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GovWin Recon - May 15, 2015

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts.

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Waste, Fraud and Abuse:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Legislation:

State and Local:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

GovWin Recon - May 14, 2015

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts. 

Sequestration / Budget:

 

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Health IT:

Big Data / Analytics:

Mobility:

Transparency and Performance:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Legislation:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

 

The Hunt for the New Duct Tape – New Defense Cyber Strategy Looks to Cyber R&D

The Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, announced last week the release of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) new Cyber Strategy aimed at improving the their cyber capabilities. One theme focuses on leveraging cybersecurity research and development (R&D) to accelerate these capabilities. So how much money might DoD be directing toward cyber R&D?

New Defense Cyber Strategy Overview

The stated purpose of the new Department of Defense Cyber Strategy is to guide the development of DoD's cyber forces and strengthen its cyber defense and cyber deterrence posture. The strategy focuses on building cyber capabilities and organizations for DoD’s three cyber missions: defend DoD networks, systems, and information; defend the United States and its interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.

The strategy sets five strategic goals and establishes specific objectives for DoD to achieve over the next five years and beyond.

  1. Build and maintain ready forces and capabilities to conduct cyberspace operations
  2. Defend the DoD information network, secure DoD data, and mitigate risks to DoD missions
  3. Be prepared to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. vital interests from disruptive or destructive cyberattacks of significant consequence
  4. Build and maintain viable cyber options and plan to use those options to control conflict escalation and to shape the conflict environment at all stages
  5. Build and maintain robust international alliances and partnerships to deter shared threats and increase international security and stability

Cybersecurity Research and Development

Under the first strategic goal in the area of building technical capabilities for cyber operations the DoD is setting an objective to accelerate innovative cyber research and development (R&D) to build their cyber capabilities, looking to both the existing DoD R&D community and to established and emerging private sector partners for help in developing “leap-ahead technologies” that can aid U.S. cyber-defenses. To that end, DoD plans to focus its basic and applied R&D on developing cyber capabilities to expand the capacity of overall cyber workforce.

What might cyber-focused R&D look like in budgetary terms across the DoD? Looking at the FY 2016 Defense Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) budget books gives a general sense of magnitude and relative distribution of recent and proposed budget dollars. Reviewing the various RDT&E budget artifacts for Army, Air Force, Navy, and the Defense Agencies and searching for key terms like cybersecurity, information assurance, and information security identifies dozens of programs that are primarily directed at cybersecurity (and several more that appear cybersecurity-related.)

Looking at just the programs that appear directly cybersecurity-focused in the FY 2016 DoD RDT&E budget shows that the department budgeted nearly $780 million in FY 2014, with that level increasing to more than $1.1 billion in FY 2015 and FY2016. Further, the Air Force and DARPA have been the major players in the cyber R&D area for DoD, accounting for $844 million (72%) of the total $1.17 billion in FY 2016 requested funding. (See chart below.)


 

Implications

The R&D dollars depicted above are just part of the story. There is other cyber-related R&D spending embedded in larger efforts that contain cybersecurity elements or impacts, but ferreting out those dollars is gets tricky and can be even more imprecise. The point here is to get a sense of the size of the overall investment and where these dollars tend to be directed.

While it is important to recognize that not all of these dollars will be spent on contracts with industry partners for R&D services and technologies, the fact remains that the sustained need by DoD for more advanced cyber technologies and tools is likely to grow in both real terms and in proportion to other R&D areas. In fact, the investment in this push for greater cyber tools may easily outpace the growth rate for other areas of contractor-addressable cybersecurity within DoD. This is especially true in the support services area as the DoD strives to develop thousands of uniformed cybersecurity personnel in the coming years.

One thing seems for certain, the DoD recognizes its need to cover a lot of ground quickly when it comes to improving its cybersecurity capabilities and posture and they are looking to harness creative energies to address the need. In many ways, it’s not unlike past challenges where they have looked to partners in industry and elsewhere to come up with creative solutions. Who knows? Soon we could be looking at the cyber equivalent of duct tape.

GovWin Recon - May 13, 2015

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts.

