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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reminding service members to make sure they pay their bills on time. Changes to the Defense Department’s continuous evaluation program also mean defense clearance holders should consider checking their credit reports, signing up for fraud alerts and monitoring their credit score. Over 1 million people are enrolled in DoD’s continuous evaluation program. (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
The Office of Special Counsel filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint against the Interior Department. OSC claims Interior fired a regional environmental officer in Anchorage, Alaska, after reaching out to management and the agency’s inspector general. The whistleblower said Interior violated environmental regulations to fast-track oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean. Interior fired the whistleblower in 2016, following an investigation into unspecified misconduct. (Office of Special Counsel)
Later this fall, the Homeland Security Department will release a full inventory of national critical functions and the industries that run them. DHS is working to stand up its new National Risk Management Center, which will share cyber threat information with major industries like finance, telecommunications, and energy. (Federal News Radio)
The move to use Technology Business Management processes for IT investments is picking up steam. The General Services Administration, the Education Department, the Office of Management and Budget and other agencies are creating a new playbook for how agencies can more easily implement the Technology Business Management (TBM) methodology. The playbook comes after GSA and OMB received considerable interest in the request for information they released in June. Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent said OMB and GSA received more than 80 responses from vendors. Kent said they held four days of presentations about how industry can help the government adopt TBM.
There will soon be a mobile version of the Education Department’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The agency’s Federal Student Aid Office said it’s launching it later this fall after it noticed more applicants were filling out the form on a mobile phone. This new version will help the agency learn where applicants are having trouble with the application. (Federal News Radio)
Jack St. John is now permanent general counsel at the General Services Administration. St. John has been the acting general counsel since October. He’s worked at GSA since the beginning of the administration, first as GSA’s chief of staff and senior White House adviser. St. John will manage more than 130 lawyers nationwide as general counsel, working on an assortment of issues ranging from acquisition to technology to real estate. Prior to joining GSA, St. John was a partner in a law firm in Alabama, where he represented businesses, professionals and governmental entities in litigation and transactional matters. (General Services Administration)
Two senators want to reverse the president’s recent decision to remove administrative law judges from of the competitive service. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduce a bill that restores the previous process for appointing administrative law judges. Cantwell and Collins want agency leaders to choose as many ALJs as they need from a list pre-approved candidates from the Office of Personnel Management. The bill essentially reverses an executive order President Donald Trump signed a few months ago. (Congress.gov)
Plans to create a new U.S. Space Command are underway, according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The cost is still being calculated, but Mattis said he expected it to be relatively inexpensive since it can draw on assets from the other services. DoD hopes to have the command set up by the end of the year. (Federal News Radio)
Defense Secretary James Mattis said he was eager for auditors to uncover problems in the Pentagon’s first-ever audit. Mattis told reporters yesterday that the audit is “in full swing.” He said the effort is important to him, because the U.S. can’t have lasting security without financial solvency. The first full-scope audit is starting after nearly a decade of preparations. Internal and external financial management experts widely expect the first effort to fail. But DoD officials don’t believe they can correct their financial weaknesses without the thorough outside examination.
The Army wants to give small companies more incentive to come work in the service’s research labs. Assistant Army Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Bruce Jette said he would like to subsidize travel expenses for some businesses, so they can use the equipment in the Army laboratories. No plans have been finalized yet.
The next fiscal year will bring a raft of fresh contracting opportunities. Bloomberg reports, the Postal Service is about to make a decision on a supplier for its next generation of local delivery vans worth up to $6.6 billion. The Defense Information Systems Agency will accept bids until Sept. 10 on its storage-as-a-service contract, worth more than $600 million. In March, the FAA will release a request for proposals for a follow-on airspace system support contract now held by Leidos.