New program to make gathering and evaluating DoD contract information easier

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

In today’s Top Federal Headlines, the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office has established a new way for it to examine large DoD programs.

  • The Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office has explained its new FlexFile program. It will make gauging big programs easier for examiners and the contractors they get the information from. FlexFile allows them to use modern data structures instead of old information table models. (Department of Defense)
  • The state of Ohio is getting help from the National Guard to make sure its elections stay legitimate. Ohio was one of the first states to set up its own cyber protection team under the auspices of U.S. Cyber Command, and Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted said yesterday the team is already using the team to test for vulnerabilities in its election systems. Husted, a Republican, has been working to assure residents of the key swing state that voting sytems are safe from hackings and that the election is not rigged. He did not specify the National Guard’s precise mission, but said the cyber protection team has not been formally activated, something that would require an order from the governor. (Associated Press)
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development went a little rogue with $60 million it used for reimbursements related to its efforts to fight and contain the Ebola virus. The Government Accountability Office said the 21 reimbursements made did not comply with stipulations made by Congress when it appropriated the money in 2014. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Government Accountability Office has gotten its own looking-over, and passed with flying colors. The GAO wipes old PCs and BlackBerrys before getting rid of them and it doesn’t use a cloth. That’s according to its inspector general Adam Trzeciak. His testers found GAO’s procedures for removing sensitive data from devices headed for disposal effectively designed and implemented. The agency’s IT staff degausses hard drives. It left a few BlackBerrys unwiped, but still encrypted. (Government Accountability Office)
  • About 71 percent of senior executives got a performance bonus in 2015. That’s up from the 68 percent who picked up an award in 2014. Slightly more SES members earned the highest possible performance rating last year than in previous years. Nearly 50 percent of senior executives scored an *outstanding* on their performance evaluation compared to 49 percent in 2014. The VA handed out twice as many bonuses to senior executives in 2015 than the year before. But fewer SES earned the highest possible ranking. (Federal News Radio)
  • A new tool to make navigating the cybersecurity job market a little easier has been unveiled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. CyberSeek is an interactive online tool that will help job seekers find opening and employers identify the skilled workers they need according to NIST. It can also help show what jobs are in demand and identify talent shortfalls. (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • The White House will preserve more than 470,000 We the People petitions, nearly 30,000 tweets, and thousands of hours of video footage. It’s planning for a digital transition in addition to the usual change of administration. In a recent blog post, the administration said it will focus on three goals. The first is preserving material at NARA created over the last eight years from tweets to snaps to every other kind of record. The second is ensuring these materials continue to be accessible. And third, the administration wants to ensure the next president can continue to use digital platforms like We the People created over the last eight years. (The White House)
  • The Justice Department has launched a new program from the Justice Department to protect servicemembers, veterans, and their families from financial scams. The program shifts DoJ resources to help with their claims pertaining to financial and housing complaints. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said it will enhance DoJ’s ability to safeguard troops and vets’ economic and legal rights. (Department of Justice)
  • Two Florida residents are ordered to pay back over $4 million to 14 federal agencies and two contractors for issuing fake bones to insure government contracts. The Justice Department said the two backed up insurance policies for large government contracts with land they did not own, and money they did not have. Veterans Affars and EPA were among the agencies affected. (Department of Justice)

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