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NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Remains at Risk of Cyber Attacks

The problems with cybersecurity controls that contributed to previous data breaches at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California remain unresolved, which may put the research center at risk of cyber attacks, according to a new report by the agency’s inspector general. “Over the past 10 years, JPL has experienced several notable cybersecurity incidents that have compromised major segments of its IT network,” the IG said in the report issued Tuesday

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Sen. Joe Manchin Introduces Water, Energy Management Bill for Federal Buildings

Sen. Joe Manchin unveiled a bipartisan legislation to create water and energy usage standards for federal government buildings. The Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act will formally establish the Federal Energy Management Program, an initiative to validate low-cost approaches in saving energy and water resources through partnerships with public and private sector organizations, the Department of Energy said Friday.

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USAF Secretary’s Space Adviser John Stopher Leaves Office for Industry Role

John Stopher, principal assistant to the secretary of the Air Force for space, will leave his post on Wednesday to return to the private sector, SpaceNews reported Tuesday. He said in his resignation letter sent to President Trump that his new role would enable him to support industry in efforts to address the challenges in space in the future. 

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FAA to Update Procedure on Supersonic Flight Test Permits

The Federal Aviation Administration intends to modify regulations on the attainment of permission for supersonic flight tests in a proposed rulemaking. Dan Elwell, acting administrator at FAA, said in a statement published Monday that the agency will establish an updated process and provide information to companies in securing approval for flight demonstrations.

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USDA Hosts Hackathon for Agricultural IT Systems

The Department of Agriculture held a two-day hackathon event to address agricultural concerns through the development of new approaches. USDA tasked software developers, information technology professionals and technical experts to create IT systems that will work, grow and sustain agricultural efforts through the use of water resources, the agency said Monday.

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DISA’s Contracting Arm to Reduce IT, Telecom Acquisition Service Fee in October

The Defense Information Systems Agency’s contracting arm will reduce the fee it charges to clients for enterprise procurement services by start of fiscal year 2020. DISA said Monday that the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization will implement a 2.25 percent contracting fee for IT and telecommunication services starting Oct. 1, down from 2.5 percent.

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VA Inspector General Office Audits IT Contract Vehicle; Recommends Strengthened Policy

The Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of the Inspector General released results of an audit on VA's information technology procurement vehicle. VA OIG said Thursday that it sought to verify the department's compliance with federal regulations in managing the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation or T4NG contract. In addition, the audit worked to determine whether VA's Technology Acquisition Center helped contractors meet requirements and awarded orders with respect to policy.

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Charlie Phalen: Tech Adoption, Additional Investigators Help NBIB Reduce Security Clearance Backlog

Charles Phalen, director of the National Background Investigations Bureau, said NBIB reduced the security clearance backlog to 424,000, down from 725,000 in April 2018, Federal News Network reported Monday. The figure represents a drop of 41 percent, or approximately 300,000, in pending investigative cases.

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