Quick Hits

*** Google is interested in a spot on the Defense Department's Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC), the multivendor contract vehicle envisioned as a replacement for the scrapped $10 billion JEDI program, according to a report in the New York Times. Google opted not to bid on JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) when it went up for bid, in part because of employee backlash against a Google-DOD effort called Project Maven which explored the use of artificial intelligence-powered warfare. The JWCC effort, still in the presolicitation phase, is expected to make awards to Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, but DOD intends to make awards "to all Cloud Service Providers…that demonstrate the capability to meet DOD's requirements."

*** Denise W. Ross was named U.S. Chief Data Scientist at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Ross previously served in the Obama administration and also as a Beeck Center fellow at Georgetown and at the Center for American Progress.

*** The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee advanced a bipartisan bill to establish new rules around the dismissal or administrative sidelining of federal agency inspectors general. The Inspector General Independence and Empowerment Act also gives agency watchdogs the authority to subpoena former federal employees and contractors to testify.