NewsBrief: January 20, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: January 20, 2023

Why 2023 is shaping up to be a rough ride for federal contractors

(Federal News Network) From new and burdensome rules, to delays in governmentwide vehicles, to Congressional new blood, federal contractors face a daunting year. For a few items at the top of the list, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with Larry Allen, federal sales and marketing consultant. Read More

FDA falls short on IT contract management, watchdog finds

(FCW) The Department of Health and Human Services’ internal watchdog found that the Food and Drug Administration failed to follow certain acquisition policies tied to how it manages its information technology contracts. The Office of Inspector General report, released last week, found that agency officials did not follow existing acquisition and procurement policies and procedures, such as appointing a contracting officer’s representative, or COR, to monitor contractors’ performance. Auditors looked at a portion of the FDA’s $2.3 billion in contracts for IT equipment and services between fiscal 2018 and 2021. Read More

GAO audits another federal program with big fraud potential

(Federal News Network) Another big federal program has major fraud potential. The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, overseen by the Office of Personnel Management, has no way of knowing whether enrollees’ family members are actually eligible. The Government Accountability Office study was prompted by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who saw fraud in Florida’s employee program. OPM itself estimates fraud, which drives up the premiums for everyone, could be a billion dollars a year in claims payouts. It’s considering a list of recommendations from auditors. “We’ll definitely keep their feet to the fire,” GAO auditor Seto Begoyan said. Read More

How To Succeed With Remote, Agile IoT Engineering for Hardware

(IoT For All) The need for remote work continues to rise as companies look to hire the best talent in a competitive hiring market. For years, remote workers were seen as early adopters, but now, with an increase in the hybrid work model, working remotely has transformed from a luxury into a necessity for companies that rely on top tech talent. While a remote workforce is a clear competitive advantage, there are also risks such as loss of visibility, accountability, and clear communication. Overcoming these challenges is hard enough with a software team, but how does it work with a hardware team building connected devices in an industry that touts the adage “hardware is hard?” Read More

Action and Inaction on Data, Analytics, and AI

(MIT Sloan Management Review) The title of this column series is “AI in Action,” and there has indeed been a lot of action over the past year. Judging from the 11th annual NewVantage Partners survey of senior data and analytics executives, some trends are moving in the right direction. For example, more companies are creating senior roles to focus on data and analytics. The chief data officer role has quickly become much more common over time and across more industries; in the survey, 83% of companies have appointed a CDO or chief data and analytics officer (CDAO). Read More

Absolutely bonkers’ aurora lights up the sky above Iceland (video)

( An Icelandic room reservation paid off big for a student “aurora chaser.” Vincent Ledvina traveled halfway across the world from Alaska to Iceland and spotted surges of green auroras the night of Jan. 13, right over his cabin, cataloging a terabyte’s worth of “absolutely bonkers (opens in new tab)” northern lights footage about two hours from Reykjavík. “This particular […] location was legendary and led to some of my favorite aurora compositions ever,” said Ledvina in a tweet (opens in new tab); he is no stranger to the shimmering green lights given that he is usually based in Fairbanks, Alaska. Read More

What time is the conjunction of Venus and Saturn on Sunday (Jan. 22)?

( This weekend offers a fantastic opportunity to see two of the solar system’s planets line up in the night sky. Venus and Saturn will be in conjunction, meaning they’ll share the same right ascension — the equivalent of longitude in the celestial sphere. Shortly after, the two planets will make their closest approach to one another in the sky, an event known as an appulse. The conjunction of Venus and Saturn will take place on Sunday (Jan. 22) at 2:36 p.m. EST (1936 GMT), according to Read More

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