Modernization News

Biden Proposed $10B+ In Cyber & IT Funds as part of COVID-19 Relief, ADI Comments

The Hill (January 14, 2021)

President-elect Joe Biden is set Thursday to roll out a sweeping COVID-19 relief plan that includes over $10 billion in funding to boost the nation’s cybersecurity and information technology in the wake of a massive Russian cyberattack.

In the proposal, billed as an “American rescue package,” Biden calls on Congress to approve a major investment in IT and cybersecurity for the federal government, describing it as “an urgent national security issue that cannot wait.” Biden is set to detail the plan during a speech later on Thursday.  » Read the Article

The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI) strongly supports the breadth and depth of this proposal. The Biden plan ensures that robust technology and cybersecurity capabilities will be provided to support the execution of these his ambitious and necessary agenda.

“Earmarking $9 billion for Technology Modernization Fund, shows the incoming administration clearly understands its unique value proposition of IT modernization and how important effective technology infrastructure will be for supporting agency efforts, particularly as it relates to accelerated COVID-19 response,” said Matthew Cornelius, Executive Director of Alliance for Digital Innovation.

Additional requests for IT and cybersecurity dollars, for the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency highlight the Biden team’s plans to significantly expand digital services talent in government. It also indicates a robust response to the recent SolarWinds hack, and enable these agencies to provide critical technology and cybersecurity services to the entire federal government.

ADI strongly supports these critical elements of the American Rescue Plan and encourage Congress to work swiftly with President-elect Biden to ensure important IT modernization and cybersecurity funds are included in any relief legislation.

“Immediate IT modernization investments will speed the government’s ability to deliver vital benefits, programs, and services to the American people. Providing necessary, targeted funding for technology and cybersecurity capabilities will support the execution of President-elect Biden’s ambitious and necessary agenda,” said Cornelius.

The Biden plan will dramatically increase the use of commercial technologies in government and provide for a more robust, effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery for American families and businesses.

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“More attention from Congress could lead to smoother EIS transition” ADI Executive Director Quoted

FedScoop (December 21, 2020)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee recently added a new category under its biannual FITARA Scorecard: It grades agencies’ progress in transitioning to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) network modernization contract — and away from predecessor vehicle Networx.

On the surface, it was a small gesture. The data was already being collected by the General Services Administration and made publicly available. And new categories are added to the scorecard pretty regularly. The transition to EIS is just one of now nine components on which the committee will score agencies’ IT acquisition and management “hygiene” via the scorecard, which was originally a measure of federal compliance with statutes in the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act.

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ADI Executive Director Cornelius: The Biden Administration and Congress Can Improve FedRAMP

Nextgov (December 7, 2020)

This year’s National Defense Authorization Act will not establish the General Services Administration’s cloud security certification program in statutes or pressure agencies to accept its centralized determinations. Supporters of a streamlining effort to encourage greater and faster cloud adoption by agencies are looking ahead to next year.

The final NDAA is expected to pass the House Tuesday afternoon and move onto the Senate without language to revamp GSA’s Federal Risk Authorization Management Program.

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CDM Program Wins Industry Praise for Pandemic Help – MeriTalk

MeriTalk (December 4, 2020)

The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program won praise from tech-sector officials at MeriTalk’s CDM Central virtual conference on Dec. 3. for its mostly unheralded work in helping Federal agencies make quick fixes to security during this year’s coronavirus pandemic. CDM Program Manager Kevin Cox offered insights as part of MeriTalk’s CIO Crossroads program in June into how his office jumped in to help agencies in need.

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GAO Offers Best Practices in Telework for Agencies

NextGov (November 24, 2020)

For most of 2020, federal agencies—staffed by hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors—have turned to telework to meet mission delivery, serve citizens and perform critical government functions.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the ability to telework has become a critical strategy for agencies as the COVID-19 pandemic wages on. But the Congressional watchdog issued a reminder Wednesday—in the form of a telework study—that most agencies are not employing best practices to ensure successful telework programs.

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ADI Member Telos: Prioritizing Cybersecurity Funding for K-12 Schools

Telos.VISION (November 6, 2020)

Now that the election is over (sort of), Washington needs to turn its focus back to pressing public policy matters. One such issue – the need to beef up cybersecurity in America’s K-12 schools – was highlighted by Virginia Senator Mark Warner’s recent letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. This letter was generated in response to a recent ransomware attack against the largest school district in Virginia, as well as big picture concerns about cyber threats during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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FedNews Network Special Report on the Technology Modernization Fund, ADI Executive Director quoted

Federal News Network (November 9, 2020)

The Technology Modernization Fund is achieving the goals set out back in 2016 when the Obama administration first proposed the concept of a revolving fund.

New data collected by Federal News Network demonstrates that the six agencies that took loans are moving faster to modernize legacy systems and — hold on to your hats — paying back the loan to the TMF Board.

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Protocol Braintrust: ADI Shares Thoughts on President-elect Biden’s Tech Priorities

Protocol Braintrust (November 4, 2020)

President-elect Biden’s tech priorities will almost assuredly be tied to his top campaign issue: crushing coronavirus and restoring the health of Americans and the American economy. We can expect his first focus will be on a massive fiscal stimulus package that, among other items, will include substantial increases in technology investments to combat COVID-19, such as contact tracing, advanced data analytics and high-performance computing.

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