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Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The Pentagon is behind schedule in its effort to award a multi-billion dollar cloud computing contract over a lack of clarity in its request for proposals, and it's come under fire from industry stakeholders for appearing to favor one company on the way.

Why it matters: The Office of Management and Budget released a proposal Monday that's intended to help agencies acquire cloud computing services faster, and to better-align procurement practices with industry standards. It's the first update to the strategy in seven years.

  • It's about speed. "What we intend is to move faster" with this strategy, OMB's Chief Information Officer, Suzette Kent, told reporters Monday — some agencies have been slower than others to the uptake of cloud computing.
  • The big picture: The tensions over the Pentagon's request for proposals and the goals outlined in today's proposal highlight the mismatch in expectations between the private sector and the government when it comes to technology procurement.

Goals:

  • To tailor procurement practices to agency needs: The strategy is intended to shift away from a "one size fits all" approach to adopting cloud technology, and instead focus on how each agency has different missions and needs that need to be reflected in contracting, Kent said.
  • To keep up with industry best practices for cloud, per Kent. This is key since recently the Pentagon has been criticized for appearing to skirt around the best practice of using a multi-cloud environment. Oracle has even formally challenged the Pentagon's process.
  • To shift the government's security focus from physical security to cybersecurity as agencies move away from focusing on physical data centers to the cloud.
  • To modernize the workforce. The government will be reducing its reliance on hardware management and will instead need to hire and re-skill with programming skills in mind.

Reality check: This is just the kickoff to a longer process, and agencies and the private sector alike will absolutely take longer than 18 months to catch up with these goals.

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.