In today’s Federal Newscast, the Homeland Security Department again awarded Raytheon the $1 billion DOMino cybersecurity contract.
After two previous protests, the Homeland Security Department is sticking Raytheon for its $1 billion DOMino cybersecurity contract. Raytheon will provide design, development, operations and maintenance services in support of the National Protection and Programs directorate’s classified cybersecurity system. DHS first awarded Raytheon the DOMino contract in September 2015 only to see it get protested by Northrop Grumman. DHS made a second award to Raytheon in 2016 but Northrop protested again. (Raytheon)
President Donald Trump wants agencies to embrace big change to transform government technology. The White House kicked off tech week by hosting 18 private sector technology leaders at the American Technology Council meeting. The ATC was split into 10 working sessions over the four hour event focused on everything from citizen services to cloud computing to cybersecurity to contract reforms. (Federal News Radio)
Patrick Pizzella was nominated by President Trump to be the next Deputy Secretary of Labor. Pizzella is currently acting chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. He has been a member of FLRA since 2013. He also previously served in the Labor Department, as well as the Office of Personnel Management and General Services Administration. (White House)
To help with reorganization planning, the Small Business Administration created a Resource Management Board. SBA’S chief human capital officer Elias Hernandez said the board will review hiring requests from agency program offices who will have to justify the hiring. The SBA currently has 145 full-time equivalent vacancies. (Federal News Radio)
Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) wants the Trump administration to provide a strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan. The Defense Department is considering sending four thousand new troops into the war. McCain said the new administration has yet to explain how it plans to move forward with it. DoD said it has a strategic review coming out in July. (Federal News Radio)
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is less lonely these days. The White House has started to pick up the pace on naming appointees to top Pentagon leadership posts. As of a month ago, the Trump administration had only five Defense officials in front of the Senate for confirmation. Since then, six nominees have been confirmed. Two more, including Trump’s nominee for deputy secretary of Defense, are set to testify this week. Nonetheless, there are major holes in the Pentagon’s leadership team. No one has been nominated for secretary of the Army, nor for four of the five undersecretary jobs. All told, 35 of DoD’s 53 political positions still have no nominee. (Federal News Radio)
Federal employees be warned, the Office of Personnel Management said there is a new scam issue involving their retirement annuity. Companies are calling federal annuitants to offer cash payments in exchange for all or part of their annuity payments. They are offering a payment worth less than the long-term value of an employee’s annuity. One company is under investigation at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Anyone who gets a call should hang up and report it to the OPM Office of Inspector General. (Federal News Radio)
OPM’s Inspector General remains frustrated at how the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program is excluded from a law designed to prevent health care providers from taking advantage of their patients. The IG has raised the issue to Congress for the past 30 years. But Congress has not changed a provision in the Anti-Kickback Statute. The IG said Congress doesn’t understand the FEHBP. (Office of Personnel Management)
The Environmental Protection Agency will stop fitness subsidies and fitness center funding to save money. EPA union officials said the cuts will save the agency about $900,000 per year. The funding stops at the end of July, though any negotiations on end-dates will be handled at local levels.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Energy Department received a good grade from an outside evaluator. A team from the National Academies found ARPA-E functioning as planned. The committee recommended it keep what it calls an innovative culture, with dynamic leadership focused on funding long-term-payoff projects. They singled out director Eric Rohlfing. But evaluators found the ARPA-E team could better measure progress on its statutory goals, and sharpen its technology-to-market program. The study was ordered by Congress. (National Academics)