 

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Mobility/Communications:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

Legislation/Policy:

State and Local:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

 

New Guidance Targets Federal Supply Chain Risk Management Practices

Federal agencies are increasingly relying on commercially provided systems to advance capabilities and deliver cost savings. However, globalization and increasing complexity of technology increases the risks of threats to technology supply chains such as theft, tampering, poor development practices, as well as counterfeit and malicious hardware or software components. In April 2015, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) published new guidance on securing federal information technology supply chains.

The NIST information and communications technology supply chain risk management (ICT SCRM) program began in 2008 by kicking off development of risk management practices for non-national security information systems aligned with Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative aiming to address global supply chain concerns. In 2012, NIST published an interagency report on methods and practices for supply chain risk management for federal information systems. The interagency report and related activities contributed to the drafting process for this new guidance.

The special publication, “Supply Chain Risk Management Practices for Federal Information Systems and Organizations,” notes that federal information systems and networks are increasingly complex. These systems and networks are composed of information and communications technology (ICT) products and services acquired through suppliers, system integrators, and external service providers.  In order to manage ICT supply chain risks, the integrity, security, and resilience of the supply chain must be ensured as well as the quality of products and services. The new guidance aims to help government organizations understand the risks around ICT and identify approaches to mitigate threats and vulnerabilities. Specifically, the document outlines steps for identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks throughout the ICT supply chain. These guidelines offer an approach to supply chain risk management that addresses key areas around foundational practices, organization-wide implementation, integration with the overall risk management process, and identification of priority components and/or systems.

The processes and controls in the guidance can be augmented with organization-specific requirements (e.g. from policies, guidelines, and other documents) to enable organizations to develop technology supply chain risk management mitigation strategies that are tailored to their needs. The guidance does not provide contract language or a complete list of supply chain risk management methods and techniques to mitigate specific threats. While these guidelines have been specified for federal agencies, the recommendations could be applied to all sectors. Contractors can expect to start seeing language related to supply chain risk management in requests for proposals as agencies adopt the approach.

 

Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about GovWinIQ. Follow me on twitter @FIAGovWin.

New GSA Pricing Rule Met with Wariness from Industry

The General Service Administration’s (GSA) proposal to amend acquisition rules to collect contractor pricing information is raising concerns across industry. The change was proposed in March 2015, and a public meeting was held mid-April to discuss the impact. 

The March 2015 Federal Register announcement explained that, “GSA is creating a Common Acquisition Platform (CAP), an online marketplace to identify best-in-class contracts issued by GSA or other agencies, best practices, and other information agencies need to reduce the proliferation of duplicative contract vehicles and deliver the best value possible to federal customers and the American people. A critical component of the CAP, and smarter buying in general, is the availability of the prices previously paid by other government buyers for a similar product or service under similar terms and conditions. Government buyers will be able to use that data, in combination with other relevant information—such as customer satisfaction with the performance of the contractor-furnished solution—to determine fair and reasonable pricing as part of a best value solution.”

The proposed rule would introduce a transactional data reporting clause that would support GSA’s price analysis and better determine reasonable pricing for Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) and non-FSS vehicles. This clause would take immediate effect for GSA’s government-wide non-FSS vehicles. FSS vehicles would introduce the change in phases. Although government customers have benefited from price reductions in the past, these have typically resulted from voluntary clauses like market rate pricing, rather than from mandatory customer tracking. GSA completed analysis of modifications for nine of its FSS contracts from October 1, 2013 until August 4, 2014. These contract vehicles included several favored by agencies for IT products and services: Schedule 70, Mission Oriented Business Integrated Solutions (MOBIS), and Professional Engineering Services. Findings from this analysis revealed that only about 3 percent of price reductions were linked to the customer tracking. Most decreases (around 78 percent) resulted from adjustments to commercial pricelists and market rate changes. GSA concluded that the findings supported attempting a different approach to making better pricing available.

During the public meeting on April 17, leadership from GSA indicated that the changes to acquisition rules would help the agency clear hurdles it faces with growing contracts, price variation across vehicles, lack of transparency and outdated guidelines. Once the transactional data reporting clause is implemented, the organization anticipates benefits including better pricing, administrative savings, increased opportunities for small business participation, and standardization of practice. GSA’s Kevin Youel-Page informed attendees that in early May the Federal Acquisition Service will launch an improved automated price reductions tool for schedule contract holders. 

