How not to make a Terminator, by the Defense Innovation Board

You know the story. The government creates artificial intelligence—badda bing badda boom—you’re fighting Arnold Schwarzenegger in a post-apocalyptic battle for the planet. It’s a tale as old as 1984 (and still being told).

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Department of Defense asked the Defense Innovation Board to prepare a report called “AI Principles: Recommendations on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence by the Department of Defense” or as I call it a Terminator avoidance plan.

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DOD will Require Cybersecurity Certification Starting Fall 2020

It’s not too soon to start thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. Along with other personal goals, federal contractors might want to add a cybersecurity resolution to their list. The Department of Defense has drafted a cybersecurity certification that will be finalized in January 2020. Starting next fall, contractors will have to be certified in order to submit proposals on defense solicitations. Read on for some of the highlights.

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SBA Inspector General Identifies “Challenges” with Multiple SBA Programs

The SBA Office of the Inspector General has taken it upon itself to look at the SBA’s programs and activities in order to determine what risks the SBA may face in the 2020 Fiscal Year. It appears that the OIG did not like what it found. The examination found multiple risks and problems associated with SBA programs, including the 8(a) program, the WOSB program, and SBA’s small business contract goaling methods.

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GAO Report Considers Options to Increase “Mid-Sized” Business Opportunities

Earlier this month, GAO produced an over 50-page report, presenting a discussion on options for increasing business opportunities for “mid-sized” businesses. It can be tough to go from being a small business to competing with all large businesses, so GAO took a look at these small-ish large businesses. We know SmallGovCon readers are busy, so we’ll provide the CliffNotes version.

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SBA Takes Action Following OIG Investigation of Suspension and Debarment Process

On September 18, 2019, SBA’s Office of Inspector General released an Audit Report summarizing a recent audit of SBA’s Suspension and Debarment Process. The purpose of the audit was to determine whether SBA “had sufficient controls in place to prevent suspended or debarred entities from receiving federal contracts through SBA’s preference contracting programs and small business loans.” Through its investigation, OIG discovered SBA lent and awarded millions of dollars to businesses otherwise ineligible to receive these funds under SBA’s suspension and debarment guidelines. While SBA disagreed with some of OIG’s findings, SBA did agree to take some steps to address OIG’s findings and recommendations.

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SBA OIG All Small Mentor-Protégé Program Evaluation Reveals Concerns and Suggests Improvements

In 2016, SBA established the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program, or ASMPP, enabling mentors of any size to provide business development assistance to small protégé businesses to enhance the protégé’s ability to compete for federal contracts. Since then, the ASMPP has served as a powerful tool for many businesses and, as of August 1, there were 885 active mentor-protégé agreements.

Recently, however, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General released a report highlighting some opportunities to improve the program and recommending SBA take additional steps to ensure compliance with the program’s requirements.

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