NewsBrief: July 21, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 21, 2023

Get serious about data, US intelligence leaders tell agencies

(Nextgov/FCW) It’s time to get serious about data—how it’s collected, curated, and capitalized upon by humans and machines—lest the country lose its intelligence edge, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says in its new three-year data strategy. “To date, we have not significantly prioritized data as a strategic and operational [intelligence community] asset. The central challenge remains that the IC is not fielding data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled capabilities at the pace and scale required to preserve our decision and intelligence advantage,” the document said. To fix that, the IC wants to fine-tune the “data flow lifecycle from collection and acquisition, to transporting, ingesting, curating, exploiting, disseminating, and disposing of IC data.” Read More

FAA Bill Heads to House Floor

(AINonline) The House today is slated to begin consideration of the comprehensive five-year FAA reauthorization bill, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R.3935), with wide industry support. More than 1,000 industry leaders and stakeholders have pledged support for the legislation, according to the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which authored the bipartisan package. Deliberations are expected to extend into tomorrow following Rules Committee approval of some 100 amendments that could be offered to the bill, many of which may be packaged together. That was just a little more than one-quarter of the amendments that had been requested. Read More

White House seeks public insight to harmonize ‘inconsistent’ cyber regulations

(Nextgov/FCW) Following the announcement of the White House’s implementation plan for its National Cybersecurity Strategy, the administration issued an accompanying request for information Wednesday that seeks input on how to efficiently harmonize the cybersecurity protocols governing the nation’s networks. The RFI, released by the Office of the National Cyber Director, aims to promote blanket cybersecurity regulations absent mandatory federal law. “When cybersecurity regulations of the same underlying technology are inconsistent or contradictory — or where they are duplicative but enforced differently by different regulators — consumers pay more, and our national security suffers,” the announcement from the ONCD read. Read More

What will the federal government do with generative AI?

(Government Executive) Federal activity in the generative AI space so far has been limited. While federal agencies have fielded more than a thousand AI use cases, they aren’t yet widely leveraging the content-creation powers of ChatGPT, Google’s Bard and other large language models. Part of the reason could be a lack of direction. The White House announced in May that the Office of Management and Budget plans to unveil policy guidance on the use of AI in the federal government sometime this summer. As of this writing, agencies have the AI Bill of Rights framework and an AI Risk Management Framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Read More

House, Senate Differ on Telework, FEHB Coverage

(Fedweek) The general government funding bills in the House and Senate differ significantly on several key federal workplace policies that would need to be resolved after each chamber votes on them. For example, while the House measure would require agencies roll back telework to pre-pandemic levels and require agencies to make a business case before increasing them again, the Senate version would only require agencies to “examine how policies for in-person work, telework, and remote work impact agency productivity and performance as well as how effectively and efficiently agencies are able to carry out their missions and serve the public.” Read More

Federal Real Property: Preliminary Results Show Federal Buildings Remain Underutilized Due to Longstanding Challenges and Increased Telework

(US Government Accountability Office) The federal government’s office spaces cost billions every year to lease, operate, and maintain. Even before the pandemic, agencies struggled to determine how much office space they actually needed. In this testimony, we discuss the 21.5 million square feet of usable office space—conference rooms, team rooms, and offices—in the headquarters buildings of 24 agencies. During 3 weeks in January, February, and March of this year, 17 agencies’ buildings were at 25% capacity or less. We also discuss the financial, environmental, and opportunity costs of underused office space and the challenges to addressing this issue, according to agency officials. Read More

Euclid calling: downloading the Universe

(Space Daily) Just as one hand alone can’t clap, a mission in space can’t be heard without a complex combination of physical infrastructure and data systems on Earth; for monitoring and control of the spacecraft, data management, ground stations and telecommunication networks. The scale and complexity of the Euclid mission will place high demands on ESA’s ground operations, and the Agency has been getting ready. “Through years of technological advancements, standardisation efforts and the operational adoption of innovative engineering solutions we have successfully tackled the challenges for the ground segment of this extraordinary mission,” says Mariella Spada, Head of Ground Systems Engineering and Innovation at ESA. Read More

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