NewsBrief: June 16, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 16, 2023

New Report Identifies Over $100B in Potential Government Services Savings

(Government Executive) The federal government can save more than $100 billion over the next 10 years by fixing recent overlaps, duplication and other critical issues impacting government services, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The GAO’s 13th annual cost-savings report identified 100 new corrective measures that agencies can implement to reduce fragmented and overlapping goals while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government services. Recommendations include addressing costly issues resulting from initiatives launched during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

AFMC’s Latest White Paper Outlines Key Digital Materiel Management Objectives

(Executive Gov) The U.S. intelligence community is taking advantage of massive growth in commercial information and intelligence services worldwide to acquire financial, social media, telecommunications, employment and other data on individuals around the world, including U.S. persons who are notionally subject to constitutional protections. The acquisition and ingestion of this information is done with few restrictions and little coordination across the 18 agencies that make up the intelligence community, according to a partially redacted report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released on Monday. Read More

Spy agencies acquire commercial data with little coordination and few controls

(FCW) The Space Force’s primary acquisition command is seeking to establish a new, consolidated budget basket for commercial tech and services to underpin its multi-pronged effort to more rapidly and effectively take advantage of industry innovation, according to senior officials responsible for the effort. “Right now, in the 2024 budget, I’m hoping to work to get [congressional] language to establish a commercial space budget line,” Col. Rich Kniseley, who heads Space Systems Command’s (SSC) recently established Commercial Space Office, said today. “So, the goal is to try and establish a 2024 line, and then work to get budget [money] hopefully in the 2025 timeframe.” Read More

Bipartisan bill seeks to safeguard US data from foreign exploitation

(NextGov) A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced legislation on Wednesday that would restrict exports of Americans’ personal data to hostile nations and prevent foreign-owned companies — like popular video app TikTok — from accessing U.S. users’ data from abroad. The bill, from Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., would amend the Export Control Reform Act “to require export controls with respect to certain personal data of United States nationals and individuals in the United States.” The 2018 law placed additional restrictions on exports of critical technologies and other commodities that could be used for civilian and military purposes by hostile nations. Read More

The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier

(McKinsey & Company) AI has permeated our lives incrementally, through everything from the tech powering our smartphones to autonomous-driving features on cars to the tools retailers use to surprise and delight consumers. As a result, its progress has been almost imperceptible. Clear milestones, such as when AlphaGo, an AI-based program developed by DeepMind, defeated a world champion Go player in 2016, were celebrated but then quickly faded from the public’s consciousness. Read More

Hill staffers participate in first-ever Data Skills for Congress program

(Fed Scoop) Dozens of congressional staffers from key offices across Capitol Hill will receive Congressional Data Certificates after participating in the first-ever Data Skills for Congress program, FedScoop has learned. The course was designed to educate congressional staff on federal data policy, how to better work with government data, and to modernize government data via new policy ideas. Staff and policy aides from the offices of Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Mark Takano, D-Calif., among others, took part in the program run by the University of California at Berkeley and USAFacts, a nonprofit and nonpartisan civic initiative focused on making government data more accessible. Read More

Data driven solutions are key to unlocking UK rail’s true potential

(New Civil Engineer) The rise in passenger footfall is a welcome sign of initial success. But the industry should only see it as the starting point to ensure rail is seen as an optimal mode of transport in the future, the industry must leverage the latest tools available. This is an exciting, rather than daunting, prospect for the industry to optimise rail services and meet resurging demand. Critical to success, is how the industry uses data powered maintenance across infrastructure in the coming years. Artificial intelligence (AI) powered maintenance holds particular promise. Machine-learning and data-analytics can help rail companies understand the health of fleets, optimise maintenance and maximise asset availability, ensuring quality of service for both passengers and freight. Read More

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