NewsBrief: May 10, 2024

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: May 10, 2024

Federal cyber leaders proceed with caution on AI as a defensive tool

(FedScoop) Three years ago, chief information security officers couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about zero trust. Today, artificial intelligence is the defensive measure du jour for those same government IT leaders. With a healthy dose of skepticism formed through years of protecting digital infrastructure from advanced threats, many federal cybersecurity practitioners have significant concerns about AI, viewing it as a technology that needs corralling. That’s especially true for large language models and other data sources, they say. Read More

OMB forms replacement for FedRAMP JAB

(Federal News Network) The Office of Management and Budget took a major step in the revamping of the cloud security program called FedRAMP. OMB last week officially created the replacement for the Joint Authorization Board (JAB), called the FedRAMP Board. The new board will provide executive oversight and governance of the program. An OMB spokesperson says the board, which is made up of seven people, including legislatively-mandated representatives from the General Services Administration, and the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, also includes representatives from Read More

Army to Tighten Access to Cloud-Based Collaboration Tools

(Executive Gov) The U.S. Army has implemented new changes to access protocols for Army 365 services, the service branch’s suite of collaboration and document-sharing tools, in a move aimed at improving the security of sensitive information against digital threats, DVIDS reported Tuesday. Beginning June 1, the Network Enterprise Technology Command will block access to all Army 365 services through commercial networks and exceptions to this access block will be granted by designated authorities on a very limited basis. Read More

Coast Guard Acquisitions: Opportunities Exist to Improve Shipbuilding Outcomes

(U.S. Government Accountability Office) We testified on the Coast Guard’s primary challenge as it invests billions of dollars in its highest priority programs—developing stable ship designs. The design of the Polar Security Cutter, a heavy icebreaker, is more complex and taking over 3 years longer than expected—delaying delivery of the lead ship by about 5 years. And the program’s costs increased by more than $2 billion due to these challenges. The Coast Guard has opportunities to take action. Our prior recommendations and recent work on leading practices for ship design can help the Coast Guard improve and speed up its design, construction, and delivery of ships. Read More

Budgetary Outcomes Under Alternative Assumptions About Spending and Revenues

(U.S. Congressional Budget Office) The Congressional Budget Office regularly publishes baseline budget projections that show federal spending, revenues, and deficits over the next decade under the assumption that the laws governing spending and taxes generally remain unchanged. This report shows how different assumptions about future legislated policies would affect those budget projections. CBO’s baseline projections are not intended to be a forecast of budgetary outcomes; rather, they are meant to provide a benchmark that policymakers can use to assess the potential effects of policy decisions. Read More

Feds heighten calls to service during Public Service Recognition Week

(Federal News Network) Agencies are already familiar with many of the recruitment strategies the Biden administration has been pushing for, but now in the middle of Public Service Recognition Week, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management are highlighting how those strategies benefit federal job candidates as well. Recent changes in pooled hiring and the Pathways Program, for instance, can support the overall candidate and employee experience, said Latonia Page, OPM’s acting executive director of the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council. Read More

Could alien life be hiding in the rings of Saturn or Jupiter?

( The search for life beyond Earth has driven seekers to scout all sorts of potential habitats — not just on the growing list of known Earth-like exoplanets, but in other places within our own solar system. The first choice that comes to mind is likely Mars, which some scientists believe still holds oases of liquid water beneath its barren surface, Not long ago, the detection of phosphine, a possible indicator of biological decay, in the atmosphere of Venus set off debate about whether life could exist in that hellishly hot planet’s clouds. Read More

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