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 Congressional Budget Office provides new analysis on how much spending by the Defense Department for Operations and Maintenance has starkly risen since 2000.
Despite a personnel reduction in the military, the Congressional Budget Office has said Defense Operations and Maintenance Costs continue to increase. CBO said O&M costs grew by almost 50 percent between 2000 and 2012. Health care for service members and their families, civilian compensation, and fuel costs are the main culprits. Civilian pay itself rose $17 billion during those 12 years. (Congressional Budget Office)
CyberCareers.gov has gotten up and running. The Office of Personnel Management launched the site as a one-stop shop for federal employees, cyber professionals and potential job applicants. The goal was to create one place where job-seekers can learn more about opportunities for cyber careers in government. It’s part of the administration’s broader Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy. (CyberCareers.gov)
Departments are warned: no hiring spree. A stern letter comes from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) cited news accounts of agencies rushing to fill positions in anticipation of a federal hiring freeze by President-elect Donald Trump. Chaffetz chided the department heads for posting jobs in a way that avoids merit principles and speeds up hiring. Chaffetz demands a list of openings and hiring practices by 5 p.m. Thursday. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
One agency wants to help Peace Corps volunteers find work when their service ends. The Small Business Administration will be conducting job training and outreach to help them find jobs in entrepreneurship or the federal workforce. SBA will help by providing literature, education materials, and speakers for workshops, conferences, and seminars. (Federal News Radio)
The Defense Department is extending some shopping privileges to veterans who have completed their service. Those who were honorably discharged will be able to buy discounted goods from military exchanges starting this November. DoD said the expansion of benefits will help local businesses. The privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products. (Department of Defense)
EPA is trying to change its technology culture through a new set of contracts. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering three new contracts to move fully into the world of agile IT development. EPA issued a request for information last week seeking input from vendors across three functional areas: agile support services, lifecycle management services and application development services. The agency said a big goal of one of the new contracts is to change EPA’s culture. EPA said vendors will provide coaching and consulting services as part of the transformation to agile. This RFI comes after EPA held an industry day last summer as part of its market research. Responses to the new RFI are due Jan. 27. (FedBizOpps)
Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said the company is “close” to a deal on a new contract which would significantly cut down on costs for the next batch of F-35 fighter jets. In a statement, Hewson said she also had the chance to share some ideas with President-elect Trump on how to continue to drive prices down on the program.
FBI Director James Comey has appointed Assistant Director in charge of the D.C. Field Office Paul Abbate, as Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. Abbate will oversee all FBI criminal and cyber investigations worldwide. He’ll take over the position later this month. (Lockheed Martin)
The commander of the D.C. National Guard will be replaced at noon on Friday, just as inauguration ceremonies are underway. Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz’ position is unique – unlike any other National Guard commander, he’s a political appointee who serves at the pleasure of the president, and like other political appointees, he offered his resignation effective Jan. 20. The Trump transition team accepted the resignation, but later offered to keep him on for three more days after media reports pointed out how unusual it was to replace someone leading thousands of troops in the middle of a National Special Security Event. Schwartz said he declined the offer, saying it was only made because of negative press attention. (Federal News Radio)