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VA CIO joins Let's Talk About IT

Department of Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer joins FedScoop for a new episode of the Let's Talk About IT podcast. On this episode, Gfrerer details the VA's IT response to COVID-19, including continuity of operations, keeping the workforce secure, and the long-term effects on the department's telework stance. He called the pandemic a "black swan" event: "It’s a one-in-a-century event. The notion of a black swan is…nothing in the sum total of your knowledge or your experience in your life has really prepared you to address this. You have to think very critically, very differently, and so we’ve all had to bring that mindset to the effort.” Listen now.

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.

MetTel wins pair of EIS contracts

MetTel scored a pair of task orders worth $230 million from the General Services Administration to modernize its data network and voice services. Awarded under the $50 billion governmentwide Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, GSA‘s Infrastructure and Communications Solutions (GICS) task orders will deliver a secure, fully-meshed Internet Protocol network. So far in 2020, MetTel has also won EIS task orders from the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security. More from Dave Nyczepir.

TikTok could soon be banned from federal devices

After President Trump floated the idea of banning Chinese-owned TikTok in the U.S., the Senate has now passed legislation to ban its use on federal devices. The bill's passage Thursday also follows in the footsteps of actions several federal agencies, including the U.S. Army, Transportation Security Agency, State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, have already taken to ban TikTok from use on government devices. The House passed a similar measure as in its version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. Billy Mitchell has the latest.

Air Force reinvents IT vendor engagement during COVID-19

For Air Force Deputy Chief Information Technology Officer Rob Beutel, there was at least one silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic: It's forced the service to change the way it interacts with IT vendors, and he thinks it's for the better. Beutel and others used to keep Fridays clear so they could visit vendors for demonstrations of new IT tools. Now, vendors are only a video call away, any day of the week. “There is no way we can go back,” he said. Jackson Barnett has the story from the Air Force.

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