FedRAMP, Cloud Security Alliance creating new joint certification system

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  • Vendors will soon have an easier time proving their cloud services are secure. The Federal Risk Authorization and Management Program (FedRAMP) and the Cloud Security Alliance’s STAR program will be jointly developing the FedSTAR program. FedSTAR will offer mutual recognition between the two security programs based on a common framework for deployment, use and maintenance. (Cloud Security Alliance)
  • House Democrats are calling on the Defense Department to disclose the number of troops the U.S. has in war zones overseas. Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform National Security Subcommittee hope the Trump administration will follow its predecessors’ footsteps by staying transparent about how many service members are deployed. (Federal News Radio)
  • National Guard officers got a step closer to getting backdated pay. The House Armed Services Committee voted to put a provision in the 2019 defense authorization bill to pay National Guard officers for the time they wait for the DoD to approve promotions. Some guardsmen wait six months or more for promotions. (Federal News Radio)
  • The DoD offered a new rationale for its upcoming winner-take-all contract for cloud computing. In a report to Congress, DoD said it would be too cumbersome to offer the JEDI award to multiple vendors. Officials argued a multiple award contract would delay the department’s move to the cloud, since each task order would have to go through a new competition between several different vendors. Instead, the Pentagon wants one company that can deliver an online ordering tool, spinning up new cloud computing services as soon as military components need them. (Federal News Radio)
  • The House will bring the VA Mission Act to the floor for debate Wednesday. Lawmakers are under a tight timeline as the current Veterans Choice Program is expected to run out of funding by May 31. It is the first time a new, major piece of veterans choice legislation has bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and the White House. The legislation is expected to replace the Veterans Choice Program within the next year. (Republican Cloakroom)
  • The EPA has spent over $3 million on Pruitt’s 20-member full-time security detail, more than three times the size of the last administrator’s part-time security force. The EPA’s inspector general said Administrator Scott Pruitt requested around-the-clock security on his first day at the agency. Last year, Pruitt cited multiple death threats as grounds for the enhanced security. Meanwhile, there are nearly a dozen open IG and committee investigations into spending by Pruitt and his aides. (Federal News Radio)
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said a last-minute addition to the 2020 census will not impact response rates. The Commerce Department agreed to add a citizenship question to the upcoming count back in March. Ross said the citizenship question will be the last one asked on the 2020 form, so it will be easy to skip if anyone has a problem with it. Last week, Ross told senators he recently sent his recommendation for a permanent Census director to the White House. The agency has not had a permanent head in nearly a year. (Federal News Radio)
  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Mark Geyer as the next director of the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Geyer replaced former astronaut Ellen Ochoa who is retiring after 30 years with the agency. Geyer is currently serving as the acting deputy associate administrator for Technical for the Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in D.C. Johnson Space Center is one of NASA’s largest installations, with about 10,000 civil service and contractor employees. (NASA)
  • The Veterans Affairs Department added a new executive in a crucial position. Paul Lawrence, confirmed by the Senate two weeks ago, started work Tuesday as VA’s under secretary for benefits. Lawrence was public sector vice president at Kaiser Associates, and has worked in the federal consulting practices of Ernst and Young, Accenture, Mitre and IBM. The PhD in economics is a former Army Captain. Thomas Murphy, the VBA executive in charge, becomes the VBA’s midwest area director. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • The longest serving chief information officer at one Homeland Security Department component is on the move. Adrian Gardner is leaving as the FEMA CIO. He accepted a reassignment to be the executive director of recovery communications technology in the Caribbean Area Division. Federal News Radio obtained an email from FEMA Chief of Staff Eric Heighberger announcing the change. Heighberger said Patsy Garnett, currently the agency’s deputy CIO, will serve in the acting role. In his new position, Gardner will lead the continuity of communications for the Caribbean territories where he will ensure there is an interoperable and resilient infrastructure. (Federal News Radio)