Wednesday federal headlines – November 11, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive.

  • The Senate passes the veterans and military construction bill — leaving 11 annual appropriations bills yet to be approved. Budget negotiators have just three legislative weeks left to work out the details of individual spending bills or a broader omnibus spending package. Members in favor of omnibus are fighting efforts to spend time on passing individual appropriations bills. According to Bloomberg, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is weighing the annual Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill next. (Bloomberg)
  • The Senior Executives Association and Federal Managers Association say the American Federation of Government Employees Local 17 is personally targeting some managers and supervisors at the Veterans Affairs Department. SEA and FMA are writing to VA Secretary Bob McDonald. They want McDonald to look at personnel files for the managers on the AFGE’s so-called “hit list.” Both associations said the list isn’t helping the department’s internal management problems. (Federal Managers Association)
  • A large multiple award contract by the Defense Information Systems Agency will be awarded sooner than expected. DISA Director Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn said the contract was originally going to be awarded in fiscal 2018. Lynn said the new contract will be friendlier to small businesses that grow during the 10-year contract. Previous versions of the contract took away small business perks for companies that grew into larger companies while under the contract. (DISA)
  • The Marine Corps is conducting a review of its physical fitness programs. The review will take into account all physical fitness standards. That includes scoring tables for fitness tests and height, weight and body fat standards for all Marines. The review must provide recommendations to the Marine Corps commandant by July 1, 2016. The review was prompted by feedback from Marines during the commandant’s Corps-wide tour. (Marine Corps)
  • Beth Cobert is being asked to stay on at the Office of Personnel Management permanently. President Barack Obama nominated Cobert to lead OPM, thereby removing the acting title she’s held since July. Cobert must be approved by the Senate. She’s already run through that minefield once as deputy director for management at OMB. Cobert’s nomination received a mostly positive response from Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). (Federal News Radio)
  • Victims of the Office of Personnel Management cyber breaches will soon have a place to check their status. OPM is working with the Defense Department to create a verification center later this month. Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert said it’s a place where victims who haven’t yet gotten a notification letter from OPM, but think they should, can learn more. Cobert said OPM has sent about 5 million notification letters so far. About 5 percent of victims have enrolled in credit monitoring and identity protection services so far. Cobert says that number will change as OPM notifies more people. (Federal News Radio)

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