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GSA launches STARS III

Days after canceling one of the premier governmentwide small business IT contracts — Alliant 2 Small Business — the General Services Administration on Monday began requesting proposals from small businesses under its $50 billion STARS III governmentwide IT contract. STARS III is open to small, disadvantaged prime contractors participating in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Businesses Development program. The 10-year contract will build on the preceding STARS II by focusing more on emerging technologies and performance outside of the continental United States (OCONUS). Billy Mitchell has more on STARS III.

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No-code at NOAA Fisheries

The National Marine Fisheries Service adopted no-code systems after experiencing a lack of technical talent in the agency. No-code software lets users tailor an application without any programming knowledge, and the agency, better known as NOAA Fisheries, has recently embraced no- and low-code platforms for development projects. “We wanted to democratize project management, if I may use that term,” Roy Varghese, chief information officer of NOAA Fisheries, told FedScoop. “We wanted to make sure that project management … adhered to schedule, cost and risk but could be done with folks that are not classically trained project managers.” Dave Nyczepir spoke to the NOAA Fisheries CIO.

$2,500 to speed up license agreement reviews

GSA introduced a prize challenge Monday, offering $2,500 to the three teams with the best artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions to automate the reviewing of software end-user license agreements. "AI and ML leveraged successfully are force multipliers, transitioning historically resource-intensive activities into high-speed, low-drag transactions,” Sean Zerges, director of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at GSA, said in an announcement. Dave has this one too.

VA's budget looks solid

Ask and you shall receive. At least that's true for the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would get almost all of the $104.8 billion it requested for fiscal 2021 in House-proposed appropriations. A big chunk of that is for long-overdue IT modernization needs at the VA. The draft legislation would approve $4.9 billion for IT — a 12% increase over 2020. Jackson Barnett has more of the numbers.

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