Looking for a job? VA has over 45,000 openings

In today's Federal Newscast, the Veterans Affairs Department released figures on employment vacancies at the agency as of June 30. 

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  • The Veterans Health Administration still has 40,000 vacancies to fill. The Veterans Affairs Department released its figures on employment vacancies as of June 30. The agency has close to 2,000 vacancies in the Veterans Benefits Administration and 2,500 vacancies in the department’s staff offices. In total, VA has more than 45,000 open jobs. Agency leaders also released plans to fill the openings at VHA. They said VHA’s workforce challenges mirror those of the health care industry as there is a national shortage of health care professionals, especially for physicians and nurses. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • At least one House Republican is appealing directly to the president about his plans for a federal pay freeze in 2019. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) wrote to President Donald Trump, asking him to reconsider and rescind his plans. Comstock said the freeze is especially jarring because military members are set to receive a 2.6 percent raise next year. She reminded Trump that federal employees live and work throughout the country, not just in the Washington metropolitan area. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Air Force is getting rid of more tasks that take up too much time for its airmen. Over the past year, the Air Force rescinded 226 instructions and eliminated almost 4,700 compliance items airmen must follow. The cutback is part of a two-year review the Air Force is conducting to eliminate burdensome tasks for airmen. The Air Force wants to get rid of some of the regulations so airmen can have more free time and so they will take on more personal responsibility in future wars. (Federal News Radio)
  • A member of the Texas National Guard is accused of stealing meth from Customs and Border Protection. A federal affidavit says Pvt. Edwin Baez stole over 3 pounds of the drug from a CBP stash in the beginning of August. Baes had been deployed to Laredo to help CBP agents at the World Trade Bridge. Stripes reports National Guard troops will remain at the border for another year. (Associated Press)
  • Army Secretary Mark Esper said he’s not thrilled about possibly relinquishing control of Army Medical Research and Material Command to the Defense Health Agency. The 2019 defense authorization act gives DHA jurisdiction over the command starting in 2022. Esper said he’d like to keep the command for readiness reasons. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board said federal employees who receive strong and timely feedback from their managers are twice as likely to perform better on the job. An MSPB study found employees who receive high quality feedback are more likely to be more creative in their work, and earn higher appraisal ratings. MSPB said the federal civil service needs more people who can and will think creatively and innovatively. (Merit Systems Protection Board)
  • The government’s use of Dun & Bradstreet may be coming to an end after 16 years. The General Services Administration released a request for proposals seeking vendor validation services to replace the Dun and Bradstreet contract ending in 2018. GSA said the new contract will ensure agencies don’t have to contract separately for entity validation services. Instead they receive the service by way of the SAM.gov portal. Responses to the RFP are due by Oct. 1. (FedBizOpps)
  • The first task order under the General Services Administration’s $50 billion telecommunications contract is facing a protest. The Labor Department became the first agency to face a protest under GSA’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract. Granite Telecommunications filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office on Aug. 27. Granite said Labor’s June 7 soliciatation does not give it a fair opportunity compete and questions some of the evaulation factors. The RFP Is estimated to be worth more than $340 million, and some in industry have described it as a “winner take all” approach for voice, video and data. GAO has until Dec. 5 to decide the protest. (Federal News Radio
  • An agency within the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs lacks adequate security controls. State’s Inspector General said the Office of Fraud Prevention Program’s case management system is open to cyber threats. The OIG issued eight recommendations to the agency to fix the cyber vulnerablity. The agency said it would implement new security controls by November. (Department of State Office of Inspector General)

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