Federal News Radio and FCW reported on reactions from industry, suggesting a mixed reception. Despite cautious optimism, concerns persist around the security of vendor data, the cost of information collection systems, as well as potential unintended consequences related to new policies. The Common Acquisition Platform is one of several efforts GSA has introduced to improve federal acquisition. Other initiatives including activities aligned with contract data analysis and category management. As these projects work to deliver greater savings to government buyers, GSA leadership has expressed interest in working with industry to better understand the burdens and implications of adopting an increasingly data-driven approach to acquisition.

 

Originally published for Federal Industry Analysis: Analysts Perspectives Blog. Stay ahead of the competition by discovering more about GovWinIQ. Follow me on twitter @FIAGovWin.

 

VA Cyber Threats Growing Exponentially

According to numbers released by VA for March cyber attacks, VA’s cyber threat level has quadrupled since November. VA experienced 1.2 billion attempts to plant malware on its networks in March, up from 330 million four months prior. Nearly 360 million intrusion attempts were blocked in the same time period, up from just 15 million in November.

Fortunately, all threats were blocked or contained and no veteran information was compromised.  However, "At some point we will be overwhelmed? at some point the huge volume and the number will basically start breaking things on us," said VA CIO Stephen Warren during  a monthly press call on April 30th.

VA uses DHS’ Einstein intrusion protection system to ward off cyber threats and is taking advantage of all new enhancements as they are released, according to Warren. "To deal with the continued exponential growth in the threat, we've been basically continuing to build on our defense-in-depth, as well as some of the continuous monitoring tools we have in place," said Warren.

According to the annual FISMA report to Congress for FY 2014, VA raised its information security continuous monitoring score 19% from the prior year to 96% in FY 2014. However, VA scored low for detecting and blocking unauthorized software (0%), data protection mobile asset encryption (5%), data protection anti-spoofing (0%),and TIC traffic consolidation (57%). VA’s overall FISMA cybersecurity assessment score has fallen only slightly from 81% in FY 2012 to 80% in FY 2014 and is categorized as yellow status.

VA is requesting an increase in the FY 2016 budget for a total of $30M in its cybersecurity operational account.  However, cybersecurity is embedded in the entire VA budget:  $53M on cyber as a program, $70M for networks operation center, $30M for continued readiness and information security, and $10M for privacy and records management.  Warren hopes that Congress takes note of the threat level and the need for funding to support data security within the department. 

 

GovWin Recon - May 12, 2015

GovWin Recon, produced by Deltek's Federal Industry Analysis (FIA) team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the issues impacting the government and the contractors that serve it. Recon highlights key developments surrounding government technology, policy, budget and vendor activities.

Headlines beginning with an * include quotes from Deltek analysts.

Sequestration / Budget:

Federal IT:

Agency News:

Vendor News:

Cybersecurity:

Cloud Computing / Data Center Consolidation / Virtualization:

Health IT:

Transparency and Performance:

Defense / C4ISR / Embedded Technology:

Contracting / Acquisition:

State and Local:

AEC News:

GovWin Recon is Deltek's daily newsletter highlighting federal government contracting news and analysis from around the government contracting world. Get it delivered to your e-mail inbox, free!

Big Data Investments are Accelerating across the DoD

In a recent blog posting that received wide industry attention, I detailed how the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investing big money in research and development efforts related to big data.  An observation discussed in that post concerned the fact that advanced analytics and technologies like distributed computing are becoming entwined with modern, networked weapons systems. The incorporation of big data is a function not only of the growing complexity of weapons, but also of the command and control capabilities that today’s U.S. military is employing.  Facing a falling number of military personnel, all branches of the Defense establishment are turning to networked and unmanned weapons commanded and controlled from a distance to offset the strain on American fighting power.

In this context, DARPA’s R&D efforts are the “tip of the spear” when it comes to figuring out how big data technology can enhance combat capabilities.  DARPA is not the only Defense organization, however, that is dedicating R&D dollars in this area. The military services are also investing and in general the funding flowing into those research efforts is growing annually.

 

As the numbers in the chart above demonstrate, all of the military services are funding R&D efforts related to big data.  The data in the table above reflects projects in the FY 2016 Defense Research, Development, Test, and Enhancement (RDT&E) budget request that are dedicated primarily to some type of big data R&D.  Put otherwise, developing a big data-related capability is the primary objective of the effort. In addition to these primary efforts, there is a plethora of other research programs that include big data technologies as part of the effort.  The FY 2016 requested funding numbers for those programs with a related big data component are shown below.


