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Frank Konkel

Executive Editor Frank Konkel is Nextgov’s executive editor. He writes about the intersection of government and technology. Frank began covering tech in 2013 upon moving to the Washington, D.C. area after getting his start in journalism working at local and state issues at daily newspapers in his home state of Michigan. Frank was born and raised on a dairy farm and graduated from Michigan State University.
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Congress Questions Trump's ZTE Deal

June 11, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Congressional security hawks were not pleased—to put it mildly—with the Trump administration’s Thursday deal to reverse a U.S. ban that effectively put the Chinese telecom ZTE out of business. The ban, which barred U.S. companies from supplying parts to ZTE, was triggered because ZTE repeatedly violated U.S. sanctions on Iran,...

Another Defense Agency to Tap CIA's Commercial Cloud

June 4, 2018 The U.S. Army agency responsible for providing military intelligence on foreign ground forces plans to use the C2S Cloud—the same cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the CIA and intelligence community. The Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center issued a one-year task order earlier this month to purchase cloud services...

GAO Rules Against Pentagon's Experimental $950 Million Cloud Deal

May 31, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Government Accountability Office determined the Defense Department “did not properly exercise the authority granted to it” in February when it awarded a $950 million contract for cloud migration services to Virginia-based REAN Cloud, according to a press statement released today. The statement outlined GAO’s decision to sustain a bid...

VA Signs $10 Billion Health Records Contract With Cerner

May 17, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Veterans Affairs Department inked a 10-year, $10 billion contract Thursday with Cerner Corp. to adopt the same commercial electronic health records system as the Pentagon. Veterans Affairs Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie in a statement said VA’s future health records system will seamlessly communicate and exchange records with the Pentagon’s,...

Pentagon Wants Cloud Secure Enough to Hold Nuke Secrets

May 15, 2018 The Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud will be designed to host the government’s most sensitive classified data, including critical nuclear weapon design information and other nuclear secrets. The Pentagon is expected to bid out the controversial JEDI cloud contract this week, andnew contracting documents indicate the winning company...

Initial Tests Find Defense Department’s MHS Genesis ‘Not Operationally Suitable’

May 11, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The rollout of the Defense Department’s next-generation electronic health records system is not going smoothly. Field tests of the Defense Department’s electronic health system at three locations went so poorly the testing agency scrapped plans to test at a fourth facility, according to a report released Friday. Those three tests...

Marketing Your Mission and Other Ideas to Help Agencies Attract Young Talent

May 10, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Office of Personnel Management data indicates there are almost five over 60-year-old IT employees for every one under-30, a troubling ratio that shows the government’s problem recruiting young talent. Two of the government’s top managers Wednesday outlined several ways the Trump administration is looking to reverse the trend, beginning with...

How a Pentagon Contract Sparked a Cloud War

April 27, 2018 Next month, the Defense Department is expected to bid out a lucrative contract that will task a single cloud provider with building the cloud the U.S. military will use for war. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract—perhaps worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years—will put a commercial company...

With No Permanent Leadership, VA Forges Ahead on $16 Billion Health Records Effort

April 26, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Veterans Affairs Department will proceed with its $16 billion electronic health records contract without permanent leadership at the agency or in its tech shop. VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour said in a statement Wednesday that finalizing the electronic health records modernization was a “specific near-term priority” for acting Secretary...

JEDI Will Be Just One of Many Clouds, Says Pentagon’s No. 2

April 24, 2018 The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract is just one slice of the Defense Department’s potential cloud business, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Shanahan told reporters Tuesday at a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington that the single-award JEDI contract “represents less than 20 percent” of the Defense...