Weekly Wrap-Up
Week of May 24, 2021
(ADI Website) On Monday ADI and over four dozen colleagues delivered a letter to the White House and Office of Management and Budget urging the Biden Administration to rethink the procurement process. Too often, the federal government builds technological and software solutions from scratch and ignores cheaper and better commercially available products.
Tech Companies Write to Biden Administration Pushing Commercial Tech Preference
(Fedscoop) A group of technology companies and trade lobby groups has written an open letter to the Biden administration, calling on it to ensure federal agencies follow existing preference regulations for commercial software and technology procurement.

In the letter, which was sent on Wednesday, the companies requested also that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provide specific updated guidance to agencies on the issue.
Politico - Morning Tech - Tech of the Town
(Politico) Government agencies are wasting money and violating federal rules by developing too much of their own software, vendors including Salesforce, Palantir, Telos, Infor and Splunk told President Joe Biden in a letter on Tuesday. The companies, along with coalitions Alliance for Digital Innovation and Alliance for Commercial Technology in Government, complained that the government is failing to enforce acquisition rules that place a priority on procuring commercial products. The letter says software products developed in-house are "almost always more expensive on the front end, difficult and costly to maintain, and quickly become obsolete."
Politico - Morning Defense - Industry Intel
(Politico) Forty-seven technology companies and industry groups are calling on the White House budget office to give clear guidance to ensure federal agencies follow long-standing requirements to prioritize commercially available software and technology in the acquisition process.

In a letter to Biden — signed by defense contractors Palantir and Anduril, as well as the Silicon Valley Defense Group — the companies expressed concern that those guidelines "are not always followed," driving up costs to taxpayers and hampering government effectiveness.
Technology Companies, Associations Urge Biden Administration to Push for More Commercial Products
(Inside Defense) Dozens of technology companies today sent a letter to President Biden arguing the government needs to do more to prioritize commercial buying.

According to the letter, the federal government has for too long "prioritized building its own technology solutions over procuring commercial products."
Dozens of Technology Companies Urge the Biden Administration to Open ‎Government to Private Sector Innovation
(CISION PR Newswire) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should ensure that government agencies are applying well-established commercial preference regulations when it comes to purchasing software, 44 leading technology companies and three alliances wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden today.
What Industry Wants to See in Federal Acquisition and the Infrastructure Package
(Washington Technology) The past week has seen groups of commercial companies and government services contractors alike give U.S. leaders ideas of what businesses want to see happen with regard to technology in the federal environment and what an infrastructure package should include.

More specifically: how the government should think about buying technologies and from whom, and what cyber and IT funding if any should be part of an infrastructure package.
Biden Urged by Tech Firms to Embrace Commercial Software
(C4ISRNET) Several dozen tech companies and groups are urging U.S. President Joe Biden to ensure that federal agencies buy more commercial software over custom-built versions, in line with the law.

In a letter Wednesday, they argued government software development efforts fail because, too often, government “continue to favor custom-built, more expensive solutions, even when there are proven, widely available commercial solutions” and don’t apply commercial existing preference regulations to software and technology procurement.
Federal Newscast - May 26, 2021
(Federal News Network) Three industry groups and 44 technology companies are pressing the White House to make clear to agencies that they should buy software before building it. The Alliance for Digital Innovation, the Silicon Valley Defense Group, the Alliance for Commercial Technology in Government and dozens of major government contractors want a memo from OMB that clearly outlines this long-held requirement so that agencies can take more advantage of commercial innovations.
Why OwnBackup Is Encouraging Government To Rethink Its Tech Procurement Process
(OwnBackup | Marketing) If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that business as usual is no longer sufficient when it comes to how companies-and governments-operate. 

With that belief in mind, OwnBackup has joined dozens of other tech leaders in sending a letter to the Biden Administration encouraging them to rethink the federal governments’ procurement process for technology solutions. 
Buy vs. Build Debate for Software Heats Back Up with Letter to White House
(FederalNewsNetwork) More than three dozen technology companies told the Office of Management and Budget it’s time to end the buy versus build debate for software. Three industry groups and 44 technology companies wrote a May 26 letter pressing the White House to make clear to agencies that they should follow this long-held requirement of buying commercial software first so they can take more advantage of private sector innovations.
ADI Signs Onto Multi-Association Letter Urging Congress and Biden Administration that Cybersecurity is Integrated into Planned Infrastructure Modernization Efforts

How Cloud can Help Agencies Enhance Security, Save Costs, and Improve Mission Delivery Through the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF)
(Amazon Public Sector Blog) With a new round of funding, the US federal government has the opportunity to advance the largest government-wide technology modernization program in a generation. As part of the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law in March, federal agencies are eligible to modernize their mission delivery with additional funding available in the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). The TMF makes $1 billion available to executive branch agencies for technology modernization projects, prioritizing projects that modernize high-priority systems, address cybersecurity challenges, offer cross-government products, and improve the public’s ability to access government services.
Pentagon Tech Chief Nominee Wants More Upfront Funding for Programs
(Fedscoop) The Biden administration’s nominee for the role of top technology official at the Department of Defense wants to see an overhaul of budgeting processes that could allow for more innovation and lower sustainment costs.

At a confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Heidi Shyu told Senators that extra early-stage funding for the DOD’s weapons platforms, tech projects and other systems would keep programs running and help to curtail their costs in the long term.
ADI Executive Director Matthew Cornelius on The Hidden Power of the Federal Citizen Services Fund
(FCW) It can be hard to breathe in the federal IT space these days, with the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) taking up so much of the oxygen. Flush with $1 billion, courtesy of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the opportunity for agency digital transformation efforts has rarely been greater. Such a substantial infusion of capital into the TMF has rightly increased the intense focus on the TMF from both the White House and industry.
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