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05/08/2020
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Another JEDI protest

Amazon Web Services has doubled down in its protest of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract, filing a second, concurrent bid protest this week directly with the Department of Defense. AWS wants more clarity around the corrective action the DOD has proposed taking on the JEDI contract but says the department isn't playing ball. The Pentagon has taken steps to amend the JEDI solicitation for a key part of the contract that dealt with a pricing scenario for online cloud storage and allowed both Amazon and Microsoft to submit revised proposals. But the new language is "ambiguous," a spokesperson said. “AWS repeatedly sought clarity from the DoD around ambiguous aspects of the amended solicitation and the DoD refused to answer our questions. We simply want to ensure a common understanding of the DoD’s requirements and eliminate ambiguity that could impact a fair evaluation.” Billy Mitchell has the latest.


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Labor Department comes to the aid of states

As states struggle with their unemployment claims systems, the Labor Department is lending a hand, says CIO Gundeep Ahluwalia. With other federal partners like the Federal CIO Council and the U.S. Digital Service, the department has formed a “response team” to help with the overwhelmed systems. Labor is “developing a plan as to how to make sure that the systems are more organized over the next few years," Ahluwalia says. A key reason the CIO and his team could offer support to states is that Labor’s own infrastructure was prepared to handle any scaling of services and the move to nearly ubiquitous telework during the pandemic, he told FedScoop. Mitchell interviewed Ahluwalia.


GSA announces another CoE partner

For a second time this week, the General Services Administration announced a new agency partner in its Centers of Excellence (CoE) program. GSA will help the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Information Management and Technology to modernize core capabilities faster. This partnership comes on the heels of an agreement on Monday with another health agency, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. GSA agreed to help NICHD develop an IT modernization strategic roadmap. Dave Nyczepir has more on the partnership.


Deasy, DOD leaders fight Ligado decision

Top Pentagon officials this week railed against the FCC's plans to let communications company Ligado share the spectrum band dedicated to GPS in a Senate hearing. While the FCC claims the move would boost the economic development of 5G and the Internet of Things, Department of Defense leaders said it would degrade the military's GPS-dependent operations — everything from the accuracy of weapons systems to first responders’ 911 navigation ability. CIO Dana Deasy, in his opening statement, said: "Throughout this proceeding, the department made it clear that approving Ligado’s plans would cause harmful interference to millions of GPS receivers across the country, both civilian and military.” Jackson Barnett has the latest.


DIU's work expands again

The Defensive Innovation Unit (DIU) is out this week with its annual report. At a high level, the team added 33 vendors to a rolling list that stretches back to mid-2016, says the report released Tuesday. Overall, DIU says it has worked with a total of 120 companies that otherwise probably would have been outside the DOD’s usual base. The report indicates DIU has helped facilitate the investment of nearly half a billion dollars in prototypes. The prototype and OTA process DIU uses is key to its success. Jackson takes you inside the report.


Donna Dodson retires

A longtime cyber adviser at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Donna Dodson, is retiring. Her last day as director of NIST's National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence is Friday. She joined the agency in 1987 and held a range of technology leadership positions. “The most critical part of my job is looking strategically at the changes we’re seeing across the digital infrastructure, the changes in the threat environment and the existing vulnerabilities,” she told FedScoop in 2017. Read more on Dodson's departure.


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