GAO upholds protests of OPM’s background investigation services contract

The Government Accountability Office faults the Office of Personnel Management for not fairly evaluating each of the bids in a $117 million dollar contract.

  • The Office of Personnel Management’s contract for background investigation support services may take a little longer to get off the ground. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) upheld the protests from two vendors of a $117 million contract award to Primus Solutions from January. GAO saai OPM did not evaluate each of the offers fairly. It recommended OPM  reevaluate the three vendors’ proposals. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be telling agencies how they can cut burdensome activities and reporting requirements. OMB said it’ll have new guidance in the form of a memo this week. Cutting burdensome activities is one of four major priorities in the President’s Management Agenda. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Government Accountability Office said it is  looking to rein in improper payments starting with USDA. GAO is recommending the Agriculture Department submit to Congress a reauthorization proposal for its major farm subsidies program. The agency has failed to meet improper payments requirements for years. GAO also recommended more consistency from inspectors general when reviewing improper payments at large agencies. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) have put a big focus on mobility for the near future as it becomes more prevalent in military operations. DISA leaders said that will include more investments in identity assurance and graphics processing. DISA also said it plans to continue using large multi-service contracts to buy from industry. (Federal News Radio)
  • DoD’s effort to reform IT management has come under scrutiny. The Defense Department saw its grade on the latest Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act or FITARA scorecard drop to an “F” from a “D”.  And lawmakers are none too happy. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members caledl the Pentagon’s efforts to improve IT management recalcitrant and arrogant, and threaten to withhold budget increases until they improve. At the heart of the matter is what lawmakers said was DoD’s decision to move $15 billion worth of IT spending out of the public’s eye and under the national security system umbrella. (House Oversight and Government Reform IT Subcommittee)
  • Anita Blair will be the new deputy assistant secretary of defense for civilian personnel policy. She comes to the Pentagon from the Treasury department, where she served as Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for human resources. Blair also has extensive DOD experience. She served for nearly a decade as one of the Navy’s top civilian personnel policy officials. (Department of Defense)
  • Long-awaited accountability legislation for the Veterans Affairs Department has passed the House. President Trump says he will sign the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. Lawmakers and veterans service organizations see the bill’s passage as a big win. Federal employee groups aren’t as hopeful though saying it won’t . House VA Ranking Member Tim Walz (MDFL-MN) acknowledges federal unions are unhappy with the bill but “change needed to happen.” (Federal News Radio)
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the slimmed-down budget 2018 budget proposal is adequate for the mission. He tells Senate Foreign Relations Committee the $37.6 billion request for State and USAID, down 28% from 2017, aligns with the Trump administration’s policy of protecting America first. He says it continues to support foreign assistance and American leadership in international development. Under questioning, Tillerson says State will seek private sector sources to augment development spending. (Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

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