security services (Mikko Lemola/ShutterStock.com)

Making CDM more accessible to state and local governments

The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program, which the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration co-manage, was intended for state and local governments as well as federal agencies.   Actual purchases by non-federal customers have been limited, however, and GSA officials are looking to change that. 

GSA's Jim Piche, who spoke at a March 23 conference on CDM hosted by GCN and sister publication FCW, said "customer access" has been a challenge.  The 169,000 CDM-approved tools for network monitoring and security are available through GSA's Schedule 70, "which state, local, regional, tribal governments have access to," he said, but "it’s been pretty difficult for them to procure, because the catalog is extremely extensive, and because they’ve not had the right technology support from GSA." 

The agency has "made a couple corrections" to improve that support, Piche said.  "GSA Advantage [the agency's online purchasing portal] now has the ability for state and local to order directly off of it, so they can use an automated tool, rather than go through an email solicitation."   And all the CDM products are services are now being grouped under a new Special Item Number, to make them easier to find among Schedule 70's vast offerings.    

The blanket purchase agreement for CDM expires in 2018, and GSA already is working on a new contract vehicle -- which Piche said should bring new benefits and flexibility for federal agencies, but certainly will involve changes.  With the Schedule 70 SIN, however, non-federal customers should enjoy consistent access to the CDM offerings.

"The challenge," he said, "is getting states and locals to use the CDM tool catalog."

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


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