To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe on PodcastOne or Apple Podcasts. The best listening experience on desktop can be found using Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
Vendors hoping to bid on the Pentagon’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract get more time to do so. The Defense Department pushed the deadline to accept bids back to Oct. 9, saying it’s making the change after being asked for more time by offerers. (FedBizOpps)
OPM’s inspector general gave a thumbs up to the agency. The IG said the Office of Personnel Management is properly adjudicating background investigations and is meeting congressional standards in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. There are a few improvements to be made, however, such as better training and standardizing policies and procedures for all of its adjudicators. (Office of Personnel Management)
The Department of the Navy will soon open up a new background investigation hub in San Diego. This will be the second hub of its kind, the first being in Tidewater, Virginia. The hubs bring government background investigators to sites other than Washington, D.C., to expedite the interviewing process. The Navy has also been setting up surge centers throughout the U.S. Those are temporary areas where interviewers visit to speed up interviews and investigations. Places such as Ft. Meade in Maryland have already been used as surge sites. The Navy said it will continue surge interviews in 2019.
The Air Force named Brig. Gen. Edward Vaughan as the head of the its Unexplained Physiological Events Integration Team. The team will work to find solutions to minimize the effects of oxygen loss, headaches and disorientation while flying. Since May 2, five F-35 pilots have experienced hypoxia while flying. (Air Force)
A new commander took over in the U.S.’ longest war. Army Gen. Austin Miller took over Resolute Support Mission. He was commander of Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Miller replaced Gen. John Nicholson, who commanded NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan since March 2016, a record 31 months. Upon retiring, Nicholson urged the Taliban to stop killing fellow Afghans and Muslims, adding the time for peace is now. (Department of Defense)
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) wants the Agriculture Department to reconsider it plans to move some employees out of the Washington metropolitan area. Hoyer wrote to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, saying that moving employees of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food Agriculture would be disruptive. Hoyer said many of these employees have lived in the area for years and decades. (Rep. Steny Hoyer)
The House passed bipartisan legislation to codify a key cybersecurity program at the Homeland Security Department. Rep. John Ratcliffe’s (R-Texas) bill supports the agency’s Continuous Diagnostics Mitigation program, or CDM. The bill would ensure CDM continues to implement the latest network monitoring tools, and would require DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to report to Congress on how to better run the program. DHS launched the CDM program in 2012 to protect agency networks from cyber attacks. (Rep. John Ratcliffe)
Federal unions say agencies are revealing how they will comply with a federal district court ruling on the president’s workforce executive orders. The Social Security Administration is restoring official time and opening up office space. The American Federation of Government Employees said it’s working with SSA to develop a process to submit claims over the union’s lost time and expenses. The National Treasury Employees Union said the IRS is dropping its original plans to cut official time. (Federal News Radio)
EPA more than doubled spending on security under former Administrator Scott Pruitt. The agency’s inspector general said that in less than a year EPA spent $3.5 million on 24/7 security for the administrator. That’s compared to $1.6 million spent under former Administrator Gina McCarthy during her tenure from 2013 to 2017. The EPA justified the spending, saying it was in response to specific threats against Pruitt. (Federal News Radio)