Friday, March 1, 2024
Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending March 1, 2024

Congress approves short-term extension to avoid shutdown, buy more time for final spending agreement. Congress passed another short-term spending measure that would keep one set of federal agencies operating through March 8 and another set through March 22, avoiding a shutdown for parts of the federal government that would otherwise kick in Saturday. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The short-term extension is the fourth in recent months, and many lawmakers expect it to be the last for the current fiscal year. 

Pentagon Making Headway on 2027 ZT Goal Despite Policy Challenges. The Department of Defense (DoD) is well on its way to implementing an enterprise-wide zero trust architecture following review of implementation plans from DoD organizations, the department’s zero trust lead said today, although the process has not been without its bumps in the road.

NASA Official Invokes Risks of Balancing IT, OT in Zero Trust. A top NASA official used a catastrophic visual to capture the challenge of securing both operational technology (OT) devices and IT in the push for zero trust. “Just to put a fine point on it, keep in mind that we’re NASA. Some of our OT is in space,” Mark Stanley, the agency’s enterprise security architect and zero trust lead, said. “If we fail to calculate a risk here, and we cause a problem there, we’re likely to suffer a mission failure, and we simply don’t want to.” In his remarks, Stanley said NASA faces a number of challenges as it pursues zero trust – especially identity management – given the need to share scientific findings with national and international partners. 

OPM Issues Guidance to Help Agencies Fill Critical AI Roles. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued new guidance to agencies on pay flexibilities and programs available to help recruit and retain AI talent in the Federal government. The Feb. 27 guidance which was required by President Biden’s AI executive order (EO) – outlines existing authorities agencies can leverage for AI and other key technical positions, including pay flexibility, incentive pay, and leave and workforce flexibility programs.

Justice CIO Keys on ‘Good IT Ops’ as ZT Foundation. The head of IT at the Department of Justice (DoJ) laid out how zero trust must be incorporated into the five strategic pillars of “good IT operations,” including enhancing cybersecurity and elevating the workforce. DoJ Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Information Resource Management Melinda Rogers emphasized that zero trust does not exist as an entity on its own. Rather, she said, “It is very much a part of overall IT operation. Zero trust needs to be incorporated into what I consider to be some of the strategic pillars of a good IT operation.” 

NIST Unveils its Cybersecurity Framework 2.0. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today unveiled its Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) 2.0 along with a suite of cyber resources, providing the first major update to the voluntary framework in over a decade.

The National Science Foundation wide-and-far on artificial intelligence. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is on the march, establishing what it calls regional innovation engines. It is getting organized around AI. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is on the march, establishing what it calls regional innovation engines. It is getting organized around artificial intelligence. It’s getting and granting-out more money than ever. For an update, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with NSF director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan.

HHS takes step toward goal for better health information sharing. One of the biggest obstacles to streamlining information sharing in the health field, is the data itself. Recently Health and Human Services (HHS) updated something known as TEFCA, the trusted exchange framework and common agreement. TEFCA is all about interoperability of health information. For the details, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin  spoke with Dr. Micky Tripathi, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS.



ICYMI – Leveraging Immersive Technologies to Define a New Reality in Healthcare. This week Michael Keegan welcomed Dr. Anne Bailey, Executive Director, VHA Strategic Initiatives Lab within the Veterans Health Administration to discuss the mission of the Strat Lab, VA’s use of virtual reality and other immersive technologies to change how the department serves veterans, and what the future holds for the Strat Lab.