NewsBrief: June 10, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 10, 2022

Lawmakers Want to Know How Much Bad Software Costs DOD

(Government Executive) House lawmakers are looking for more oversight of the Defense Department’s cyber, network and information technology efforts through a series of reviews that range from evaluating underperforming software to auditing the military’s Joint All Domain Command and Control program, according to proposed language for the upcoming 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems released its mark for the upcoming defense policy bill, which calls for an independent assessment of military software and IT to determine how much money the department is losing—including in productivity—due to poorly performing software and IT systems. Read More

Pentagon’s new AI and data chief: ‘Let me say honestly that the bureaucracy is real’

(Breaking Defense) Three days into the job, the Pentagon’s first chief data and artificial intelligence officer has already seen first hand how the department’s famous bureaucracy can slow down the most common sense ideas — or, quite literally, keep people out of the building. “So let me say honestly that the bureaucracy is real,” CDAO Craig Martell said today at the DoD Digital and AI Symposium. “I’ve been here three days. I still don’t have a CAC card. I still have to wait in line at the visitor’s entrance…We’re not going to change bureaucracy as a whole. That’s not a challenge I want to put for the team. We need to find the right gaps, the right places where we can leverage value and then that value is going to drive a virtuous cycle of change.” Read More

House panel wants audit of underperforming software, IT at DOD

(FedScoop) Members of the House Armed Services Committee are taking aim at underperforming software within the Department of Defense. The HASC subcommittee on cyber, innovative technologies, and information systems’ mark of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that would require the Pentagon to contract with a federally funded research and development center to conduct an independent study on the impacts and challenges associated with the use of software and information technology. Read More

GAO finds delays in major weapons programs, broad cybersecurity worries

(Breaking Defense) The Columbia-class submarine program jumped billions in price, the Air Force’s T-7A trainer has a bird problem, and cyber concerns remain prevalent across the department, according to a newly-released report by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO’s Weapon System Annual Assessment also found broad concerns about the defense industrial base. GAO does not study every single Pentagon weapon system, instead seeking to find a representative segment; it also has something of a time delay, with research having been completed primarily in 2021. Still, the annual report is considered a key overview to provide lawmakers and the public with a sense of how the DoD is spending taxpayer money. Read More

GAO: Agencies Should Look at Ways to Use Lower-Risk Contract Types

(ExecutiveGov) The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the State Department, Social Security Administration and the Department of the Air Force evaluate measures they can take to find opportunities to reduce their use of labor-hour and time-and-materials contracts by converting all or parts of their requirements to firm-fixed-pricing. GAO said in a report published Tuesday T&M contracts accounted for 11 percent of civilian agencies’ contract obligations between fiscal years 2017 and 2021, compared with 1 percent of Department of Defense’s obligations. Read More

Why you need your boss’s boss to embrace agile

(FCW) It’s often the inflexible maze of processes, rules and traditions that curbs the creation of successful technology, not technical problems themselves, product managers, designers and top government tech leaders will tell you. Getting leadership support for modern tech practices like agile development is key, government techies said during a Tuesday and Wednesday event by the General Services Administration’s and its user experience community of practice. This collaboration is critical as the Biden administration looks to execute priorities contained in its executive order on improving the customer experience (CX) of those using government services. Read More

Creating artificial intelligence that acts more human by ‘knowing that it knows’

(Science Daily) A research group from the Graduate School of Informatics, Nagoya University, has taken a big step towards creating a neural network with metamemory through a computer-based evolution experiment. In recent years, there has been rapid progress in designing artificial intelligence technology using neural networks that imitate brain circuits. One goal of this field of research is understanding the evolution of metamemory to use it to create artificial intelligence with a human-like mind. Read More

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