The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 24, 2024

By John Liang / January 24, 2024 at 12:56 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a Pentagon inspector general's report on the Defense Department's convoluted financial management system, plus the latest on the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program and more.

The Defense Department inspector general issued a new report this week that makes 31 recommendations to reform the Pentagon's labyrinthine financial management system:

IG finds DOD could save $728M by retiring outdated financial systems early

The Defense Department inspector general says the Pentagon is spending too much money on outdated financial systems that will never be compliant with a DOD-wide audit and could potentially save $728 million if it retires the systems early.

Document: DOD IG report on outdated financial management systems

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity recently spoke with an Aerospace Industries Association member about the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program:

AIA sees potential expansion of CMMC program beyond DOD following release of proposed rule

The Aerospace Industries Association is advocating for the Defense Department's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program to be used by civilian agencies, as part of an effort to address "ambiguity" over sensitive information held by contractors and create synergies.

Frank Peterkin, the principal director for directed energy at the Pentagon, said this week that directed-energy weapons offer the Defense Department a unique opportunity to transform integrated air and missile defense and counter asymmetric threats and sensors:

Directed-energy supply chains need to be strengthened, per DOD official

A senior defense official today said the directed-energy supply chain must be bolstered if the United States is to compete with peer adversaries like China and Russia.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is still recuperating from prostate cancer surgery and a two-week hospitalization, opened a meeting this week on Ukraine with remarks broadcast from his home saying Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to break the will of the Ukrainian people and its allies:

DOD hosts allies in support of Ukraine amid stalled funding

Senior U.S. defense officials met today with an international coalition of more than 50 countries supporting Ukraine, standing up new groups focused on drone warfare and armored vehicles, despite the fact Congress remains in a stalemate over a massive supplemental funding package the Pentagon says is vital to Ukraine's survival against Russia.

Melissa Dalton, the nominee to be Air Force under secretary, faced some withering questions from Republican lawmakers during a Senate hearing this week:

Nominee for Air Force's No. 2 civilian faces fierce GOP criticism over border

Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans today slammed President Biden's nominee for Air Force under secretary over the administration's delayed response in identifying the Chinese surveillance balloon last year and her office's alleged mishandling of stored Southern border wall materials.

Document: Senate hearing on Air Force, DOT&E, S&T nominations