NewsBrief February 4, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: February 4, 2022

Data will be key to building national cyber workforce strategy, officials say

(Federal News Network) Gathering data on current federal cybersecurity personnel initiatives will be critical to tailoring a much-needed national workforce strategy, according to current and former officials, as agencies continue to contend with a shortage of cyber talent. A new report from the National Academy of Public Administration released this week highlights the lack of a governmentwide approach to cybersecurity workforce management. “This lack of coordination has created the potential for unnecessary duplication and lost opportunities for leverage and integration across agencies,” the report states. Read More

Missile Defense: Addressing Cost Estimating and Reporting Shortfalls Could Improve Insight into Full Costs of Programs and Flight Tests

(GAO) Since 2002, the Missile Defense Agency has received over $174 billion to develop systems that detect, track, and defeat enemy missiles. However, we found that the agency’s cost estimates for these systems are incomplete. For instance, they don’t include full life-cycle cost estimates for programs or regularly update flight test cost estimates with actual costs. Incomplete cost estimates limit Congress’s insight into agency spending and annual budget requests. We made 6 recommendations, including that the Missile Defense Agency regularly update flight test cost estimates with actual costs. Read More

VA failed to ensure data quality during initial EHR rollout, GAO finds

(fedscoop) The Department of Veterans Affairs failed to ensure that data transferred during the rollout of its new electronic health record (EHR) modernization platform met clinicians’ needs, according to a new audit by the Government Accountability Office. In a wide-ranging report published Tuesday, the watchdog found that the department failed to sufficiently monitor the accessibility, accuracy and appropriateness of clinical information as it was transferred in segments from one system to another. GAO recommended that the department establish performance measures for migrated data and that it use a stakeholder register. Read More

Study of GAO bid protest data shows why it’s hard to interpret the numbers

(Federal News Network) One of the great parlor games in federal procurement is adding up the number of award protests every year. But because of the way the Government Accountability Office compiles the numbers, it’s hard to understand the real patterns. This is the topic of a recently published paper. The Federal Drive with Tom Temin got a summary from Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Joseph Petrillo. Read More

Army Materiel Command is Looking to Advanced Manufacturing to Improve Readiness

(Government Executive) Army Materiel Command is planning to implement advanced manufacturing techniques from the depots to the battlespace to help produce parts where needed. But the effort will take careful coordination with the Army’s other modernization strides. “The way I see it is that we’ll be doing advanced manufacturing not only in our depots, arsenals and ammunition plants, but also forward in the battlespace based on equipment that we have,” Gen. Edward M. Daly Commanding General, Army Materiel Command, told reporters Feb. 1 during a Defense Writers Group event hosted by George Washington University’s Project for Media and National Security. Read More

Army seeking to add 3D printing to programming efforts over next 5 to 7 years

(fedscoop) The Army will work to add 3D printing requirements to programming efforts in the coming years that allow objects to be printed in the field, according to the department’s top logistician. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the head of Army Materiel Command Gen. Edward Daly said that to capitalize on the IT and other tech modernization priorities, the command wants to start turning research money into procurement dollars — a years-long process that requires approval from Congress. Read More

Data and rockets: US military eyes new tech to supply far-flung forces

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — If a war against a major adversary breaks out, it’s going to require the military to resupply troops at a pace it hasn’t seen in a long time, Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, head of U.S. Transportation Command, said on Wednesday. And to keep up with that frenetic tempo, TRANSCOM is going to have to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to streamline its logistics operations, Van Ovost said in an online conversation hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Read More

Governments Turning to Data to Find Solutions to Equity Issues

(Route Fifty) We’ve written several columns over the course of the last months about the quest for an equitable distribution of services in states and localities as well as diversity and inclusion in their workforces. As is always the case, the specifics of the challenge varies from place to place. But one common theme has emerged: In order to truly understand the problems that need to be solved, leaders must have the necessary data in hand. Read More

Scientists develop insect-sized flying robots with flapping wings

(ScienceDaily) A new drive system for flapping wing autonomous robots has been developed by a University of Bristol team, using a new method of electromechanical zipping that does away with the need for conventional motors and gears. This new advance, published today in the journal Science Robotics, could pave the way for smaller, lighter and more effective micro flying robots for environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and deployment in hazardous environments. Read More

Earth has an extra companion, a Trojan asteroid that will hang around for 4,000 years

( In 2020, astronomers thought they’d found something incredible: the second so-called Earth Trojan asteroid ever seen. Now, a new team of researchers has confirmed that it’s real.Trojan asteroids are small space rocks that share their orbit with a planet, circling whatever host star that planet does in a stable orbit. While we have spotted Trojan asteroids around other planets in our solar system and others, until now only one of these objects, called 2010 TK7, has been confirmed to orbit along the same path as Earth. Read More