Government files False Claims Act complaint against contractor

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

  • The government has filed a False Claims Act complaint against military contractor DynCorp International. The Justice Department said it allowed one of its subcontractors to charge excessive rates for hotels, translators, security guards and driving services in connection with a State Department contract to train Iraqi police forces. (Justice Department)
  • The Defense Department is using a new strategy to decide what data centers it can close down. In September, DoD will send out data center review teams to evaluate select Pentagon-owned data centers. The teams will decide if a data center needs to close and where the data in the center should go if it closes. DoD has been struggling to close its data centers after a presidential initiative directed government agencies to get rid of unnecessary data centers. (Federal News Radio)
  • House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has written to Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Beth Cobert and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan. He wants to know what role foreign nationals and contractors play in protecting OPM and other federal IT systems. Smith also wants answers about OPM’s oversight of those IT networks. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Veterans Affairs Department has brought over a veteran of the federal IT community to be its new chief information security officer. LaVerne Council, VA’s assistant secretary for Information and Technology and chief information officer, announced yesterday that Roopangi Kadakia would take over as CISO as of July 24. Kadakia comes to VA after spending the last five years at NASA. She will be the fifth permanent or acting CISO at VA over the last 12 months. During her career, Kadakia also worked at the Peace Corps, GSA and the Homeland Security Department. (Federal News Radio)
  • Health care from the Veterans Affairs Department is typically equal to or better than the same care delivered in the private sector. A new Rand Corporation study of VA hospitals and services says VA health care is generally good, but the quality varies at VA hospitals across the country. Demand will likely increase until 2020 when the vet population is expected to level off. (RAND Corporation)
  • The Republican platform has shown a mixed view of federal agencies and their employees. It says many fine people work at the IRS, but calls the agency’s environment toxic and supports the impeachment of commissioner John Koskinen. The platform urges the Pentagon to clean up its accounting and get an unqualified audit. And it supports greater flexibility for employees to opt out of union membership. The platform calls out federal whistleblowers for special praise. (Federal News Radio)
  • Nominations are now being accepted for the General Services Administration’s Green Building Advisory Committee. GSA said some members’ two-year commitments are expiring, so they’re taking applications for new ones. It’s looking for non-federal members with expertise in fields including environmental health, architecture, and public transportation. (Federal Register)
  • The Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia will be getting a new 21-megawatt solar facility. The Department of the Navy and Dominion Virginia Power reveal plans for the second solar project they’ll be collaborating on. Dominion will own, operate, and maintain the facility for 37 years. It’ll need approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission. (Navy)

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