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Contractors want deadline extension for Huawei ban

Some contractors worry that new requirements to rid their networks of products from Huawei, ZTE and other federally blacklisted Chinese companies could cause be a financial death sentence during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Section 889 part B of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act forbids all government agencies from entering or re-entering into contracts with companies that use the banned Chinese tech come August 2020. According to a letter from the Professional Services Council and National Defense Industrial Association, the companies they represent are worried about the added cost of scrubbing their networks during the ongoing economic downturn. They want the deadline to be delayed until at least February 2021. "Securing supply chains against subtle, determined, and sophisticated adversaries remains essential for national security,” reads the letter. “By granting this request for an extended timeline, the defense industrial base will be in a better position to continue delivering uncompromised support for national defense objectives, even during this unprecedented crisis.” Jackson Barnett has more from the letter.

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.

DHS procurement lab needs platform to help scale

The Department of Homeland Security has been looking for innovative ways to improve acquisition, and now it wants a knowledge management platform to help document what it's learning and share that across government. DHS hopes to find a “single, scalable” solution that coaches within its Procurement Innovation Lab and the acquisition teams that participate in the program can use to “manage workload in a consistent manner in order to make it easy to quickly find other PIL projects and documents while also allowing for comprehensive data analysis and the ability to run visually engaging reports on that data.” DHS emphasizes that the ideal knowledge management solution would likely be cloud-based to support the remote nature of PIL coaches and for the ability to scale across government. Billy Mitchell has the scoop.

Government needs digital identity infrastructure now more than ever

The isolated nature of the coronavirus pandemic has shown the risk of depending on only traditional, face-to-face transaction channels for identity verification. Isolation highlights the problems of organizations lacking digital onboarding strategies, especially digital authentication, when a person can’t prove their identity face-to-face, said Kaitlin Asrow, fintech policy adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The financial sector could be best suited to lead the drive to widespread digital identity verification. “We need to actually develop these networks, come to a consensus on the different pieces of information that we want to use to build identities,” Asrow said during a KNOW Identity digital forum last week. Dave Nyczepir has more.

A rough outlook for EIS

The Government Accountability Office isn't optimistic about the federal government's move to a new telecommunications contract, worrying that it may result in service disruptions and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost cost savings as agencies modernize their networks. GAO is out with a new report on the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions after surveying 19 agencies that spent at least $10 million on their EIS transitions in fiscal 2018. It found that only one, the Small Business Administration, issued all its expected task orders by the Sept. 30 deadline. “By waiting until close to the end of the current contracts to finish the transition, these agencies are at risk of experiencing disruptions in service if any issues arise that result in transition delays, such as inadequate human capital resources or the need to transition previously unidentified services,” the report says. Dave has the GAO report.

PODCAST: Federal IT and the coronavirus

We're back with a new episode of Let’s Talk About IT — but this one is a little different. Instead of inviting on a government official or a lauded technology expert, this time, we’re dedicating an entire episode of the podcast to our coverage of the coronavirus on FedScoop. Editor Billy Mitchell hosts the FedScoop editorial team of Dave Nyczepir and Jackson Barnett in a discussion about the biggest stories they’ve been covering since the coronavirus pandemic upended normal federal operations in mid-March. Listen now to the new episode.

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