Friday federal headlines – October 23, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive and In Depth radio shows.

  • Three senators, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are criticizing DoD’s decision to put the University of Phoenix on probation from their tuition assistance program for active-duty military personnel. They said the decision was based on vague technical violations that the school has already corrected or has vowed to improve on. (Sen. John McCain)
  • A new GAO report says agencies can save more money through streamlining acquisitions of IT services. It examined DoD, DHS and NASA findings that most of these agencies’ efforts to strategically source IT services have not followed leading commercial practices, resulting in missed opportunities. (GAO)
  • The Office of Management and Budget is launching a new approach to overseeing and managing federal shared services. Faced with a growing demand from agencies for financial management shared services, OMB created a new oversight committee and an implementation board. The oversight committee will address long-term planning and budget challenges. The implementation board will take the strategy and put it into motion. At least five cabinet agencies are considering outsourcing their financial management systems to federal providers over the next few years. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Department of Homeland Security is banging the drum for the Senate to pass cybersecurity information sharing legislation. Secretary Jeh Johnson and deputy secretary Alejandro Mayorkas both came out strongly in support of the bill. Mayorkas said industry and government cooperation is crucial to protect systems and networks. The bill will make it easier for industry and government to share information on cyber threats. However, opponents of the bill say it will infringe on the privacy of citizens. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill by Oct. 27. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department says it’s made progress on its DHS Management Cube project. It’s collected and defined financial, contracting, human capital, real property, acquisition and security data in one place. DHS also defined 61 business terms. The department says it didn’t have a common language to communicate and share information with each other before. It’s now working on phase two of the Management Cube. (Federal News Radio)
  • As the economy improves, federal pay for jobs in areas with unique economic situations has become an issue. That was the subject of a Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management hearing yesterday. Personnel managers from OPM, the Air Force, and Customs and Border Protection all testified, citing issues with retaining employees with housing and other living costs on the rise. (Federal News Radio)