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AWS files protest of JEDI award in federal claims court

It's official. Amazon Web Services will protest the Pentagon's award of the JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft. Details are slim, but a spokesperson confirmed the company filed a pre-filing notice with the Court of Federal Claims. The spokesperson said the company believes "it’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence. Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias — and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.” Billy Mitchell has more on the protest.

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What comes after cyber for federal reskilling initiatives? Data science

At FedScoop's Workforce Summit on Thursday, Deputy Federal CIO Margie Graves announced the next area to which the Federal CIO Council and OMB will tailor their reskilling efforts. After two successful cohorts of the Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy, data science is on deck, she said. “The next thing we’re going to tackle is the data scientist arena,” Graves said. The “clear demand signals” from recent legislation like the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, and more, contributed to this decision, she said. Tajha Chappellet-Lanier has more from the summit.

USDA places focus on reskilling after Centers of Excellence modernization

Reskilling was a big topic of discussion at the summit as agency leaders discussed the future of work with more modernized and automated IT. USDA CIO Gary Washington detailed several efforts his agency is undertaking to reskill and train employees whose job focuses are no longer applicable to the agency now that it's modernized. Washington said a major challenge “that doesn’t get discussed is how you prepare your workforce to be able to support this new environment” after modernization. “We need to make sure that our 3,100 federal employees at USDA are in a position to be a part of that journey.” Billy Mitchell has the story.

OMB’s shared services effort will take years to yield results

The federal government's most recent large-scale push for shared services may not bear fruit for quite a while in some areas. Work around creating a shared services model for grants management, in particular, has been delayed, Federal CIO Suzette Kent said. “There are a lot of things that we like to do really fast and do a pilot and see results in six months,” Kent said. “We’re going to see results, but that long-term goal, and checking off every box, is a longer journey.” That said, the leading Quality Services Management Offices have done “tons of work” since the summer, Kent said. Dave Nyczepir has more.

The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress gets another year

The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress's charter was extended Thursday to the end of the 116th Congress, adding almost another year to its life. The committee was originally set to expire Feb. 1, 2020. Now it will be able to continue its work until Jan. 3, 2021. "It’s important to get Congress working better on behalf of the American people," Chairman Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Vice Chairman Tom Graves, R-Ga., said in a statement. "We are grateful to our colleagues, House leadership, civic groups and the American people for seeing the value of this work and ensuring the progress continues over the next year." Tajha has this one.

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