Happy Federal Fiscal New Year! The Coalition wishes everyone in the procurement community a successful Fiscal Year (FY) 2019! As we begin the new year, success for all ultimately will be measured by whether the procurement system is able to deliver best value mission support for customer agencies and the American people. This year, perhaps more so than ever before, this success will be contingent upon the government’s ability to secure and defend the nation’s digital information infrastructure. Indeed, this week, there were two articles that highlighted the ever-increasing importance of understanding and addressing cyber and supply chain security challenges.

On Wednesday, October 3, Federal Computer Week (FCW) reported that the Senate has passed a bill that renames and elevates the National Protection and Programs Directorate as a new agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The new agency, which is proposed to be named the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), would be the first of its kind in the Federal government, and it would serve as the go-to resource for all agency IT security and civilian cyber related matters. Importantly, the Senate’s vote reflects Congress’ growing commitment to ensuring the security of the nation’s digital information.

The timing of the Senate’s action was almost serendipitous, as the following day, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article detailing a recent investigation into a large-scale supply chain assault on U.S. companies. Specifically, according to the article, the investigation found that operatives of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) managed to insert tiny microchips onto the motherboards of servers that would later make their way into the computer data centers of nearly 30 companies. Significantly, the article provides that these tiny microchips enabled PLA operatives to create stealth doorways into any network to which the servers were linked.

As Cyber and Supply Chain issues continue to evolve, the need for greater collaboration between government and industry on matters of cyber and supply chain security, especially in the acquisition context, is increasingly apparent to the Coalition. To that end, the Coalition is pleased to announce that, with the beginning of the new fiscal year, it is launching a new Cyber & Supply Chain Committee. This new Committee will provide a forum for collaborative dialogue between government leaders and industry stakeholders that is focused on facilitating understanding on crucial cyber and supply chain security challenges, and the needs and capabilities of commercial sources. We ask that members take a moment to read the new Committee’s complete draft mission statement, which is included below, and provide any feedback they may have to me at rwaldron@thecgp.org.

Cyber & Supply Chain Committee

Mission Statement

A critical element of the Government’s obligation to provide for the common defense is securing and defending the nation’s digital information infrastructure, as well as the Government’s own systems associated with information movement and overarching national defense.  To this end, the Government relies on collaboration with industry partners and utilizes a global commercial supply chain.  Reconciling the needs of both the public and private sectors, then, is imperative for the Government to implement a rapid, robust response to dynamic cyber/national security challenges.  Beyond the defense industrial base and DoD acquisitions, issues of security threats and response affect public sector procurement for civilian agencies.

The Cybersecurity and Supply Chain Committee of the Coalition for Government Procurement seeks to enhance the dialog between the Government and its private sector partners, providing a platform to facilitate understanding of the Government’s key cyber and supply chain security challenges and needs, along with the capabilities of commercial sources.  By so doing, the Committee hopes to promote acquisition solutions that maximize the nation’s cybersecurity, retain competitive opportunity and fairness in its procurement process, and accelerate exploitation of commercial innovation and initiative to deny any adversary the advantage they may seek from cyber or supply chain attack.  Recognizing that the nation may face threats that are discoverable only after intrusion has occurred, the Committee also seeks to facilitate ways for Government to work with industry for rapid response and recovery.

As we seek your feedback on the new Committee’s draft mission statement, the Coalition is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a webinar, titled, Federal Cybersecurity Requirements: Staying Ahead in a Continously Evolving Compliance Environment, on Tuesday, October 30, at 12:00 PM Eastern. Members who are interested can register for the webinar here. In addition, as many of you are aware, the Coalition will be hosting its Fall Training Conference, titled, The Federal Market Forecast, on Thursday, November 8, at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, Virginia. During the Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to join the, “Cyber and Supply Chain” Business Intelligence Session, which will feature Committee Co-Chair Bob Metzger, Partner at Rogers, Joseph O’Donnell PC, as well as Emile Monette, Cybersecurity Strategist at DHS, and Bill Zielinski, Acting Assistant Commissioner for the IT Category at the General Services Administration (GSA).

In addition, members can contact Jason Baccus at (202) 331-0975 or jasonbaccus@thecgp.org if they would like to be added to the Cyber & Supply Chain Committee. All are welcome, and we look forward to your engagement!