NewsBrief: June 9, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 9, 2023

It’s Been 6-Plus Years Without a Permanent Head of Governmentwide Financial Management

(Government Executive) It’s been over six years since there’s been a permanent official in charge of governmentwide financial management and former officials say this role is a very important one. The last permanent controller at the Office of Management and Budget left in January 2017. This role oversees the Office of Federal Financial Management, which develops and implements an administration’s financial management policies and leads the federal chief financial officers’ council. Presidents Trump and Biden both nominated individuals for the position, but to no avail. Read More

Can a chief data officer reignite federal data strategy?

(NextGov) The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation — or ITIF — a tech think tank, wants the White House to recommit to implementing a Trump-era federal data strategy, and it thinks that a federal chief data officer could drive progress. The 10-year data strategy, released in 2018, was always meant to be implemented with annual action plans. The Office of Management and Budget released said plans for 2020 and 2021, but hasn’t released any since then, nor has it provided any progress updates on implementation of the 2021 action plan. Read More

Along with new office, Space Force plots new funding pot for commercial buys by 2025

(Breaking Defense) 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

Experts call for overhaul of ‘outdated’ critical infrastructure cyber policy

(NextGov) Despite the Biden administration’s outspoken support for increased public and private sector collaboration to bring more advanced technology into government operations, a new report makes the case for an overhaul of how these partnerships form and which agencies lead risk mitigation efforts. The report, authored by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission 2.0 — a project continuing the efforts of the original Congress-based commission that sunsetted at the end of 2021 — reviews the cybersecurity protocols issued by sector risk management agencies, and notes the urgent need for improved public-private sector collaboration policies and updated SRMA guidance supporting critical infrastructure cybersecurity. Read More

OSTP Launches RFI to Planned Midlands metro line set to be curtailed due to inflationary cost pressures Development of National AI Strategy

(New Civil Engineer) A £450M metro line near Birmingham could be forced to terminate short of its planned destination because of spiralling costs. Councillors on the board of the West Midlands Combined Authority will this week be asked to approve a phased plan for the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension. The scheme is designed to link the existing West Midlands Metro with Tipton, Dudley and Brierley Hill, opening up routes from new developments to Birmingham and Wolverhampton city centres. However, with inflation sending costs rocketing, proposals have been drawn up to build the line as far as Merry Hill – the penultimate stop in the original plan. Read More

OPM Compares Demographics of Federal Workforce vs. Overall Labor Force

(Fed Week) OPM’s latest report on federal workforce demographics again shows a general similarity with the overall U.S. workforce in some ways but differences in others, in particular the makeup of the segment of minorities. The report shows that as of fiscal 2020, the shares in the federal workforce vs. the “civilian labor force” were (using the report’s terminology): 61.6 vs. 61.5 percent White, 18.6 vs. 11.6 percent Black, 9.4 vs. 18 percent Hispanic, 6.3 vs. 6.4 percent Asian, 1.6 vs. 0.7 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 1.9 vs. 1.6 percent Non-Hispanic Multiracial, and 0.6 vs. 0.4 percent Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Read More

Once hostile, NASA holds first public meeting on UFOs

(Space War) The truth is out there — but we’re going to need to look harder. Scientists at NASA’s first ever public meeting on “unidentified anomalous phenomena” — more commonly called UFOs — called Wednesday for a more rigorous scientific approach to clarify the origin of hundreds of mysterious sightings. The space agency announced last year it was analyzing observations in the sky that can’t be identified as aerial or natural phenomena — a subject that has long fascinated the public but was shunned by mainstream science. Read More

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