Wednesday federal headlines – February 17, 2016

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

The Department of Defense is hosting its first ever DoD Professionalism Summit to bring together the military’s centers of excellence for a two-day conference to spur dialogue, share best practices and create a community of practice.  Navy Rear Adm. Margaret Klein, senior adviser to the secretary of defense for military professionalism, says the summit will provide a...

READ MORE

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

  • The Department of Defense is hosting its first ever DoD Professionalism Summit to bring together the military’s centers of excellence for a two-day conference to spur dialogue, share best practices and create a community of practice.  Navy Rear Adm. Margaret Klein, senior adviser to the secretary of defense for military professionalism, says the summit will provide a unique opportunity for the centers to discuss approaches in strengthening culture and tackling challenges. (Defense Department)
  • A Veterans Affairs Department official in California has been sentenced to 5 months of house arrest for receipt of a gratuity by a public official. Anthony Castaneda allegedly received two prepaid vacation packages from a construction contractor while working as a contracting official for VA. The accused contractor was also sentenced in a separate trial to three years probation. (Justice Department)
  • NASA, the General Services Administration and the Defense Department are looking to change the Federal Acquisition Regulation to keep contractors from recovering what they spend due to a congressional investigation. The agencies are looking to implement a section of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to all agencies, so that contractors can no longer be repaid for the costs they incur responding to a congressional investigation of possible crimes. (Federal Register)
  • The Government Accountability Office has denied Boeing protest of the Air Force’s decision to award Northrop Grumman a contract to build the Long Range Strike Bomber. Boeing was arguing the Air Force’s assessment of proposed costs and technical evaluation of Northrop’s proposal was flawed, but in a statement, GAO said it found no basis to sustain or uphold the protest. Boeing released its own statement saying it would review GAO’s decision before deciding its next steps. (Military Times/Boeing)
  • Federal agencies spent more than $1.6 billion on network and telecommunications services in 2015. The General Services Administration said that’s a 6.3 percent increase in spending on the Networx governmentwide acquisition contract over 2014. GSA said services to expand agency bandwidth, called Network-Based Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network, services made up 48 percent of all Networx purchases. Another big growth area was around network security. GSA said agencies spent 36 percent more on managed security services, called MTIPS in 2015 than in 2014. (GSA)
  • When it comes to governmentwide acquisition contracts, the big players really want your business. GSA officials proposed a rule to allow product and service deliveries to continue up to 5 years after a schedule contract expires. NIH’s NITAAC has its processes evaluated by Capability Maturity Model Index officials at Carnegie Mellon University to prove it gives good service. NASA SEWP on Wednesday launched a series of training webinars for its customers.
  • The Defense Department may have a harder time attracting and retaining talent in 2016. That’s because a new study by Deloitte said the defense and aerospace sectors are expected to increase employment by 3.2 percent this year. This marks the first time in the past few years the defense industry will be adding jobs. DoD has been losing talent in past years and is implementing the Force of the Future initiatives to try to recruit and retain employees. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board reversed punishment for another senior executive at the Veterans Affairs Department. MSPB overturned the VA’s firing of the Albany VA Medical Center Director Linda Weiss. The board said Weiss should have done more to discipline a VA nurse who treated patients poorly. But the evidence doesn’t support firing Weiss. The MSPB judge said he would have suggested a less severe punishment for Weiss, but the 2014 VA Choice Act prevents him offering an alternative. (Federal News Radio)