More coordination needed to house Afghan refugees on military bases

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  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is now the latest agency to present its reintegration plans to the office. CISA Director Jen Easterly tells employees in a memo that 100% telecommuting and maximum telecommuting will no longer be allowed after March 31. From then on, employees will be required to begin reporting to the office for at least two days per pay period. Employees working remotely, whose home is listed as their official duty station, may continue to work remotely. Supervisors will hold talks with employees over the next few weeks to discuss their telework eligibility. Employees deemed eligible to telework must enter into new telework agreements by March 25. (Federal Information Network)
  • Senate approves bill to ensure agencies buy secure cloud services. The Senate last week unanimously passed the Federal Secure Cloud Improvement and Jobs Act as part of a broader cybersecurity package. The bill would authorize the FedRAMP program for five years. It would also require the White House to send annual reports to Congress on how agencies use FedRAMP, as well as a new audit from the Government Accountability Office. The legislation would also establish a Federal Secure Cloud Advisory Committee comprised of government and industry representatives. (Federal Information Network)
  • Starting in October, agencies are required to ensure that the products they purchase have a 60% domestic content threshold, an increase of 5% from 2022. The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council issued a final rule amending requirement as part of Biden administration purchase. American initiative. Over the next six years, the rule aims to raise the domestic content threshold to 75% by 2029. The administration says the new rule will help close loopholes in current regulations while allowing companies to manufacture at land and adjust their supply chains to increase the use of American-made components.
  • The United States Transportation Command has officially lifted a stop work order on the Army’s new multi-billion dollar household goods move contract. This is after the Government Accountability Office dismissed all protests that had challenged the award late last week. HomeSafe Alliance, the contract winner, says it believes it can still start making its first moves under the contract by December this year, with a full transition to the new contract by December. Fall 2023. This schedule may still be delayed. if either of the losing bidders files another protest with the Federal Court of Claims and the court issues a stay. (Federal Information Network)
  • The FDIC is looking for help managing all of its data. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation plans to create an enterprise-wide data catalog to provide a central, authoritative source to search, discover, learn, and obtain analytical information. The FDIC issued a request for proposals for a vendor to consolidate its petabytes of data across various cloud platforms, mainframes, and databases into a single software-as-a-service offering. The RFP asks a vendor to develop a data catalog that leverages an application programming interface or API integrations, and creates and leverages metadata and indexing strategies. Proposals are due March 22.
  • The US government has a new challenge for technology developers: to create a tool that can use machine learning to tag documents with controlled unclassified information. Agencies have struggled to find a consistent way to identify and mark CUI. Now the Navy is sponsoring a prize competition for an automated CUI prototype. A panel of judges will select up to 10 concepts to progress to the demonstration phase of the challenge. The top five submissions will also win a prize of $10,000.
  • The Defense and State Departments have been working together for months to evacuate and house Afghan refugees on US military bases, but still lack written agreements formalizing those arrangements. The Pentagon’s inspector general says the absence of memorandums of understanding has created confusion around roles and responsibilities and makes it difficult to budget for Operation Allies Welcome. Pentagon officials say they drafted the agreements, but State Department officials at least initially refused to sign them.
  • The Ministry of Defense is working on a new comprehensive strategy that will inform its future decisions. The Pentagon says the concept of integrated deterrence will be at the forefront of the new national defense strategy. The NDS is the plan on which the Army bases almost all of its budgetary and operational choices. The Department of Defense says integrated deterrence will include more than the use of nuclear weapons to keep China and Russia at bay. The DoD plans to operate its weapons on land, air, sea, space and cyber.
  • The senior military official in charge of homeland defense said the military should prioritize protecting critical infrastructure from threats from China and Russia. Chief of the United States Northern Command. Gen. Glen VanHerck says the United States needs to better define what constitutes critical infrastructure so it can be better isolated from cyberattacks and other subterfuges. VanHerck said current definitions of critical infrastructure are too broad and ambiguous.
  • The Senate is nearing a final vote on a postal service reform bill after running into procedural hurdles. A long-awaited reform bill that would save the Postal Service a total of $107 billion is nearing the final vote in the Senate. After a long week of debate, the Senate has scheduled a closing vote on the USPS bill tonight. The bill has strong bipartisan support from 14 Democratic senators and 14 Republican senators. Two Republican senators, however, openly oppose the legislation and have sought to delay the bill over fears it will hurt Medicare’s long-term solvency. (Federal Information Network)

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