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Quick Hits

Voluntary CMMC assessments starting August 22…

With the news that voluntary third-party assessments would begin this month, the Pentagon’s contractor cybersecurity certification program took a significant step ahead.  After a significant change late last year, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program is still in the early phases of rulemaking; nevertheless, officials have confirmed that optional CMMC assessments will start on August 22 and persist for several weeks. The “Joint Surveillance Program” of the DoD will govern the voluntary assessments. The assessments will be carried out by CMMC Third-Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs), under the direction of the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Center. Companies who successfully complete evaluations during the optional phase will get CMMC Level Two accreditation after the standards go into effect, according to information provided by the DoD.
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FITARA has helped agencies save $24.8B on IT projects…

According to a senior Government Accountability Office official, the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) has assisted federal agencies in saving $24.8 billion in total on IT projects. The watchdog’s Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Carol Harris, said during a hearing last week that the legislation and the issuance of biannual scorecards had ensured agencies used the IT portfolio management tool PortfolioStat to achieve the best value for taxpayers.
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Booz Allen is still confident their attempted acquisition of government contractor EverWatch will close.

The Justice Department has been trying to stop the proposed acquisition of EverWatch, a defense and intelligence contractor, but technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton is optimistic that the deal will go through. In March, Booz Allen made public its intention to acquire EverWatch for an undisclosed fee.  During the company’s fiscal year 2023 results call last Friday, Lloyd Howell, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Booz Allen, stated “I really can’t tell you much more today until we close, but we’re still optimistic that we’ll make it.”
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Top Defense & Aerospace

The Pentagon is going head to head with China… and they appointed a new leader to do so. 

Abraham Denmark has been appointed by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to be his top advisor for the AUKUS effort to build capabilities to counter China. The AUKUS deal, which was established between Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. last year, intends to improve military technology collaboration between the longtime allies who share worries about Beijing’s military modernization and actions in the Indo-Pacific area and abroad. According to a White House fact sheet, the AUKUS effort is focused on a variety of cutting-edge military technologies, including electronic warfare, submarine capabilities, quantum, artificial intelligence, and autonomy.
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DISA extends Booz Allen’s Thunderdome Zero-Trust Security prototype project.

With a target completion date of January 2023, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced a six-month extension to its Thunderdome zero trust prototype with Booz Allen Hamilton on Thursday. The organization highlighted the Defense Department’s SIPRNet network as its justification for the necessity to create more zero trust prototypes. For the DoD’s Joint All-Domain Command-and-Control (JADC2) strategy, secure data interoperability is essential.
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Navy declares initial operating capability (IOC) for its Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS).

After formal testing was completed and a system with logistics and training materials to carry out minesweeping was delivered, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) declared ICO for UISS. When combined with the semi-autonomous, diesel-powered, aluminum-hulled Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle, UISS enables acoustic and magnetic minesweeping. It can be operated from littoral combat ships (LCS), shore, or vessels of opportunity (VOO) (MCM USV). The MCM USV, which is an essential component of the MCM mission package, is used as the tow platform for both minesweeping and minehunting missions. Notably, this marks the U.S. Navy’s first IOC of an unmanned surface platform, which is a significant development toward a hybrid fleet of manned and unmanned systems.
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Top Intel Community

Army posts Multi-Intelligence Operations Support Services Sources Sought. 

The Army is looking for a Contractor capable of providing all persons, tools, materials, facilities, transportation, supervision, and other non-personal services required to carry out United States Army Central Command (USARCENT) Intelligence Directorate (G2) multi-intelligence operations support services. The mission of USARCENT G2 is to provide intelligence support services regarding the USCENTCOM AOR to the commander and Staff of USARCENT. The USCENTCOM AOR and Combined Joint Operations Area (CJOA) consists of the following countries: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Lebanon. Responses to the Sources Sought notice are due August 3rd.
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Are you a small business looking to break into DIA? Sign up for their virtual sessions.

A series of “Introduction to DIA for Small Business” briefings will be held, according to a July 27 announcement from the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Office of Small Business Programs (SBP). Registration in advance is necessary. Through MS Teams, DIA will deliver these virtual briefings. The foundations of conducting business with the Agency and the highlights of the program will be the main topics of discussion. The conversation will be followed by Q&A.
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Siemens Government Technologies announces MPJV with NMR Consulting. 

