DorobekINSIDER: 7 Stories you need to know: Defense contractors join the Pentagon’s cyber-defense strategy

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 15th of May, 2012

  1. The Pentagon predicts that as many as 1,000 defense contractors may join a voluntary effort to share classified information on cyber threats under an expansion of a first-ever initiative to protect computer networks. BusinessWeek reports that the program comes after a pilot program that involved 36 contractors and three of the biggest U.S. Internet providers. The Washington Post says the Obama administration approved a rule letting the Pentagon enlist all contractors and Internet providers with security clearances in the information exchange.
  2. Government contractor Lightsquared has filed for bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal report the company, which sought to build a high-speed wireless broadband network, was preparing for bankruptcy even as it negotiated with its lenders to avoid defaulting. Next Gov says LightSquared reported assets and debts each exceeding $1 billion, according to the petition it filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The contractor has been close to bankruptcy before.
  3. Agencies are pressing vendors to cut prices for their services. Federal Times says agencies are increasingly looking to consolidate contracts, especially for common IT services and hardware, to share contracts more broadly across their departments and to press vendors for better deals as thousands of contracts come up for renewals or option years. But contractors are feeling the budget pinch. Booz Allen Hamilton had to cut its staff by 500 people last year alone.
  4. Agencies are lining up to take their pick of the new IT hires from the Technology Fellows Program. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel says the Chief Information Officers Council is currently combing through a list of applicants for the 2012 class and expects agencies to begin selecting candidates before summer. Federal News Radio says the initiative, which targets graduate students. is part of the Presidential Management Fellows Program. VanRoekel said the fellows program aims to build a pipeline of emerging talent for federal IT.
  5. The Postal Service is no longer shutting down nearly 600 urban and suburban post offices. The Associated Press says the Postal Service announced last year that it was looking at closing up to 252 mail-processing centers and 3,700 post offices, as part of a plan to save some $6.5 billion a year. But they began backing off the plan last week, saying it no longer planned to close thousands of rural post offices but would keep them open with shorter hours. The Postal Service has said it will also put forward a new plan for the mail processing centers later this week.
  6. Ever wonder which federal agency has the most social media clout. The answer may surprise you.’s new report found that NASA outscored all other federal agencies. Coming in a close second was FEMA followed by a tie for third place by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Agency for International Development. Federal Computer Week says Klout uses a proprietary algorithm to gauge influence—a combination of popularity, reach and engagement—primarily for accounts on Twitter but also for accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks.
  7. And over on GovLoop, we’re asking you, should project managers be technical? GovLoop member Josh Nankivelsays in government agencies even more than in the private sector we have a lot of project managers who don’t ‘get their hands dirty’ with their teams. Do you agree?

On today’s program:

  • Suspensions and debarments ranked high on Congress’s mind when they grilled the president’s nominee for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Why is it a priority? And what should Joe Jordan be focused on? We ask an all-star procurement panel.
  • Do more with less — we hear THAT all the time, right? But could there be a better way? We’ll talk to an expert who says the right answer may be doing something different.

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