What to make of these figures?

First, when the primary objective of a project (Table 1) is developing a big data solution, the Navy is leading the way among the military services.  A big reason for this is the Navy’s push to employ unmanned systems – aerial, surface, and undersea – on a much greater scale than at present.  The development of these systems requires an incredible amount of money, with work focused on enhanced C2 capabilities, cyber security, and analytics for parsing intel data gathered by these systems.  This trend is in evidence in the Air Force and Army as well, just not to the extent it is in the Navy, so if your company works in this area, it is a green field.

Second, from FY 2015 to FY 2016, the Army intends to nearly double its investment in primary big data related R&D (Table 1), reflecting a focus on parsing intel data and on utilizing big data for cyber security operations, especially automated network monitoring and defensive response.

Third, the Air Force is the only service that will see investment in primary big data R&D fall in FY 2016. This is due to some slight cuts in multi-source fusion technologies research and in the evaluation of advanced countermeasure concepts.  When it comes to big data R&D related to other efforts (Table 2), the total planned investment grows significantly, with a special focus on the automation of complex networks, analysis and use of sensor fusion technology, and exploitation of intel data.

In conclusion, looking at this one piece of the DoD big data market we can see that the military services intend to spend at least $159 million in FY 2016 on R&D related primarily to a big data objective.  At most, they intend to spend almost $725 million, if we count programs with a related big data component.  Keep in mind that these numbers do not include present investments in operations and maintenance and procurement programs. Big data R&D is thus a growing area of Defense IT spending in an otherwise flat market.

 

April Line-Up: What's New This Month - Deltek's Top 20 Federal Opportunities for FY 2015

While there were no solicitations released from Deltek's list of annual top federal opportunities for FY 2015 this month, there were two opportunities that had significant announcements published:

· The contracting office for the State Department's WPS-2 issued a pre-solicitation notice on April 17; the pre-solicitation conference is scheduled for May 22.

· The Army announced in the Tactical Network Industry Forum Slides that the CHS-5 draft RFP is expected to be released in December 2015.

Also worth noting is that solicitation release dates were delayed for four opportunities. Details are provided below, with each opportunity's original rank in the Top 20 Federal Opportunities for FY 2015 report and a link to additional details available in GovWin IQ.

Solicitations Released to Date: Nine

#12 GNS: RFP released on April 1, proposals due June 1, 2015. –GovWin IQ# 118117

#2 RS3: The solicitation for the $37.4B procurement was released on March 25, with proposals due May 6. Up to 50 awards are expected in July. –GovWin IQ# 54023

#9 ESPC: The solicitation was released on March 23, with proposals due May 13, 2015. –GovWin IQ# 109872

#20 ICP Core: The solicitation was released March 13; proposals are due May 12, 2015. The government anticipates an award in October 2015. –GovWin IQ# 44732

#16 M&O of the National Security Campus Formerly Known as the Kansas City Plant: Solicitation released December 12; proposals due February 10, 2015. –GovWin IQ# 45419

#7 CFT: Solicitation released on December 2; proposals due February 3, 2015. –GovWin IQ# 66838

#3 T4NG: Solicitation released on November 19; proposals due December 19, 2014. – GovWin IQ# 104683

#11 KC10 CLS Engine Support: Solicitation released on November 7; proposals due January 28, 2015. –GovWin IQ# 88677

#19 KC10 CLS Airframe Support: Solicitation released on November 7; proposals due January 28, 2015. –GovWin IQ# 65969

Solicitations Pushed to Later Date:

#10 HCaTS: On May 4, the contracting office stated that the final solicitations are now anticipated to be released by the end of June 2015. Previously, the solicitations had been anticipated to be released on May 19. Deltek has updated the opportunity report milestones accordingly. For more information on the HCaTS unrestricted vehicle, please refer to Opportunity Report ID: 121350. For more information on the HCaTS SB vehicle, please refer to Opportunity Report ID: 121353. –GovWin IQ# 113795

#17 ProTech: The contracting office stated that the draft RFP is slated to be issued in Summer 2015 with the final RFP being released in late 2015. As a result, Deltek changed its anticipated solicitation release date from May 2015 to November 2015. –GovWin IQ# 78803

