Senators hope White House Innovation program continues after Obama leaves

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

  • Sens.Mark Warner (D-Va.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) brought forth legislation to make sure the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program lives on past the Obama administration. The program appoints technology entrepreneurs as fellows to work with agencies to solve complex problems. Similar legislation was passed by the House in June. (Sen. Mark Warner)
  • Federal managers can hire people on the spot and get them on the job within weeks. That’s according to Homeland Security Department Chief Information Officer Luke McCormack and Chief Human Capital Officer Angela Bailey. Speaking at the HCMG conference in Alexandria, Virginia, they described a career fair involving all DHS components. The goal was to start filling 1,000 technology job openings. Some 200 applicants got tentative offers that day. The fair even included a security background check station.
  • Agencies collected more than $83 billion in fines and penalties between 2010 and 2015. A new report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found the Justice Department brought in almost $64 billion. The report also found there was no standardized method of accounting for funds collected. The committee called the accounting system for monitoring them inadequate. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said he hopes President-elect Donald Trump would ask Congress for more defense funds. Thornberry proposed an $18 billion increase in military funds in the House version of the 2017 defense authorization bill. Congress had to trim that back to about $3.2 billion to please the Obama administration. The cut funds would have paid for more planes, helicopters and ships. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Defense Department wants to spread the rapid acquisition lessons learned by the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental to the rest of the Pentagon. They’ve just released a how-to guide in the hopes of achieving that. The 99-page document focuses on the rapid prototyping processes DIU-X has been working on over the past year under a technique called the Commercial Solutions Opening, which allows DoD to get new companies under contract in under 60 days. Congress granted DoD new authorities to sidestep usual acquisition processes in last year’s defense authorization bill, but so far, DIU-X has been the only one to use them. Officials said the lessons were applicable to the military services and defense agencies as well as they try to stay on top of advancing technology. (Defense Department)
  • The three-year effort to rewrite federal human resources policies is almost complete. The final rule to streamline and make human resources more strategic and less transactional is expected to be done in the next few months. The Office of Personnel Management promised a major rewrite of these policies and procedures more than three years ago. Among the major changes expected is a better integration of the HRStat process with agency goal setting. (Federal News Radio)
  • Congress may finally reorganize its committee jurisdiction over the Homeland Security Department. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), Homeland Security Committee chairman, said he’ll propose an amendment to change oversight for DHS in the House rules package. He said the idea is gaining momentum. Some 92 to 108 committees and subcommittees have oversight over DHS now. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department is going all in for agile development with a huge contract award. Thirteen small businesses won a spot on a $1.5 billion contract for agile development at DHS. The agency announced the winners of the Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland or FLASH vehicle earlier this week. Under the three-year contract, DHS components will be able to buy agile design and development services such as user centered design and automated testing. DHS conducted the acquisition through its Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL). The lab received 114 proposals for this small business set-aside procurement. (FedBizOpps)
  • Federal chief financial officers said hey have concerns about the presidential transition. A new survey from the Association of Government Accountants found there was a “clear fear” of what could happen under the new administration. But Office of Management and Budget Controller David Mader said the transition will play out like the ones before it. (Federal News Radio)


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