Most agencies are still not fulfilling spending data requirements

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  • Four years since the DATA Act went into effect, most agencies still don’t meet the law’s standards for structured spending data. The Government Accountability Office found only a quarter of the 24 CFO Act agencies managed to submit complete and on-time data. Under the law, agency inspectors general must review the timeliness and accuracy of the financial data submitted. (Government Accountability Office)
  • Female federal employees between the ages of 30 and 44 are 31 percent more likely to leave their agency positions compared to men of a similar age. Advocates of federal paid parental leave said a program would help better recruit and retain young talent to federal positions. They estimate agencies could save 50 million dollars a year on human resources, training and turnover costs with a paid parental leave program. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said that’s the message she’s taking to her colleagues, to help sell them on new legislation. The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act would authorize up to 12 weeks of paid time off for the birth or adoption of a new child. (Federal News Radio)
  • GAO looks to double its staff to oversee cybersecurity and IT issues. Speaking at an Association of Government Accountants event, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said the agency plans to make 30 new hires over the next year and increase its funding on cyber oversight. Dodaro will testify on Capitol Hill this week about cybersecurity items on GAO’s high risk list. (Association of Government Accountants)
  • Reverse auctions may be losing their luster across the government. A new GAO report found the use of this approach to buying commodity goods declined between fiscal years 2013 and 2017, from about 34,000 to 19,000 auctions. Despite the decline, GAO said agencies are saving money and getting competition. Auditors made 21 recommendations, including clarifying how reverse auction platform fees are set. (Government Accountability Office)
  • EPA named a new CIO, but questions arise over his standing in the agency. Vaughn Noga, a long-time EPA executive, will become the agency’s chief information officer and principal deputy administrator in the Office of Environmental Information on August 5. Noga will replace Steve Fine, who has been the acting CIO and deputy administrator since January 2017. But as Noga moves into his new position, EPA plans to merge the CIO’s office with its office of administrative and resource management. Former EPA executives told Federal News Radio that reorganization would change the CIO’s reporting structure and contradict current federal law and policy. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Senate confirmed Robert Wilkie to be the next secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department. Wilkie will take over for acting Secretary Peter O’Rourke. He’ll oversee an agency that has several vacancies at high-level positions, low morale among its employees and a major high-profile electronic health record modernization. Wilkie previously served as the defense undersecretary for personnel and readiness. (Federal News Radio)
  • The CIA will have to go a bit longer without a Senate-confirmed inspector general. Acting IG Christopher Sharpley — nominated for the permanent post — has resigned and will leave government. He was facing accusations from two whistleblowers who alleged Sharpley had retaliated against them. That stalled his nomination in the Senate. Sharpley had held several inspector general posts, including deputy special IG for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. He’d been with the CIA as deputy IG since 2012. (Associated Press)
  • The House and Senate have wrapped up negotiations over the 2019 Defense authorization bill. The final details of the agreement haven’t yet been made public, but lawmakers said they’ve settled on a total spending figure of $716 billion for the fiscal year that starts in October. The package includes a $600-billion boost in R&D spending, and also makes significant reforms to personnel policy for military officers, including some that will relax rigid requirements for officers to either be promoted or leave the military altogether. (Federal News Radio)
  • Service members may see the biggest change in the military personnel system in decades. The final version of the 2019 defense authorization bill calls for a more flexible promotion system, expands officer spot promotions and repeals age restrictions for certain ranks. Lawmakers hope the changes help the military services retain talent. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Air Force is trying to help pilots do what they love the most. Flying. The service is starting an Aviator Technical Track for pilots, which will cut out non-flying related duties and keep them in the air. The Air Force is facing a pilot shortage and hopes new programs will keep them on the force longer. (Air Force)

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