#18 IRES: The contracting office announced new dates for the IRES acquisition. A draft RFP is anticipated to be issued in August 2015. Industry Day #2, the Site Visit, and one-on-one meetings are anticipated to be held in August. The pre-proposal conference is scheduled to be held and the final RFP is anticipated to be released in January 2016. Deltek has updated the opportunity report milestones accordingly.–GovWin IQ# 42435

#14 ESD II: According to information provided by the CMS OSDBU, a draft RFP may be posted in early May 2015 for industry review and feedback. An Industry Day may take place in early June 2015 and the final RFP may be released in mid June 2015. All of these dates are subject to change. Deltek is confirming the dates with the contracting office and has changed the estimated solicitation date from May 2015 to June 2015. –GovWin IQ# 118153

Updated Quick View of Deltek's Top 20 Federal Opportunities for FY 2015 *Government Estimate

RANK

AGENCY

PROGRAM NAME

DELTEK EST. RFP DATE

DELTEK EST. AWD DATE

DELTEK EST. VALUE

GovWin IQ ID

1

GSA

ALLIANT II UNRESTRICTED

Nov-15

Jul-17

$50 Billion

106639

2

Army

RESPONSIVE STRATEGIC SOURCING FOR SERVICES (RS3)

Mar 25, 2015 Released

Jul-15*

$37 Billion

54023

3

VA

TRANSFORMATION TWENTY ONE TOTAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM NEXT GENERATION (T4NG)

Nov 19, 2014 Released

Dec-15*

$22.3 Billion*

104683

4

DOD

DEFENSE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES GENERATION I IDIQ (DHITS GEN I)

Oct-15

Jun-16

$10 Billion*

53177

5

Army

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS 3 SERVICES (ITES-3S CHESS)

Sep-15

Dec-16

$12 Billion*

64990

6

DOD

ENCORE III

Sep-15

May-16

$12.2 Billion

110485

7

USAF

CONTRACT FIELD TEAM MAINTENANCE (CFT)

Dec 2, 2014 Released

Jan-16*

$11.4 Billion*

66838

8

State

WORLDWIDE PERSONAL PROTECTION SERVICES 2 (WPS2)

May-15

Sep-15

$10 Billion

93195

9

DOE

ENERGY SAVINGS PERFORMANCE CONTRACT (ESPC)

Mar 23, 2015 Released

Dec-15

$1.0 Billion

109872

10

GSA

HUMAN CAPITAL AND TRAINING SOLUTIONS (HCaTS)

June-15*

Dec-15*

$5 Billion

113795

11

USAF

KC10A CONTRACTOR LOGISTICS SUPPORT ENGINE SUPPORT CONTRACT

Nov 7, 2014 Released

Apr-16

$4.4 Billion*

88677

12

DOD

GLOBAL NETWORK SERVICES (GNS)

April 1, 2015 Released

Dec-15

$4.0 Billion*

118117

13

GSA

NORTHEAST INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS (NIS)(NS2020)

Jul-15

Mar-16

$4.0 Billion*

105781

14

HHS

ENTERPRISE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT UMBRELLA (ESD-II)

Jun-15

Sep-15

$4.0 Billion

118153

15

Army

COMMON HARDWARE SYSTEMS 5 (CHS-5)

Feb-16

Aug-16

$2.5 Billion

96504

16

DOE

MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY CAMPUS FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE KANSAS CITY PLANT

Dec 12, 2014 Released

Jun-16

$9.0 Billion

45419

17

Commerce

PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT SERVICES CONTRACT VEHICLE (PRO-TECH)

Nov-15

Apr-16

$3.0 Billion*

78803

18

DOD

INTEGRATED RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT FOR ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS (IRES)

Jan-16*

Aug-16*

$5.8 Billion*

42435

19

USAF

KC10A CONTRACTOR LOGISTICS SUPPORT DEPOT MAINTENANCE AIRFRAME CONTRACT

Nov 7, 2014 Released

Apr-16

$2.3 Billion*

65969

20

DOE

AEC IDAHO CLEAN CONTRACT CORE PROJECT (ICP CORE)

Mar 13, 2015 Released

Jan-16

$1.58 Billion*

44732

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