OPM reminds agencies to use telework to help protect workers from brutal heat wave

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

  • As parts of the central and eastern U.S. continue to face an oppressive heat wave, the Office of Personnel Management has reminded agencies they can allow employees to telework to protect them from the summer heat. Acting Director Beth Cobert released a memo asking agencies to be proactive in ensuring the wellbeing of employees. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • With Hillary Clinton choosing Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as her running mate, the American Federation of Government Employees has praised the selection. President J David Cox Sr. said Kaine believes in supporting and defending a strong public service. Cox will head to the Democratic National Convention to cast his vote for Clinton as a Maryland delegate. (American Federation of Government Employees)
  • One area where Kaine may be less friendly to federal employees: He wants the Defense Department to rethink its base realignment and closure process. Kaine says the current process wastes city and state funds because they hire lobbyists and lawyers to keep their bases open. Kaine said DoD should make recommendations directly to Congress on base closures. The current process relies on a commission to recommend what bases should close and then Congress votes on them as a package. DoD said 22 percent of its infrastructure is excessive. (Federal News Radio)
  • The $58 billion round of TRICARE contracts eliminates the north and south regions that had served most of the eastern U.S. They’ll merge into a new TRICARE East, which will handle most states east of the Mississippi River plus Texas. The Pentagon awarded that contract to Humana, the west region goes to Health Net Federal Services, the TRICARE vendor that currently handles most military healthcare north of the Mason-Dixon line. But both contracts are likely to be protested by losing bidders. Two in the case of the west and three in the east. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Office of Personnel Management is exploring how best to move the bulk scanning of employee electronic Official Personnel Folders to the Census Bureau. OPM and Census are working on an interagency agreement. Over the next six months, the agencies will assess the program’s technology and security requirements. In the meantime, OPM issued an $11 million contract to incumbent Northrop Grumman. Northrop will continue to provide e-OPF scanning services for another 18 months. OPM expects it to take at least that long for Census to be ready to take over the e-OPF scanning duties. (FedBizOpps)
  • The Justice Department has charged three people with defrauding Medicare and Medicaid in a $1 billion scheme. DOJ said the three men were involved in admitting beneficiaries towards unnecessary medical procedures on Medicare and Medicaid’s dime, and also receiving kickbacks for steering them to other health care providers. (Department of Justice)
  • The Small Business Administration issued a final rule expanding its mentor-protege program to all small businesses. The new rule allows for any small business to form a joint venture with large mentor businesses that are financially stable. The rule is set to take effect in late August of this year. (Federal Register)
  • The Navy has awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries a contract worth nearly $195 million to continue advanced planning for the refueling and complex overhaul of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington. It extends the company’s work until August 2017. The contract looks to establish engineering and production labor requirements in support of in support of Fukushima remediation for the ship. (Department of Defense)
  • U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended two Canadian juveniles who lost track of where they were while playing the Pokemon Go game, and ended up illegally crossing the U.S.-Canada border. Agents later reunited them with their mother at a local Border Patrol Station near Sweet Grass, Montana, where the pair was found. (Customs and Border Protection)

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