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The 2018 Combined Federal Campaign starts this week. The Office of Personnel Management said it updated the CFC online donation system again this year. OPM launched the online donation system for the first time during last year’s campaign and it’s the only way federal employees and retirees can make a donation to the CFC. OPM said the new updates to the online donation system mean federal employees have better access to their pledge information and charity payments. The 2018 CFC runs through Jan. 11. (Office of Personnel Management)
The House and Senate agree on their first minibus package of appropriations bills. It includes energy and water, military construction and veterans affairs, and legislative branch appropriations for 2019. The minibus includes nearly $87 billion in discretionary funding for the Veterans Affairs Department. The conference bill also includes $500 million for VA’s new community care programs in the Mission Act. But the minibus doesn’t fund the Mission Act completely. Senate Appropriations Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said VA will still need $1.6 billion dollars down the road to fund the new community care program. (House Appropriations Committee)
Another group of bipartisan House members speaks out against the president’s planned pay freeze for civilian federal employees in 2019. A group of 23 House members, mostly Republicans this time, write to President Donald Trump. They’re asking the president to reconsider and implement a pay raise for federal workers next year instead. Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) spearheaded this letter while fellow Virginia Republicans Barbara Comstock and Rob Wittman also signed on. (Federal News Radio)
Private debt collectors hired by the IRS encountered resource challenges. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said as of May, private debt collectors spent over $55 million to recover about $56 million in revenue. It also found private collectors recovered 1 percent of the more than $4 billion they were tasked with recovering. The 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST Act, requires the IRS to use private debt collectors. (Department of Treasury)
The CIO shuffle continues across two agencies. The Government Publishing Office and the National Credit Union Administration got new chief information officers. Sam Musa took over as the GPO CIO after spending the last decade at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Musa replaced Tracee Boxley who left the agency in January. He also worked at the National Weather Service, the FBI and the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon. Meanwhile, Rob Foster received a promotion to CIO from deputy CIO at the NCUA. Foster joined the credit union administration from the Navy Department in 2017.
SAIC pushed its chips into the race to be the largest federal systems integrator. The Reston, Virginia-based company announced plans to buy Engility in an all-stock transaction valued at $2.5 billion. SAIC and Engility saw a combined $6.5 billion in federal revenue in the last 12 months, which will make it the second largest independent systems integrator in the federal market. This is the second big deal for Engility since 2015 when it bought intregator TASC for more than $1 billion. (SAIC)
The Defense Information Systems Agency’s ENCORE Three Small Business Set Aside is now available to provide information technology assistance. The ENCORE Three contract has a $17.5 billion ceiling. It provides services ranging from engineering development to full sustainment. DISA awarded the ENCORE Three’s Full and Open Large Business Suite in March, ushering the way for the Small Business Set-Aside Suite. (Defense Information Systems Agency)
High operational tempo and lack of focus on flying basics are to blame for aircraft mishaps and safety gaps earlier this year according to the Air Force. The service ordered a one day stand down for all flying and maintenance wings after23 airmen died this spring from aircraft incidents. (Federal News Radio)
The U.S. military continues to move pricey weapons systems out of the way of Hurricane Florence. Starting today, the Air Force said it will fly its F-22 Raptor and T-38 Talon jets from Joint Base Langley-Eustis in southern Virginia to Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in central Ohio. Officials say Langley-Eustis has hangars that can withstand hurricane-force winds, but there’s no reason to take a chance on multi-million dollar fighters. Meanwhile, the Navy started evacuating some 30 ships from the nearby Norfolk Naval Station yesterday, moving them to safe areas of the Atlantic. (Federal News Radio)