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Network Management Resources Inc. d/b/a Siemens Government Technologies (SGT), Inc. of Reston, Virginia, and The Huntsville, Alabama-based NMR Consulting (NMR) announced that it has signed a mentor-protĂ©gĂ© arrangement with the U.S. Small Business Administration to increase its capacity for new projects supporting federal government clients engaged in national security missions. SGT is Siemens’ separate but connected U.S. government division. NMR has completed extensive mechanical and electrical projects for the intelligence community over the course of more than 25 years.
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Top Civilian

House VA Committee considers “pulling the plug” on Oracle-Cerner’s EHRM rollout.   

Top Republican on the House VA Committee expressed openness to scrapping the Oracle-Cerner Millennium electronic health record system if serious deficiencies in the rollout of the new software are not addressed by the end of the year. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., ranking member of the full committee, said that Congress “has to set a deadline” for the EHR system rollout, and if there isn’t major progress by early next year, “we will have to seriously consider pulling the plug.” Bost added that he will be writing legislation to do just that. Mike Sicilia, executive vice president for industries at Oracle, told the committee that addressing issues with the EHR system was the company’s top priority. He said that Oracle, which acquired Cerner seven weeks ago, has set up a dedicated ‘war room’ of its senior engineers to make needed improvements to the software.

Lawmakers will vote this week on a spending package that would give IRS $80B, among other things. 

The IRS could receive $80 billion over the next ten years as part of the budget reconciliation deal unveiled last week by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), with a focus on tax enforcement. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act seeks to close a widening tax gap between what the government receives and what taxpayers owe. The proposal also includes $3 billion in funding for electric vehicle infrastructure and charging stations for the Postal Service.
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New bill would make feds “at-will” employees. 

Republican Members of the House have submitted a bill to make all government workers “at-will” workers for the third time since 2016. As a result, agencies would be able to fire workers more rapidly if they aren’t performing up to par or are acting in a way that violates federal law. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), an organization established to defend federal employees from partisan political tactics by considering employee appeals, would be abolished by the proposed legislation.
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GovCon M&A Corner

Viasat Explores Sale of Part of Government Services Unit.

Viast, the geostationary satellite company, is considering a sale of part of its government services unit. The company is working with an adviser to field interest for the part of division that provides encryption technology, which could fetch as much as $1.8 billion. The business, which is likely to attract interest from other defense companies and private equity firms, generates about $120 million in annual EBITDA. The unit provides products that help clients including the government encrypt communications.
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Thales acquires Advances Acoustic Concepts.

Thales Defense & Security, Inc. (TDSI) acquires full ownership of Advanced Acoustic Concepts (AAC), their joint venture with Leonardo DRS. AAC provides advanced sonar, training and knowledge management systems. The company delivers modernization systems for the US Navy through an open business, open systems technology insertion model. With more than 200 employees, AAC generated $80 million (~€70 Million) in sales in 2021.
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Follow the Leaders

  • Robert Kennedy takes on a role as CIO/Area manager at the VA.
  • Nancy McCarthy joins VMware, Tanzu Labs, as Sr. Account Executive
  • Nate Russ joins Anomali as VP of Cloud Engineering and Operations


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Contract Awards

7 firms win spots on USAF Data Platform Support Contract.

The U.S. Air Force has awarded seven companies spots on a potential six-year, $762 million contract vehicle for subject matter expert services to the branch’s cloud-based data management platform. The Department of Defense announced last Thursday that contractors will compete on task orders to carry out data preparation and architecture, data maturity model evaluation, algorithm development, and data analysis in support of the Visible Accessible Understandable Linked Trusted platform.
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Constellis JV wins $592M Energy Department protective services contract.

Constellis joint venture Northern New Mexico Integrated Security has won a $592 million, 5-year protective services contract with Triad National Security, LLC, the maintenance and operations provider for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
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ICF wins HBRC Support Services task.

ICF has been awarded a 4-year, $2M Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) task for Healthy Brain Resource Center (HBRC) Maintenance and Improved Functionality Support Services. ICF was the only bidder.
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Shower thoughts 🚿

How did agencies save $24.8B on Federal IT projects?

We usually hear about how agencies are spending too much money by cost overruns so it’s nice to hear how The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act has helped federal agencies save a total of $24.8 billion on IT projects, according to a top GAO. The GAO Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity Carol Harris said the issuance of biannual scorecards had ensured agencies used IT portfolio management tool PortfolioStat to achieve best possible value for taxpayers.
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GovBrew is an elite crew of knowledgeable, cool, and aggressive GovCon Experts who also like to have a good time. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning we take a 5-minute journey together. After our morning read we are more informed, optimistic, and motivated about our place and power in the GovCon industry. Basically, ready to kick ass.

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