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02/18/2020
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WorkScoop

Weichert out at OMB

The federal IT community received news of a major departure Friday. Margaret Weichert, the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy director for management, announced she will leave government in March to return to the private sector. She said she plans to join Accenture as a managing director in their commercial practice. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as the Deputy Director for Management,” Weichert said in a statement. “I’m extremely proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside a talented group of Federal employees to modernize and streamline our Government…. I’ve valued the opportunity to work with talented public servants, who are dedicated to improving how we deliver mission outcomes, improve service, and strengthen stewardship of taxpayer dollars.” Tajha Chappellet-Lanier has more.


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HHS loses its CTO

Ed Simcox also announced he was leaving government. Friday was his last day as CTO of the Department of Health and Human Services. In a blog post he said that while it was a “difficult decision” to leave, he is looking forward to what comes next. “Serving this department and the American people has been an honor and privilege for which I am immensely grateful,” he wrote. “The CTO team that leads and supports our efforts is nothing short of incredible. I am also humbled to have worked with the leaders and civil servants across HHS. Their dedication to mission is unrivaled in federal government.” More on Simcox's departure.


Senate bill would put a moratorium on federal facial recognition use

A pair of Senate lawmakers want to quash federal use of facial recognition until Congress properly figures out how to regulate the technology. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced the Ethical Use of Facial Recognition Act last week. It would also create a congressional commission to study facial recognition and give suggestions to Congress on how to regulate it. “Facial recognition is a powerful and rapidly evolving technology, but without proper oversight it poses a serious risk to privacy and safety,” Booker said in a statement. “To protect consumer privacy and safety, Congress must work to set the rules of the road for responsible uses of this technology by the federal government.” Tajha has more on the bill.


In the loop, or on the loop?

According to the general who oversees U.S. defense against incoming missiles and air-based attacks, when it comes to artificial intelligence and automation, humans shouldn't be "in the loop" but "on the loop." What seems like a nuanced change in grammar could actually have big implications. Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of the United States Northern Command and of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), wants to push human control farther from the center of the automated decision-making. It would still give humans oversight of an automated system, but the artificial intelligence would jump right into action, not needing human pre-approval as it would with a “human in the loop” design. Jackson Barnett has more.


WATCH: IT officials tout zero trust

Federal IT officials and experts from industry recently sat down with FedScoop to discuss zero-trust security and whether it's just another buzzword or a trend that's here to stay. This week, catch videos from:


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