OFPP: Inaugural IT acquisition cadre starts work

An information technology-focused cadre of acquisition professionals will begin work, said Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Administrator Anne Rung.

OFPPThe creation of the group was mandated by the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA.

“We are delighted that this week we kicked off our first class of digital IT acquisition specialists,” said Rung during an Oct. 26 panel discussion at the ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference.

“It’s career acquisition employees who partner with industry to go through this six-month experiential, hands-on training, and the idea is to put them back in the agencies to touch the IT acquisitions,” she said.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/rung-inaugural-it-acquisition-cadre-starts-work-week/2015-10-26

There’s hope for local procurement reform at ‘Code for America’

‘The promise of technology and data transparency … is very exciting and will bring about change.’ But there’s a lot of work to do.

It’s not a secret that the procurement process is problematic across all levels of government in the United States. That’s certainly true in local jurisdictions.

RFPProcurement has especially been a source of frustration in tech circles, where it might not be surprising for vendors to find a root canal more pleasant than dealing with cumbersome and antiquated municipal RFP processes usually designed for purchasing physical products than IT services.

While procurement problems persist, there’s some hope, too. Some of the leading minds in local government procurement reform recently gathered at the 2015 Code for America Summit at the Oakland Convention Center to discuss the some success stories in different parts of the county, in addition to the lingering and persistent challenges.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.routefifty.com/2015/10/code-america-procurement-reform/122470/

OMB memo ushers major shift in federal procurement

The Office of Management and Budget released a set of directives on Oct. 16  fine tuning the way agencies buy laptop and desktop computers.

ombWhile the directives focus solely on specific computer hardware, the move signals what could be a sea change in the way the federal government purchases commodity IT and other products.

Of the three new directives in the Oct. 16 memo, the first is perhaps the most significant: a prohibition on issuing new contracts for laptops and desktops with a mandate to use one of two governmentwide acquisition contracts or IT Schedule 70.

Previously, agencies had been encouraged to purchase IT products and services off GWACs or GSA schedules but were able to go their own way if they wanted.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/acquisition/policy/2015/10/20/omb-commodity-it/74272652/

Be specific about cybersecurity during acquisition

The administration has been pushing agencies to include more cybersecurity language in contracts, specifically in citing control standards like those advanced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NISTSome officials don’t think those standards are enough and are encouraging agencies to get specific with vendors when writing cybersecurity requirements.

cyber security“In software assurance or as a computer scientist you say it’s all about the code,” Kris Britton, director of NSA’s Center for Assured Software, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) on Oct. 13. “Ultimately it is. But it all begins — at least in government — back at the acquisition process.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/cybersecurity/2015/10/13/specific-cyber-requirements/73875252/

Some acquisition ideas for the next president

Although it’s still a year away, the next presidential election will be upon us before we know it. 

White HouseAnd with so many issues needing attention, a set of recommendations on a federal technology agenda would help the next administration hit the ground running.

It’s important to see through the haze of heated rhetoric and focus on three questions:

1. What current initiatives should be continued? Too often, ongoing efforts from the prior administration languish or are discarded because they weren’t invented here.

2. What current initiatives or policies should be terminated? The road of federal IT initiatives is paved with many well-intentioned efforts at portfolio management that never actually retire legacy systems. Similarly, practices that create drag on the rapid acquisition of effective IT solutions must be discarded.

3. What new initiatives and actions should be embraced? We need to bring speed, innovation and commercial best practices to government. We can no longer afford to function in an environment in which the platforms, apps and managed services available in the commercial marketplace are not the norm in the federal government.

Keep reading this article — including what should be kept on the bus and what should be thrown under the bus — at: https://fcw.com/articles/2015/09/29/comment_wennergren.asp