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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 28, 2019

Massive Pentagon cloud contract could be awarded soon

(Federal Times) A controversial, potentially $10 billion, 10-year Pentagon contract for cloud computing services could be awarded by the close of summer, according to the Department of Defense’s technology chief. “I think right now, the [Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure] award will probably be sometime toward the end of August,” said Dana Deasy, the DoD’s chief information officer, speaking June 25 at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. Read More

Getting a handle on warehousing costs

(McKinsey & Company) The painful truth about warehousing—across virtually all industries and geographic markets—is that most companies don’t really know what their true costs should be. Operations leaders know what they’re spending, and they likely know that they need to spend less. Worldwide, warehousing operations cost companies about €300 billion each year, and that amount is growing as global supply chains and the prevalence of e-commerce lead to greater complexity. Read More

Shifting Priorities, Metrics Lead To Relatively Flat FITARA Grades

(Nextgov) At the top level, agencies’ progress complying with the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act largely remained flat in the latest scorecard, belying a number of changes since grades were released in December. Overall, five agencies improved in the eighth scorecard, with four agencies dropping a letter grade and 11 staying the same. Since the first scorecard four years ago, agencies have made the most progress with regard to reporting IT investments to the Office of Management and Budget’s dashboard and engaging in PortfolioStat reviews. Read More

Federal CIO: Limited TMF funding shrinks scope of IT modernization projects

(Federal News Network) Five agencies saw higher scores this year under the eighth Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard released by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and another five agencies posted lower scores. But members of the committee have expressed concerns with how the Office of Management and Budget will measure progress going forward. Read More

Agencies Meet Small Business Contract Goals

(Government Executive) Agencies fulfilling their obligations for awarding contracts to small businesses broke a record with $120 billion in awards in fiscal 2018, the Small Business Administration announced on Tuesday. Governmentwide for the sixth straight year, agencies met their goal of 25% for qualified small-business procurements, though fell short in the subgroups of women-owned businesses and Historically Underutilized Business Zones, or HUBZones. Read More

Agencies ‘unprepared’ to protect Americans’ data, Senate investigation finds

(fedscoop) A handful of years removed from the devastating breach of the Office of Personnel Management that resulted in the theft of sensitive personal data on 22 million current and former federal employees, federal agencies are still “failing to implement basic cybersecurity standards” needed to protect Americans’ personal data and keep the nation’s secrets safe from hackers, a Senate investigation has concluded. Read More

Federal CX picks up speed

(FCW) Increasingly, the goal of producing positive customer experience is driving IT modernization efforts at federal agencies. Customer experience is “the sum of a customer’s perception, with their end-to-end interactions with a brand or organization,” Anahita Reilly, chief customer officer at the General Services Administration, said. “It matters a lot. It can drive operational efficiencies, savings, cost avoidance. It can make your employees happier.” Read More

Investors see huge profits from old nuclear plants, but it could cost taxpayers

(northjersey) Some of the nation’s richest investors are betting they see profit where no one else does: tearing down America’s aging nuclear reactors. Among them is one of the most recognized names from the Reagan Administration, former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman. Lehman’s plans are shrouded in secrecy. The hedge fund that bears his name does not disclose basic information about its finances. Read More

Most Supervisors Not Confident They Could Remove Problem Employees

(FEDweek) Majorities of federal supervisors said they are not confident that they could remove an employee for performance or misconduct reasons, MSPB said in a white paper based on its most recent government-wide survey. Read More

Robot arm tastes with engineered bacteria

(ScienceDaily) A robotic gripping arm that uses engineered bacteria to “taste” for a specific chemical has been developed by engineers at the University of California, Davis, and Carnegie Mellon University. The gripper is a proof-of-concept for biologically-based soft robotics. Read More