GSA gives more time for comments on existing regulations

In today's Federal Newscast, the General Services Administration extends the comment period for those who want to give their opinions of rules pertaining to top...

  • The General Services Administration has offered more time for you to weigh in on existing regulations. GSA extended the comment period for a variety of rules governing acquisition, property management, and federal travel. Those looking to share their opinions and observations can do so at until Aug. 14.
  • More key agency positions have been filled by President Donald Trump. John Henderson was nominated to be the next assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and energy. Henderson comes from leading the Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District. Also, Ryan Nelson is tapped to be solicitor of the Interior Department. He’s worked for all three branches of government. (The White House)
  • With Gen. John Kelly now serving in the role of White House chief of staff, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke will take over as acting DHS secretary. Though Kelly’s time running DHS was short, he took the lead on some of President Trump’s most controversial policies, including his executive orders suspending the admission of refugees and temporarily barring visitors from several Muslim-majority nations. Many are hoping Kelly, in his new role, will be able to bring back some stability to what many are calling a White House in chaos. (Federal News Radio)
  • NASA has turned to the private sector for research on deep space habitats. It selected six companies to build full-sized ground prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats under the second Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships. NASA said the prototypes will allow it to evaluate configurations of the habitat, how the various systems interact together and ensure the concepts actually work. (NASA)
  • Members of Congress said two more DoD space programs have run into major cost and schedule problems.The Pentagon has notified lawmakers that OCX, a major upgrade to the GPS system, will cost an additional $630 million dollars and won’t be ready until 2022. The latest schedule involves an additional delay of nine months for a system that was supposed to be fielded last year. Another system, known as FAB-T, meant to help command and control nuclear forces, has also slipped behind by a year. The latest delays were highlighted by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), two members of Congress who believe the military needs a dedicated Space Corps to help fix space acquisition problems.
  • There’s a new framework from the Office of Personnel Management for continuous professional development for the Senior Executive Service members. The framework describes different leadership objectives and behaviors senior executives should strive for and the opportunities they should look for at each step of their career. OPM said the framework is meant to guide agency leaders who are supposed to be a steady presence for their employees during times of transition or reorganization. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency has collected 595 cases of employee misconduct, with nearly 800 possible offenses in three years. FEMA management and lawmakers argued it’s a fairly small fraction of the agency’s workforce of 22,000. Most of the complaints come from FEMA temps or reservists. FEMA said it’ll update its policies for those employees.
  • The chief information officer of the Navy Robert Foster wants to prioritize the service’s information technology objectives. He’s established a process to develop specific priorities for each program objective cycle. The Navy hopes to prioritize common goals and capabilities. This new process will be executed during the 202 program objective memorandum cycle. (Department of the Navy Office of the Chief Information Officer)
  • More pressure on agencies not to use one cyber vendor allegedly tied to the Russian government. Twenty-two agencies must answer seven questions about how they are using Kaspersky Labs software. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) sent letters to department secretaries and leaders wanting more details on any communication with Kaspersky Labs, as well as any computers using the software and any subcontractors providing the applications. Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Committee, said they are concerned that Kaspersky Labs could be manipulated by the Russian government. Answers from the agencies are due back to the committee by Aug. 11. (House Science and Technology Committee)

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