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COMET gains momentum

The General Services Administration has kicked off the modernization of its backend procurement systems. The agency recently started awarding task orders on the multimillion-dollar COMET contract — short for Chief Information Officer Modernization and Enterprise Transformation, the follow-up to its the $400-million CIO Application Maintenance, Enhancements, and Operations (CAMEO) project. GSA awarded 12 spots on the COMET blanket purchase agreement to eight large and four small businesses, one of the latter being Northern Virginia-based national security contractor Sevatec, which recently won a $116 million task order to upgrade and develop new apps for the Federal Acquisition Service within GSA. Dave Nyczepir has more on COMET.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

What's new for USA Staffing?

FedScoop got an exclusive look at the work the Office of Personnel Management has planned for the USA Staffing program in 2020. USA Staffing integrates programmatically and technically with 15 governmentwide HR systems including the USAJOBS federal hiring portal and USA Hire platform for advanced assessments of applicants. And the program is eyeing 14 more. On tap for this year are DHS’s employment verification system, E-Verify, and the Pentagon’s NBIS — being developed to expedite the issuance and review of security clearances. Dave has this too.

DIU wants cloud access ideas

Sick of traditional, bottlenecked cloud access points? It seems like the Department of Defense is too. The Defense Innovation Unit recently issued a call for solutions briefs from commercial companies to pitch ideas for an “alternative cloud security gateway." Qualified vendors will be asked to create a prototype that can support at least 500 users and 1,000 endpoints through the gateway, and show evidence that it can scale to 500,000 users and 1 million endpoints in full production. Those vendors will be asked to pitch their solutions to DIU in Silicon Valley. Billy Mitchell has the details.

Congress does have tech experts

It's been a popular idea this year to urge Congress to revive its Office of Technology Assessment. But according to a new report from the nonpartisan National Academy of Public Administration, maybe that's not so necessary. Rather, it says, Congress’ best avenue toward increased science and technology capacity lies in enhancing the capabilities of the advisers it already has — like the Congressional Research Service and the Government Accountability Office. Tajha Chappellet-Lanier has more on the report.

WATCH: USCIS’s Adrian Monza on powering new capabilities in the cloud

The Citizenship and Immigration Services deputy CISO reflects on how decomposing big applications — and adopting open source APIs, microservices and cloud-based functions-as-a-service — have helped USCIS migrate to the cloud faster and deliver new IT services that wouldn’t have been possible using on-premises systems. Watch Monza’s full conversation here.

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