in almost every industry, and the networking industry is no exception. Read More

DOD needs stronger way to gauge effectiveness of cyber program, GAO says

(fedscoop) The Department of Defense lacks a framework for properly evaluating its contractor cybersecurity program, a Government Accountability Office study found. In a report released Friday, the GAO said the CMMC program still needs metrics and other means to measure successes and failures in its core mission of assessing how well DOD contractors protect important data. The congressional watchdog pointed in particular to a lack of communications with industry — a perennial compliant that has been aired before Congress and highlighted by trade groups. “Until DOD improves this communication, industry will be challenged to implement protections for DOD’s sensitive data,” GAO said. Read More

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has touched the sun in daring mission milestone

( The Parker Solar Probe has finally reached the atmosphere of the sun. The NASA spacecraft spent more than three years winding its way by planets and creeping gradually closer to our star to learn more about the origin of the solar wind, which pushes charged particles across the solar system. Since solar activity has a large effect on living on Earth, from generating auroras to threatening infrastructure like satellites, scientists want to know more about how the sun operates to better make predictions about space weather. Read More

How an undersea volcano nearly sidelined this Navy ship

(NavyTimes) The brand-new expeditionary sea base ship Miguel Keith was nearly sidelined last month after debris from a massive undersea volcanic eruption gummed up vital ship systems, according to Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet. Commissioned in May, Miguel Keith was operating off Japan when the remnants of the volcanic eruption made themselves known. It began when Fukutoku-Okanoba, an undersea volcano about 800 miles southeast of Japan, erupted on Aug. 13, sending pumice stones and debris into the air and surrounding waters, an event believed to be the biggest of its kind in the area since World War II, according to the Navy. Read More

Water’s ultimate freezing point just got lower

( “Ice cold” just got even colder: By creating ice from tiny droplets only a few hundred molecules in size, researchers have pushed water’s freezing point lower than ever before and changed what we know about how ice forms. Knowing how and why water transforms into ice is essential for understanding a wide range of natural processes. Climate fluctuations, cloud dynamics and the water cycle are all influenced by water-ice transformations, as are animals that live in freezing conditions. Read More