Tech & Innovation Council Spotlight - March 2022
Published 3/1/2022 | Christian Larsen
Click here to access a PDF version of this spotlight.
In this edition: Provide Input to PSC Comments on NIST’s Recent RFI Re: Cybersecurity Resources | Registration Now Open for Phase 2 of the Watts on the Moon Challenge | DoD Releases Action Plan On Securing Defense-Critical Supply Chains | NIST Publishes Software Supply Chain Security Guidance for Federal Agencies | PSC Comments on USAID Proposed Rule on Planning, Collection, and Submission of Digital Information | Upcoming PSC Events
Provide Input to PSC Comments on NIST’s Recent RFI Re: Cybersecurity Resources
On February 22, NIST published a request for information (RFI) entitled “Evaluating and Improving NIST Cybersecurity Resources: The Cybersecurity Framework and Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management.” Click here to access the RFI in the Federal Register.
Context: “NIST is considering updating the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to account for the changing landscape of cybersecurity risks, technologies, and resources. In addition, NIST recently announced it would launch the National Initiative for Improving Cybersecurity in Supply Chains (NIICS) to address cybersecurity risks in supply chains. This wide-ranging public-private partnership will focus on identifying tools and guidance for technology developers and providers, as well as performance-oriented guidance for those acquiring such technology. To inform the direction of the NIICS, including how it might be aligned and integrated with the Cybersecurity Framework, NIST is requesting information that will support the identification and prioritization of supply chain-related cybersecurity needs across sectors. Responses to this RFI will inform a possible revision of the Cybersecurity Framework as well as the NIICS initiative.” The deadline for public comments is April 25, 2022.
Input to PSC: PSC is considering sending comments in response to this RFI. If you have questions or inputs you would like PSC to consider, please share with PSC Executive Vice President for Policy Stephanie Kostro (Kostro@pscouncil.org) or PSC Senior Associate for Public Policy Christian Larsen (Larsen@pscouncil.org.)
Registration Now Open for Phase 2 of the Watts on the Moon Challenge
Registration is now open for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Watts on the Moon Challenge Phase 2. Click here to access the Federal Register notice and here to access NASA’s Watts Challenge homepage. Registration will remain open until June 15, 2022.
Overview: “Phase 2 of the Watts on the Moon Challenge seeks to attract innovative engineering approaches to integrating power transmission and energy storage in order to enable missions operating in the extreme cold vacuum of the lunar surface. Phase 2 of the Watts on the Moon Challenge is a prize competition with a total prize purse of $4,500,000 USD, (four and a half million United States dollars) to be awarded to competitor teams that build and successfully demonstrate prototypes of novel technologies. Successful demonstrations from this challenge will complement ongoing NASA investments in lunar surface power generation. NASA is funding the prize purse and administration of the challenge competition.”
DoD Releases Action Plan On Securing Defense-Critical Supply Chains
On February 24, the Department of Defense released “Securing Defense-Critical Supply Chains: An action plan developed in response to President Biden's Executive Order 14017.” Per Executive Order 14017, America's Supply Chains, this plan is a strategic roadmap on weaknesses and policy recommendations for bolstering the U.S. defense industrial base’s supply chain. Click here to access the full report. Click here to view the Department’s press release.
PSC is keeping abreast of this report and monitoring other related DoD actions. For example, see PSC President & CEO David Berteau’s commentary on DoD’s recently released State of Competition within the Defense Industrial Base. As PSC engages with the Department at all levels, please send inputs, questions, or concerns to PSC Executive Vice President for Policy Stephanie Kostro (Kostro@pscouncil.org) or PSC Vice President for Defense & Intelligence Ryan McDermott (email@example.com.) Your input will be anonymized and aggregated.
NIST Publishes Software Supply Chain Security Guidance for Federal Agencies
On February 4, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published Software Supply Chain Security Guidance. Required in Section 4e of Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity, NIST’s guidance provides federal agencies with improving software security, specifically “identifying practices that enhance the security of the software supply chain.”
For industry, those practices include NIST recommendations to agencies “on ensuring that the producers of software they procure have been following a risk-based approach for secure software development throughout the software life cycle. These recommendations are intended to help federal agencies get the information they need from software producers in a form they can use to make risk-based decisions about procuring software.”
If you have inputs or comments on how this guidance might impact your company’s ability to support federal missions, please share with PSC Senior Associate for Public Policy Christian Larsen (Larsen@pscouncil.org.)
PSC Comments on USAID Proposed Rule on Planning, Collection, and Submission of Digital Information
On February 14, PSC submitted comments to the U.S. Agency for International Development on a proposed rule for managing digital information data as a strategic asset related to the Agency’s foreign assistance programs. Click here to access those comments.
“PSC supports the fundamental intent of the proposed rule and believes USAID has made significant progress in developing digital polices, as evidenced by its recent Digital Strategy,” said PSC Executive Vice President for Policy Stephanie Kostro.
Recognizing that the proposed rule seeks to reduce the burden on contractors, increase efficiency, and improve the use of digital information, PSC’s comments also noted the importance of avoiding overly complex or burdensome requirements that could negatively impact USAID’s small business partners and prevent new entrants from seeking work with USAID. If you have questions, please contact PSC Vice President for International Development Affairs Paul Foldi (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Upcoming PSC Events
DCSA Deputy Director Round Table
Join PSC on March 14, 2022, for a virtual DCSA Deputy Director Roundtable. PSC will provide a virtual meet and greet with the new Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) Deputy Director and our members. Mr. Daniel J. Lecce was named the Deputy Director of DCSA, effective January 18, 2022. In this capacity, Mr. Lecce is the principal advisor to the DCSA Director and assists in shaping necessary policy, managing DCSA’s resources, and leading operational activities to accomplish the agency’s mission. The PSC lead for this meeting is PSC Vice President for Defense & Intelligence Ryan McDermott. Click here to register and for more information.
Join PSC on March 4, 2022, for its next virtual Government Affairs Committee Meeting. The PSC lead for this meeting is PSC Vice President for Government Relations Cate Benedetti. Click here to register and for more information.
Join PSC on March 8, 2022, for its next virtual Quarterly Member Briefing with PSC President & CEO David Berteau. Available exclusively for PSC members, the PSC Market and Policy Briefing is an in-depth presentation conducted by PSC executive staff that addresses and analyzes agency and market-specific drivers relevant to your business. Click here to register and for more information.
Join PSC on March 10, 2022, for its next virtual Contracting Working Group Meeting. The PSC lead for this meeting is PSC Senior Associate for Public Policy Sebastian Herrick. Click here to register and for more information.