Industry experts share insights on federal tech trends for the new year, a group of senators are working to ensure that contractors will be paid back when funding is passed, and California governor promotes a new procurement tool that allows for solution development and collaboration. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for January 18, 2019.
One of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first acts after inauguration was to sign an executive order creating a new path for state agencies to buy technology, pushing procurement in a more modern direction. The four-page document promotes a new procurement tool that allows for solution development and collaboration on the front end of the process, instead of requiring payment before service delivery. “We do need other pathways, and the way that procurement is constrained these days does mean that often, we cannot get to the innovative solutions that we need …” said Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America, and the previous deputy chief technology officer for government innovation at the White House.
Changes underway in acquisitions look to streamline programs and emphasize funding for the Army’s top priorities. Bruce Jette has served as the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology, and during that time he helped shepherd the Army’s efforts to modernize following almost two decades of war. In the last year, the Army embarked on several major modernization goals, creating cross-functional teams for major priorities and the new four-star Army Futures Command, the first such effort in decades. Last week, Jette sat down to discuss the Army’s ongoing modernization work.
Several industry experts have cited technology platforms and trends they expect to play a role in the federal government in 2019. Take a look at what these experts are keeping an eye on, from the adoption of hybrid cloud architectures and proactive cybersecurity measures to how lawmakers would take part in efforts to identify challenges to AI adoption.
Federal contractors have never before been reimbursed for lost wages in the same way that federal employees have after a shutdown has ended, but a group of Democratic senators are working to ensure that contractors struggling to make ends meet will be paid back when funding is passed. The legislation would provide a path for reimbursement for contractor wages not paid during the government shutdown. “There are also hundreds of thousands of other hardworking people, all of you in this room, who are essential to providing support to the federal government and allowing it to do what it does on behalf of the American people,” said Chris Van Hollen, (D-Md.) at a roundtable with impacted contract workers.
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