FCW Insider: Nov. 12

The latest news and analysis from FCW's reporters and editors.

Customs and Border Protection awarded an $1.8 billion back-office IT modernization contract to CACI. The award was made via General Services Administration's assisted acquisition service. Mark Rockwell and Ross Wilkers have the story.

The IRS and other tax enforcement agencies worldwide are touting big improvements in tracing the use of cryptocurrencies in tax evasion and other criminal schemes. They just don't want to talk about how. Derek B. Johnson explains.

In his 10 months on the job, Department of Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer has been pushing his organization toward a culture of constant delivery. Adam Mazmanian takes a look at VA's pivot to agile.

A virtual oligopoly over voting technology by three private vendors and a lack of federal regulatory pressure has led to dangerous security vulnerabilities in the nation's election infrastructure, according to a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice. Derek has more.

Quick Hits

*** The House of Representatives will vote next week on legislation to extend the continuing resolution currently funding the federal government, which expires on Nov. 21. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced plans for a vote the week of Nov. 18 in a "dear colleague" letter on Nov. 7. Hoyer blamed Senate for its continuing deadlock over funding levels – known as 302(b) allocations – that divide topline discretionary spending dollars across 12 appropriations bills. "I remain hopeful that we can finish our work and fully fund the government before the end of the year," Hoyer said.

However, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the Appropriations chairman, said late last month that a continuing resolution could extend into February or March of next year.

*** Leaders of two top defense industry associations said that the uncertainty about the fiscal year 2020 appropriation was putting stresses on government contactors despite some favorable outlooks due to demand for modernization. Ross Wilkers has more in Washington Technology.

*** Last week in an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, cautioned that funding via continuing resolution prevents the U.S. military "from having predictability and flexibility needed to adjust to a constantly changing security environment."