Bill to streamline HR hiring at Veterans Affairs passes House

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  • A newly passed House bill would reform the way the Veterans Affairs Department hires human resources personnel. The HELP Act, which stands for Hospitals Establishing Leadership Performance, passed unanimously in the lower chamber. It essentially forces VA management to establish written qualifications for each HR position in the Veterans Health Administration, as well as performance metrics that correlate to those of health care human resources in the private sector. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) sponsored the legislation. (Rep. Mike Bost)
  • A federal district judge heard oral arguments from the legal teams representing the Trump administration and a coalition of federal employee unions, on the group’s challenge of the president’s executive orders. Attorneys for the Trump administration argued the unions’ challenges fall outside of the U.S district court’s jurisdiction. They said the legal challenges are better suited on a case by case basis with the Federal Labor Relations Authority as agencies run into problems implementing them. (Federal News Radio)
  • Hours before the court appearance, several hundred federal employees, retirees and supporters gathered in Washington to protest the president’s recent executive orders on official time, collective bargaining and employee accountability. Members of Congress joined the American Federation of Government Employees, National Treasury Employees Union and National Federation of Federal Employees in support. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Government Accountability Office plans to examine whether the White House erred in axing a top cybersecurity position this spring. The Trump admininstration eliminated the role of White House cybersecurity coordinator back in April. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro told members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that his office would look at the impact of the job being cut. Rob Joyce held that position until stepping down in April. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General will look at how the agency can put its excess real estate to good use. It will examine how much revenue the Postal Service could generate from selling or leasing its extra space. The 2016 Federal Property Management Reform Act requires agencies to look at ways to trim their unused space. The agency watchdog said it will have a full report on the matter by November. (U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General)
  • Auditors found major holes in a key GSA acquisition initiative. Long-held industry concerns about the General Services Administration’s Transactional Data Reporting or TDR initiative seemed to be vindicated. GSA’s inspector general found the TDR pilot objectives are not well defined, some metrics lack performance targets, and a majority of the metrics rely on data that is not available for use in or evaluation of the pilot. GSA launched TDR in 2016 to bring more transparency to the schedules program. The agency partially agreed with the three recommendations from the IG. (General Services Administration Office of Inspector General)
  • The Defense Department called a mulligan with its cloud contract known as JEDI. Multiple sources told Federal News Radio that DoD CIO Dana Deasy informed the House and Senate Armed Services committees he expects to release a new draft request for proposals this week. This would be the third draft solicitation for the multibillion dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract since March. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Air Force moved its portal to a new cloud provider and is saving money and getting better services. The portal, hold information about promotion lists and other personnel issues and is used by 750,000 users a month. The portal has the potential to hold thousands of applications. (Air Force)
  • A new Air Force office looks to cut the long-term sustainment costs of its weapons systems. The Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office will operate on a trial basis for the next two years. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said the service wants to know how much the government can do on its own to drive down the costs of maintaining its aging weapons systems. Sustainment costs tend to make up more than two-thirds of a system’s total price tag over their entire lifecycle, and Wilson said the Air Force does not want to pay vendors “premiums” for things it can do itself. (Air Force)

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