The White House will be collecting comments for a few more days on its draft presidential report on IT modernization that was released Aug. 31. Once a final version is approved by President Donald Trump, the clock will start ticking on dozens of deadlines associated with the tasks called for in the report.
At the beginning of the summer, I published a blog on how the Department of Homeland Security had tried an innovative approach to its FLASH competition for an agile contracting BPA, run into problems evaluating bidders, and finally withdrew the procurement — with DHS Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa taking responsibility for the mistakes while defending the idea of trying new ways of doing things. The original blog focused on Correa’s work to overcome the culture of fear in government. But it also mentioned the nature of DHS’s innovative approach, where source selection “centered not around a traditional written proposal but instead around companies actually performing a real agile task that was video-recorded and examined as a central part of proposal evaluation.”
Bill Zielinski was just tapped to lead the governmentwide effort to pay less for IT.
With agencies’ draft reorganization plans due at the end of the month, senators want to focus on legislative solutions to the low-hanging fruit for improving agency efficiencies.
Civilian agencies won’t see the dramatic spending cuts proposed by the Trump administration at least for a few months, with a continuing resolution expected to fund the government through Dec. 15.
The Trump administration’s IT modernization plan issued in late August looks to leverage a newly issued government wide telecommunications contract to lower agency costs, improve efficiencies and potentially jump-start IT modernization efforts at smaller agencies.
The Government Accountability Office went looking for “notable optimization successes” in its most recent update on how federal agencies were faring in meeting a White House-led initiative to consolidate and optimize use of government data centers.
The White House released a plan to modernize federal IT by accelerating cloud adoption, consolidating networks and prioritizing key applications for needed upgrades.
The Air Force is changing its procurement strategies to allow for a quicker and more agile response to cyberthreats. Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, said the service will push purchasing authority to lower levels of command and rely more on open systems architecture to avoid going through established IT contracts.
A comprehensive reform of the federal government is a top management priority for the Trump White House, but proposed budget cuts and continued leadership vacancies pose additional challenges to successful reform.