Monday federal headlines – May 2, 2016

On the heels of the Senate passing the FOIA Improvement Act, House lawmakers want a new study on how agencies are meeting the current law.

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

  • On the heels of the Senate passing the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act, House lawmakers want a new study on how agencies are meeting the current law. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office asking for a comprehensive review of agencies.  Specifically, the lawmakers want GAO to gather data about the number of exemptions each agency uses, methods used to reduce FOIA request backlogs and the number of agencies in compliance with the FOIA law. (House Oversight and Government Reform)
  • The federal government is buying more from women-owned small businesses than ever before. The Small Business Administration reports that for the first time in 20 years, the government reached its 5-percent contracting goal and spent nearly $18 billion working with women-owned small businesses in fiscal 2015. This is all from SBA’s annual Small Business Procurement Scorecards. This is also the third year in a row the government has reached its 23 percent small business procurement goal. (SBA)
  • No more weekly random drug tests for Army soldiers. The branch is doing away with the practice to ease the burden on commanders while still deterring soldiers from using illicit drugs. Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy said instead every soldier will be tested at least once a year in a new directive. He wants commanders to aim for testing at the rate of 10 percent of assigned end-strength each month. (Army)
  • Head of the Military Health System, Dr. Jonathan Woodson has officially left his post. The surgeon said he is returning to Boston University School of Medicine. Woodson was confirmed back in December of 2010 assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. He also holds the rank of brigadier general in the Army Reserve. (DoD)
  • The Professional Services Council and IT Alliance for Public Sector are pressing the Defense Department to not base the award of the ENCOR III program on a lowest price technically acceptable selection. In a letter the trade groups are concerned the IT project is too technologically complex to base contract awards on. They want DoD to reverse course. (PSC)
  • Businesses operating under the National Industrial Security Program will soon be required to set up their own insider threat programs. NSA Security Director Kemp Ensor said the policy to set guidelines for industry should be out sometime in May. President Barack Obama issued National Insider Threat Policy and standards for agencies back in 2012. But the guidelines for industry haven’t come out yet.
  • The Obama administration has nominated Air Force Vice Chief of Staff David Goldfein to become the next Chief of Staff. Defense Secretary Ash Carter praised Goldfein’s political and military experience while announcing the nomination. Goldfein in the past has served as commander of Air Forces Central Command. He’ll need to be confirmed by the Senate before taking the post. (Federal News Radio)

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