5 DHS opportunities in the president’s proposed budget

Tom O'KeefeBy Tom O’Keefe, consultant

One of the few civilian agencies that likely won’t have its budget cut is the Department of Homeland Security. What’s less clear is exactly how the funding breaks down for DHS components.

The Trump administration’s plan to direct more funds to Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement by heavily reducing the budgets of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Transportation Security Administration are likely non-starters for congressional appropriators.

However, looking at the FY17 budget amendment and the FY18 budget request, we can get an idea of where some additional technology opportunities might appear at the department. The FY17 budget amendment requests $3 billion extra for DHS, with a third of that going to CBP to begin construction of the border wall. The FY18 “skinny” budget has a few more clues for where we might see increased investment at DHS:

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Trump has a cybersecurity plan and it needs your help

Lloyd McCoy Jr.blog-eocyberBy Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD manager

We got a sneak peek this week into what the Trump administration is thinking about with its cybersecurity strategy and it appears there won’t be a major departure from previous administrations.

The Washington Post obtained a copy of a draft executive order on strengthening U.S. cybersecurity and capabilities that President Trump was scheduled to sign yesterday, but the event was postponed.

What I was able to glean from the draft is that it reaffirms cybersecurity as a preeminent national interest and its emergence as a new domain, comparable to air, land, sea and space. In order to protect this interest, the order endorses the “full spectrum” of capabilities to defend U.S. cyber interests, suggesting a policy that embraces both cyber-defensive and offensive toolsets.

In line with the previous two administrations, the order also emphasized protecting both public and private critical infrastructure. While none of this is a major departure, there are a couple of provisions in the draft order that impact the IT community.

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What you need to know about Trump’s plan for government

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85

By Chris Wiedemann, consultant

Trying to read the tea leaves on the Trump administration’s technology priorities has been a challenge for all of us in the industry. But we got a little more clarity on how the new administration would like to manage the executive branch with a report last week outlining a new budget, including appropriations language that President Trump plans to submit in “mid to late April.”

While we haven’t seen the budget itself (and, as always, the appropriations committees will have significant input into the process), reading the Heritage Foundation report that Trump’s budget is purportedly based on reveals some potentially dramatic changes to executive agencies, particularly in the civilian sector. Those potential changes include:

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The Best in Government Innovation

digit-event-logoInnovation has become more than just a buzz word in the public sector, thanks in part to a need to do more with less. Agencies are turning to transformative technologies like the Internet of Things and big data to advance missions and better serve citizens.

So who’s driving innovation in government? What agencies are cutting-edge?

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Why Perfection is Now Key on CDM

Jenni Taylor_65x85cdmupdate_blog091216By Jenni Taylor, Contract Programs Manager

A significant, if not major, change is underfoot at the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program.

It involves “Attachment R,” which CDM contractors submit when adding a new product or capability to the program. Items are added all the time as CDM moves from phase to phase and from requirement to requirement. If the government found errors in Attachment R, the contractor was able to make corrections, resubmit, and have their capability reconsidered.

No more. DHS sent out notice last week alerting contractors that “Revised Attachment R” is being removed from the open season process. What this means is vendors will no longer be able to correct an Attachment R once it’s been submitted to DHS for review.

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New IoT Security Principles On the Way

Tom O'Keefeiot-security_blog090816By Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

If you want to look for a growing area of investment in federal IT, look no further than securing the Internet of Things (IoT).

There’s been a lot of recent talk about the IoT, with one of the latest conversation led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at an August 31st workshop to help industry get a grasp on the roadmap the federal government is pursuing in the coming year. IoT leaders across federal agencies will outline strategic principles that will guide near-and-long term purchasing decisions in securing internet-connected devices.

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DHS Wants to Hear from You

Tom O'KeefeDHS and industryBy Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

Industry engagement seems to be the new focus at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Luke McCormack, the chief information officer, and Soraya Correa, the chief procurement officer, have made it a point to ramp up outreach to the private sector. This summer looks to continue this trend of engagement with several activities and requests for information (RFI) that technology vendors will want to keep their eyes on.

First, the department has reached out to industry to gauge the viability of a DHS-specific contract for agile design and development. The RFI includes a draft scope of the proposed vehicle based on work done by the US Digital Services team in developing the Digital Services Playbook.

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