Re-Imagining Government Supply Chain Management

This spring, the concept of supply chains became a household discussion as families searched high and low for household staples like toilet paper, flour, and hand soap. However, supply chain for government is more complex than the supply and demand driven model for consumer goods. Government supply chains involve monitoring for security and foreign involvement. This means knowing where all parts of a solution were manufactured, programmed, and assembled.

Gregory C. Wilshusen, director of information security issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, noted that "supply chains can be long, complex, and globally distributed and can consist of multiple outsourcing tiers. As a result, agencies may have little visibility into, understanding of, or control over how the technology that they acquire is developed, integrated, and deployed."

This lack of visibility is due in part to incomplete vendor reporting. Not only do vendors have to manage all the pieces of their solution, but they themselves may be managed by multiple organizations in an agency. Reporting happens through numerous tools and is siloed, making it difficult to get a full picture of the chain that led to the delivery of a solution to a government agency.

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Introducing Drones into the Government Toolkit

DroneFrom military missions to public safety applications to infrastructure inspections, drones have many applications across government. While the technology is ready for all of these applications (and more), there are complex regulatory and legal issues that are holding up their widespread use. These issues include airspace regulations (for the safety of manned and unmanned flights), privacy concerns (related to on-board cameras), and cybersecurity concerns.

While these issues are being discussed in the courts and across regulatory bodies, state and federal level agencies are taking steps to integrate drone usage into their processes. For federal agencies, drones are available on the GSA Schedule. State and local organizations are piloting a drone-as-a-service model that allows groups to use drones for specific-use cases without having to invest in the purchase and maintenance of the hardware.

There are a number of upcoming events that address both the technology and the policies that impact current and future drone usage. Continue reading

Department Spotlight: DoD – More Money, More Opportunity?

With the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 passing in February, the defense discretionary funding cap was increased by $80 billion in FY2018 and $85 billion in FY2019. The DoD now has over $700 billion in their budget. This type of legislation is not unprecedented with BBAs issued in 2013 and 2015. However, the 2018 deal does stand out in terms of the amount of money added to funding caps.

So what are defense agencies doing with this influx of federal dollars? According to research from Market Connections, two thirds of Defense decision makers say that money will go toward projects that have been stalled due to budget disagreements and continuing resolutions. This means that agencies are not necessarily investing in net new work, rather using the influx to put existing plans and programs into action. Those projects getting the kick start range widely, with a large portion involving cybersecurity, modernization initiatives, and training. Continue reading

We Want You…To Mark your Calendar

The landscape for battle is shifting quickly. From the emergence of cyber warfare to the physical battlefield moving from fields into cities, our military is undergoing a huge transformation. Additionally, military spending priorities are rapidly changing and military professionals are expected to pursue continuing education and specializations. Luckily there is a wide array of events tailored for the armed forces.[Tweet "View the wide array of events tailored for the armed forces and #DoD #GovEventsBlog"]

We wanted to highlights some of the major events that should be on the calendars of anyone involved with the DoD. Continue reading

The Treats of Cybersecurity Month

The scariest thing in the month of October used to be Halloween. Since first being recognized as cybersecurity awareness month in 2004, October has served to educate the public about the very real threats in cyberspace.[Tweet "The Treats of Cybersecurity Month - Protect yourself from the threats in cyberspace #GovEventsBlog"]

Spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the cyber events held nationwide throughout October serve to engage and educate public and private sector partners and raise awareness about cybersecurity. These events aim to provide tools and resources needed to stay safe online, increasing the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. DHS has organized the weeks of the month around themes to help direct this education. This year's themes are:

  • Week 1: October 3-7, 2016 - Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety with Stop.Think.Connect.™
  • Week 2: October 10-14, 2016 - Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room
  • Week 3: October 17-21, 2016 - Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime
  • Week 4: October 24-28, 2016 - Our Continuously Connected Lives: What's Your 'App'-titude?
  • Week 5: October 31, 2016 - Building Resilience in Critical Infrastructure

We wanted to highlight a number of the events taking place across the nation throughout the month of October that will tackle these tough and important topics.[Tweet "Take a look at some of the events taking place during Cybersecurity Month. #GovEventsBlog"] Continue reading