Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 2, 2023
F-35’s Block 4 upgrade 55 percent over target costs, up $1.4B since last review: GAO
(Breaking Defense) Costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s Block 4 modernization effort have grown 55 percent above the $10.6 billion baseline set five years ago, the Government Accountability Office reported this week — and the congressional watchdog says they lack information to determine exactly why. “Since we last reported in April 2022, Block 4 estimated development costs increased by $1.4 billion, from $15.1 billion to a new total of $16.5 billion,” the GAO said in an expansive new report on the Joint Strike Fighter [PDF] published Tuesday. “The total increase to date is 55 percent more than what the program originally reported it would cost in 2018.” Read More
Tremendous amount of power’: Army digital engineering strategy slated for FY24
(Breaking Defense) Sometime next year the Army will have the first iteration of its digital engineering strategy, a “new-ish” endeavor for the service that a senior official hopes will supercharge Army acquisition. “The digital engineering end-state looks like basically everything that we have represented today, in documents, that is separate and not connected would be digital,” Jennifer Swanson, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for data, engineering and software, told Breaking Defense on Thursday. Read More
GAO Lists Best Practices for Interagency Collaboration
(FedWeek) The GAO has published a report on best practices for agencies in collaborating with each other, saying that “many of the meaningful results that the federal government seeks to achieve require the coordinated efforts of more than one federal agency.” The report, which follows up on one issued in 2012 on carrying out the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, lists the key considerations involve: Read More
Boeing backs away from pricetag pledge for upcoming F-15EX production lots
(Breaking Defense) A Boeing executive recently declined to uphold a previous pledge by another company official that the sticker price for F-15EX fighters in the jets’ next two production lots would come in below $80 million. Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president for F-15 programs, was asked Thursday about the pledge made by a colleague at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) trade show last year. Kumar denied the pledge extended to production lots 2 and 3, asserting that it only applied to fighters tied to lot 1 deliveries. “So let me be clear, the commitment was $80 million for lot 1,” Kumar said. Read More
OSTP Launches RFI to Support Development of National AI Strategy
(ExecutiveGov) The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is soliciting information from individuals and organizations regarding the national priorities to help mitigate the risks and maximize the benefits of artificial intelligence. In a request for information issued Friday, OSTP said the public input will help shape the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy to protect Americans’ rights and safety with respect to the technology. The agency is interested in recommended standards, regulations, investments and practices to ensure that AI is used to preserve the public’s rights and safety. Read More
New ideas for updating a very old scorecard at which agencies roll their eyes
(Federal News Network) Deep in the weeds of agency management, you find something called the FITARA scorecard. FITARA stands for Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. It became law in 2015. Twice each year, agencies receive a scorecard from Congress on how they did managing their IT activities. Now a team, under the IT trade group ACT-IAC, has come up with a list of recommendations for revising the FITARA scorecard. To get the whys and wherefores, Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke in-studio with former federal CIO Alan Balutis along with the the Executive Director of the Policy Center at the MITRE Corporation, Dave Powner. Read More
Saturn’s moon Enceladus is blasting a plume of water 6,000 miles high. Could life be lurking under its icy shell?
(Space.com) The James Webb Space Telescope has found a 6,000 mile-long plume of water squirting into space from Saturn’s tiny, ice-covered moon Enceladus, creating a massive watery cloud in the ringed planet’s orbit. Saturn’s moon Enceladus is one of the likeliest places in the solar system that might harbor extraterrestrial life. The new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observation suggests that the grand telescope may play a role in helping scientists to decide whether and how best to look for it. Read More
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