FCW Insider: April 30, 2021

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

$2.1 billion in UI modernization comes with oversight

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told a panel of House Appropriators that the agency's planned $2.1 billion investment in state unemployment systems needs oversight and monitoring, and metrics for measuring success.

OPM details pandemic emergency paid leave program

This special leave will be available through the end of the fiscal year or until the $570 million fund is exhausted, OPM documents say.

Boosting student loan debt forgiveness could pay off for cyber recruiting

Almost all Defense Department personnel who have sought student loan debt forgiveness have been denied -- a trend that, if unchanged, could make it even harder to recruit and retain tech talent.

Mayorkas: DHS running ransomware task force, White House plan coming

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday said his agency plans to take up the recommendations from a new report focused on combating ransomware and that the White House is developing its own plan to confront the growing cybersecurity threat.

Senate defense committee delays NDAA markup

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman for the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that the committee would delay marking up the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act due to "uncertainty" in White House budget delivery.

Quick Hits

***The National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center announced the hire of Ricky Clark as deputy director. Clark, a Navy veteran who has worked in acquisition roles at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Government Publishing Office, will help oversee NITAAC's major, governmentwide technology contracts CIO-SP3, CIO-SP3 Small Business, CIO-CS and NITAAC Assisted Acquisitions.

*** Starting today, the Department of Veterans Affairs agency homepage at VA.gov will serve as a single point for accessing benefits and services. The agency homepage will host content and features currently housed on the agency's eBenefits website.

*** Reuters reports that the Department of Homeland Security has evidence that the recently publicized flaw in Pulse Secure virtual private network software resulted in potential breaches of five federal agencies.