The Pentagon has been keeping a concerned eye on Defense-related M&A activity since at least 2008, monitoring the U.S. industrial base to ensure that it maintained some level of diversity of suppliers. The Department of Defense (DoD) has long been concerned with the small number of large firms able to bid on major weapon systems acquisition: four major contractors bid for the F-15, five for the F-16. But the F-22 and F-35 programs attracted only two bidders each. Last week, Pentagon leaders began to voice warnings to the industry: Secretary Carter told the press that “it [is] important to avoid excessive consolidation” and that he “[does not] welcome further consolidation among the very large prime contractors.”
In the aftermath of the OPM hack, which compromised the personal information of over 22 million people, and the subsequent resignation of OPM Director Katherine Archuleta, the Federal Government undertook a 30 day long initiative to shore up its cybersecurity. Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tony Scott explained that federal-civilian agencies would increase their use of multistep verification, decrease the number of privileged users that have access to sensitive information, and patch known vulnerabilities (Boyd, 2015). After 30 days, all federal agencies will report their progress with respect to implementation of the added security features to OMB and DHS. Since the start of the sprint, CIO Scott announced federal agencies have increased their use of two factor verification by 20% overall with select agencies implementing 100% two factor verification for privileged users. With the assistance of DHS, federal agencies have patched more than 60% of known cyber vulnerabilities since May this year according to DHS Director Jeh Johnson.