Government puts out help wanted sign for IT positions

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  • A new governmentwide job posting for technology and cyber positions has gone live Friday on USAJOBS. The Chief Information Officer Council and the Office of Personnel Management will hold a hiring fair in November, looking to add critical IT jobs in the 2210 series at the GS-9 to GS-15 levels. More than 20 agencies had indicated they will participate, including the Defense Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the CIA. Many will be able to recruit, interview, and hire applicants to some positions on the spot. The goal is to help agencies fill critical positions and ease the federal hiring process.


  • The Internal Revenue Service is facing a computer hardware issue. A Treasury Department Inspector General report said nearly two-thirds of its most critical IT equipment is outdated. The report said it takes an average of six months for the IRS to resolve IT issues likely caused by aging computer equipment. IRS said it would cost $430 million to replace the hardware. And while it doesn’t have that kind of money, it says it will try to use surplus enforcement funds to address part of that need. (Treasury Dept.)


  • The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a $1.2 trillion spending bill that includes a $60 billion increase in military spending, significantly more than President Donald Trump requested. To do that, deep cuts were made to civilian agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency and Internal Revenue Service would suffer the most. EPA funding would fall to its lowest level since 2006. The measure would also provide a $1.6 billion down payment for the president’s proposed border wall with Mexico. (Federal News Radio)


  • The ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee said there is no path in Congress for a $700 billion defense budget. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said the Senate does not have the votes to keep the topline that high and arrive at a budget deal in December. (Federal News Radio)


  • Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, currently the Army’s top intelligence officer, has been named to formally take over as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency on October 3. The leadership transition follows Ashley’s Senate confirmation last month. He will take over for Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, who has led the agency since January 2015. Stewart will move on to U.S. Cyber Command, where he was nominated and confirmed as deputy commander. (DIA)


  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the public a first look at its new, safer Medicare cards on Thursday. The cards will feature randomly-generated identification numbers, replacing social security numbers to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars. Congress mandated the move be completed by April 2019. (CMS)


  • In the wake of reports of nursing home deaths in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Veterans Affairs said it will make its facilities available, when possible, to non-veteran nursing home residents affected by the storm. VA Secretary David Shulkin agreed to make beds available as part of the VA mission to support national, state, and local emergency management, public health and homeland security efforts. (VA)


  • Western wildfires have pushed the Agriculture Department budget for firefighting beyond $2 billion, making this year’s effort the most expensive on record. Agriculture Department Secretary Sonny Perdue repeated his call for Congress to change the way the agency’s firefighting efforts are funded. He said spending on firefighting has risen from 15 percent of the Forest Service budget to 55 percent, taking money intended for fire prevention programs. (USDA)


  • Officials with NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) program said they have added several features customers have been asking for. For instance, contracting officers can now create multiple shopping carts and share them with other SEWP users. A new status tool lets buyers track their orders. Buyers can now launch requests for information directly from SEWP’s market research tool. SEWP is focused on commercial IT products and services offering a wide range of commercial advanced technology including tablets, desktops and servers. (SEWP)