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Arrieta to step down at HHS

Department of Health and Human Services CIO Jose Arrieta has submitted his resignation. It's not clear exactly when Arrieta will leave the role. His departure also leaves HHS without a chief data officer — a role he assumed in an acting capacity until one could be hired — amid the ongoing pandemic. His plate has been full in recent months heading the creation of HHS Protect, a platform compiling data from now more than 225 public and private systems to track and limit COVID-19’s spread. But that project has come under scrutiny recently for pushing out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its role leading reporting on the spread of the disease. Dave Nyczepir has more.

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A waiver for Huawei ban

The Pentagon will get a temporary waiver as it adjusts to the new law banning agencies from doing business with companies that have Chinese technology in their supply chain. The waiver, granted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will allow DOD to continue to purchase basic “low risk, high volume items” from contractors whose supply chains may include tech made by the banned Chinese companies through the end of September. A Pentagon spokeswoman said: "the waiver for low risk, high volume items ... will allow us to ensure the significant end of year activity can proceed without major interruption.” Jackson Barnett has this one.

Testing a new "color of money"

The DOD has been developing a new "color of money" for software for several years now. And soon, the department will start pilots to test out the new concept, Undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said. The new concept would allow contracting officers to purchase software under its own “budget activity,” BA-8, designed for an agile procurement process rather than conforming to existing regulations on spending established for hardware purchases. The new “policy will reflect a substantial departure from the way of doing things in DOD,” Lord said. More on FedScoop.

Final zero trust guidance

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is out with new zero-trust architecture guidance that gives agencies a foundation for security as they modernize IT. NIST has been previewing the guidance for several months, and in this final version, it added a section on the tenets of zero trust, such as securing communication regardless of network location and considering data sources and computing services to be resources for the technology. More from Dave.


From AI to chatbots, tech shines in agencies’ COVID-19 response

AI-enabled tools are helping federal agencies respond to the spike in people seeking information and services. At first, many agencies saw a major uptick in citizens just wanting more information about the virus. And quickly, that transitioned into Americans seeking services like unemployment benefits with hundreds of thousands of people in certain states calling for information. Google Cloud’s Jeff Brown addresses the importance of cloud-based tools to manage service needs. Hear the full discussion.

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