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GSA released an RFI on the agency’s plan to consolidate its 24 existing schedules into one contract vehicle and plans for a civilian DEOS cloud contract for agencies’ back-office functions. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for June 14, 2019.

GSA Releases RFI on Schedule Consolidation

The General Services Administration (GSA) released a request for information (RFI) last week on the agency’s plan to consolidate its 24 existing schedules into one contract vehicle, including a draft version of the terms and conditions for the new Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). GSA’s plan to consolidate its schedules aims to allow vendors to bid on more contracts by allowing them to add any applicable special item numbers (SINs) without needing a new contract on another schedule. “Our goal is to reduce the administrative burden for all who interact with GSA schedules, and this RFI will allow us to further hear from industry on the needs of today’s buyers and sellers,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in a statement.

Lessons from Federal Blockchain Projects

Projects at a handful of agencies are teaching officials about potential hurdles that could slow widespread government adoption of blockchain. Challenges in data sharing and employee education are slowing widespread adoption of this emerging tech. Panelists currently working on such projects said during Booz Allen Hamilton’s “Bringing Blockchain into Government” event that interagency data sharing and employee education are critical tenets of successful blockchain projects at the federal level.

House Approps Allocate $63.8B to DHS, Emphasize Cybersecurity, IT Modernization

The House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee allocated $63.8 billion in its draft of the FY2020 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget, including increased funding to efforts to bolster cybersecurity, election security, and new IT and border security technologies. The subcommittee notably provided increased funding to support DHS’ cybersecurity mission. The bill provides $2 billion for the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), an increase from the $1.6 billion provided both in the FY2019 allocation and the White House budget request. The overall Continuous Diagnostics Mitigation (CDM) program also received $134.9 million more than the White House request, including funds to accelerate data protection and dashboard development, support federal network infrastructure modernization, and accelerate CISA’s mobile device protection deployments.

Looking Three Steps Ahead: Illinois Takes on Emerging Tech

Private-sector veteran Ron Guerrier is not only Illinois CIO, but also its head of innovation, meaning his charge is to maintain existing systems while also looking out for what new tech will add value to the state. “First and foremost, my job is to ensure that we meet all the technology needs of my agency peers as well as the residents of the great state of Illinois. That is what I have done in the past: keep the trains running and make sure everything is operational so that people can do their jobs,” he said. “Things are evolving quickly when it comes to technology and I have to make sure we are looking three steps over the horizon,” he said about also serving as secretary of Innovation and Technology.

GSA Plans Civilian DEOS Cloud Contract for Agencies’ Back-Office Functions

The Defense Department’s (DOD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract has been receiving attention in recent months, but the DOD has also been pursuing another contract in parallel to JEDI, known as DEOS, or Defense Enterprise Office Solution. The DEOS contract is designed to modernize several legacy DOD IT systems by moving them into the commercial cloud. The goal is to shift the department to “common communication, collaboration, and productivity capabilities that are mission-effective, efficient, more widely accessible, and facilitate DoD operations worldwide,” according to a contract solicitation document released in January. Now, the General Services Administration (GSA) is looking to implement a similar vehicle for the civilian side of the federal government. Alan Thomas, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said the coming Civilian Enterprise Office Solution (CEOS) is still in the “early stages” of development. They will look to gain similar efficiencies via the cloud as DEOS and will focus on standardizing enterprise functions, Thomas said.

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