DoD rethinking military basic fitness standards

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

  • The military is changing its basic fitness standards and how it determines whether troops are too overweight to serve. Air Force Times reports Pentagon officials plan on publishing a new policy later this year to update how the military gauges health and fitness. The review comes as there is growing concern about a rising number overweight troops. (Air Force Times)
  • The Small Business Administration asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit claiming it counts contracts as small business awards when the businesses are anything but small. SBA filed a motion to dismiss a case brought by the American Small Business League claiming SBA counts contracts to Fortune 500 companies as small business awards due to a grandfathering rule. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Office of Special Counsel said the Merit Systems Protection Board put too many burdens of evidence on a whistleblower at the Veterans Affairs when a judge ruled on his retaliation case. It’s the third time OSC has said standards were too high on a whistleblower retaliation case. The agency offered another approach for analyzing these cases to make things fairer. (Federal News Radio)
  • Federal chief information officers are getting a new role, software sheriff. CIOs must develop an inventory of software licenses, track spending and find opportunities for consolidations and savings under the MEGABYTE Act. President Barack Obama signed the Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act of 2016 into law July 29. CIOs will have to send OMB an annual report on how much money they are saving from better software management. In June, OMB got ahead of the law by issuing a policy requiring better management of software licenses under the category management initiative.
  • Age isn’t the only factor that contributes to a federal employee’s decision to retire. A new study from two publlic management professors found employees who were more satisfied with their agency’s leadership and their overall job, the less likely they are to indicate their intention to retire. The study suggested agency managers should focus more on job satisfaction. (Federal News Radio)
  • Even cybersecurity jobs are subject to the ups and downs of the market. FireEye will lay off about 9 percent of its workforce, between 300-400 employees. Reuters reports, CEO Kevin Mandia said he’s focusing on profitability, not just growth. He said the type and scope of cyber attacks its services people respond to are changing. They’re shorter and smaller as hackers switch to greater use of ransomware.
  • Oral hygiene shouldn’t be an issue for members of the military for the next few years. The Defense Logistics Agency awarded Johnson & Johnson a five-year, $60 million contract to supply medical and dental equipment to all four of the military services. It was a competitive acquisition with 121 responses received. (Department of Defense)
  • Three companies fileed protests in the Defense Department’s latest round of contracts to manage its TRICARE health plan. In all, seven companies bid for the two regional contracts DoD awarded two weeks ago. Given their collective value — $58 billion over almost six years — it was virtually certain that some bidders would file protests. The most surprising one came from Health Net — one of the two winning bidders. That company argued it should have gotten the contract for the East region — not the West region. The company declined to comment on its legal reasoning, but the East region’s overall dollar value, at $43 billion, is almost twice as large as the west. (Federal News Radio)
  • The House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee asked about the level of security for the D.C. Metro transit system. Committee members sent a letter to WMATA GM Paul Wiedefeld asking for information around the recent arrest of Metro officer trying to give material support to ISIS. They also want to know about WMATA’s hiring practices. (House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee)

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