NewsBrief: November 17, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: November 17, 2023

Pentagon initiative shows AI helps leaders decide in a ‘data-driven way,’ official says

(NextGov/FCW) The adoption of artificial intelligence technologies is already helping key military personnel streamline their operations, but officials are working to ensure that data quality and ethical uses guide the Pentagon’s implementation of emerging systems moving forward, a senior leader with the Department of Defense’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office said at the Intel Public Sector Summit on Tuesday. Margie Palmieri, CDAO’s deputy chief digital and AI officer, pointed to DOD’s AI and data acceleration initiative — or ADA — as a ready example of how automation is already helping to propel data-driven decisions across the agency, and as a potential approach for continuing adoption moving forward. Read More

DoD Completes Annual Department-Wide Financial Statement Audit

(U.S. Department of Defense) The Department of Defense (DoD) fiscal year 2023 audit of the Department’s consolidated financial statements resulted in a disclaimer of opinion. Of the 29 Components undergoing standalone financial statement audits, seven received an unmodified audit opinion, and one received a qualified opinion. The results of the financial statement audits of the U.S. Marine Corps, the Defense Information Systems Agency Working Capital Fund, and the DoD Office of Inspector General are still pending. All other DoD Components undergoing a standalone audit received disclaimers of opinion. The audits resulted in the consolidation of two DoD-wide material weaknesses into one, and the separation of one DoD-wide material weakness into two. Read More

With trillions at play, Pentagon fails audit for sixth year in a row

(Breaking Defense) For the sixth year in a row, the Pentagon has failed its annual audit, while contending it made incremental, year-over-year progress. “Auditing the Department’s $3.8 trillion in assets and $4.0 trillion in liabilities is a massive undertaking… but the improvements and changes we are making every day as a result of these audits positively affect every soldier, sailor, airman, marine, guardian, and DoD civilian,” Michael McCord, the Department of Defense (DoD) Under Secretary of Defense and Chief Financial Officer, wrote in a statement Wednesday. Read More

Air Force’s quickstart initiative to help bridge work while awaiting funding

(Federal News Network) Despite budget uncertainty from a lack of permanent funding and a potential government shutdown by Nov. 17, on top of the normally slow budget approval process, the Air Force is trying to be nimble and flexible where possible, said Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. Kendall said the budget uncertainty and potential shutdown, brings Air and Space Forces’ programs “to a screeching halt.” “There are about a dozen or more new starts – things that we need Congressional authorization to start,” Kendall said at a CNAS event on Monday. “So not having an authorization bill yet and not having an appropriations bill means we have to wait until those things are passed to begin.” Read More

House Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Limit US Government’s Access to China-Linked Blockchain Tech

(ExecutiveGOV) Reps. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Zachary Nunn, R-Iowa, have proposed a bipartisan bill that seeks to protect national security by prohibiting the U.S. federal government from using blockchain network infrastructure and distributed ledger technology developed and owned by the Chinese Communist Party and other international competitors. The proposed Creating Legal Accountability for Rogue Innovators and Technology, or CLARITY, Act would direct the federal government to take a coordinated approach to countering potential threats posed by adversarial threats to safeguard U.S. intellectual property and sensitive data, Spanberger’s office said Thursday. Read More

GSA sees ‘huge opportunity’ to cut federal office space by up to 30%

(Federal News Network) The General Services Administration, the federal government’s landlord, sees a major opportunity to scale back the amount of office space that agencies use. GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan told the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on Tuesday that her agency is “laser-focused on right-sizing the federal footprint.” Many federal employees have been heading back to the office more regularly this fall, or in the coming months, after the Office of Management and Budget directed agencies to increase “meaningful” in-office work. Read More

AI maps icebergs 10,000 times faster than humans

(Robo Daily) In a groundbreaking development, researchers from the University of Leeds have unveiled a neural network that can swiftly and accurately chart the expanse of large Antarctic icebergs in satellite images, accomplishing the task in a mere 0.01 seconds. This novel approach is in stark contrast to the laborious and time-consuming manual efforts needed previously. Anne Braakmann-Folgmann, lead author of the findings published today in The Cryosphere, conducted her research during her tenure as a PhD student at the University of Leeds in the UK. Now working at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromso, she emphasised the significance of large icebergs in the Antarctic environment. Read More

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