FCW Insider: March 18

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

The White House is looking to execute an operational pivot to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal agencies, according to a memo released last night, are being asked to realign non-mission critical activities and minimize face-to-face interactions with the general public to reduce coronavirus transmission. Adam Mazmanian has more.

Dale Cabaniss quit abruptly as director of the Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday. Deputy Director Michael Rigas will lead OPM on an acting basis, a spokesperson said. The resignation appears linked to friction with White House personnel officials. Lia Russell reports.

Former homeland security officials and federal employee unions worry whether existing security measures will help protect federal employees from the growing coronavirus pandemic, and whether the Federal Protective Service is resourced to handle the crisis. Derek B. Johnson takes a look.

The sudden expansion of federal telework in response to the coronavirus pandemic is teaching agencies how to move ahead with remote workers. Officials at the Department of Energy and the Pentagon talked about network resiliency and best practices at a virtual event. Mark Rockwell explains.

As virtual meetings and other online interactions become a reality for many federal agencies and businesses, so too do cybersecurity threats. The National Institute of Standards and Technology offered some tips for protecting the security of virtual meetings. Derek has more.

Quick Hits

*** The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is extending telework to all employees "other than the minimal staffing required to handle mail," according to an agency release. More agencies are likely to follow suit after a White House memo released late March 17 told agencies to maximize telework and possibly make it mandatory in certain cases for federal employees.

*** The IRS cloud strategy rolled out in 2017 is only partially meeting all three phases of the federal government's decade-old Cloud First policy, according to a new Department of Treasury audit. According to auditors, IRS set up 10 workflows around issues like cloud migration, procurement and an enterprise-wide cloud portfolio assessment but many are only partially complete, and major ones for procurement and enterprise-wide portfolio assessment streams have not started at all.