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Funding for the Technology Modernization Fund in 2019 continues to hang in the balance. Federal technology officials continue to wait to see if the Technology Modernization Fund will receive a second year of funding. House and Senate lawmakers need more time to come to together on the 2019 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. Despite the uncertainty, TMF board members still expect to make a second set of awards using 2018 funding totaling about $55 million over the next couple of weeks. The first three agencies, the Department of House and Urban Development and the departments of Energy and Agriculture, which all received a modernization loan earlier this year , received their initial increment of funding in the last six weeks.
The House joinned the Senate in passing the first of three mini-bus fiscal 2019 spending bills. The Military-Construction, Veterans Affairs, Energy and Legislative appropriations bill is heading to President Donald Trump’s desk. Additionally, the Defense, Labor and Education minibus received approval from the conference committee, and can now receive a full vote by both chambers of Congress. For those agency spending bills that won’t be approved by Oct. 1, congressional leaders said they have reached an agreement on a plan to pass a stopgap funding bill to keep the government open through Dec. 7. (Federal News Radio)
Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall reassured the Senate Budget Committee his agency is moving to improve transparency. CBO created interactive tools to illustrate how it calculates costs and projects spending and budgetary results. CBO also published information about its models and how they work. The agency also analyzed its own methods and made presentations about them to congressional staff. (Senate Budget Committee)
The Office of Personnel Management reminded agencies of flexibilities available to handle employees displaced by Hurricane Florence on the East Coast and Tropical Storm Olivia in Hawaii. In a memo, OPM Director Jeff Pon said agencies can grant weather and safety leave, though not to teleworkers in a safe location. Agencies can also authorize advanced and continuing pay for employees who evacuate, and can request an Emergency Leave Transfer Program. (Federal News Radio)
The Defense Department is warning that its initial response to Hurricane Florence will take some time. The commander of U.S. Northern Command told reporters the slow-moving storm will make it challenging for military members involved in rescue efforts to get to people who need help, at least until the worst of the weather has passed. Gen. Terrance O’Shaughnessy said DoD has prepositioned 7,000 troops at several staging bases in Virginia, Alabama and the Carolinas; another 800 Marines have embarked on amphibious ships and are ready to respond from off the coast. (Federal News Radio)
Air Force Maj. Gen. Timothy Fay is appointed as Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements. Fay is currently serving as special assistant to the vice chief of staff of the Air Force. He also served as the deputy commander for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. (Department of Defense)
The Defense Information Systems Agency opened up a new 24/7 operations network watch floor at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The floor is the second of its kind and includes 66 civilians, 23 service members and about 100 contractors. The floor continuously watches operational and security capabilities. (Defense Information Systems Agency)
The General Services Administration will soon pass the Centers of Excellence torch to its second agency. Kelly Olson, acting director of GSA’s Technology Transformation Service, said it’ll announce which agency it’ll partner with in two weeks. Over the past year, GSA and the Office of American Innovation have stood up five COEs at the Agriculture Department. Olson said GSA has already begun a talent search within the unnamed second agency. It’ll select agency employees to work full-time on the COE project. (Federal News Radio)
The Federal Labor Relations Authority is moving ahead with a promised reorganization plan. FLRA plans to close its Dallas regional office, and redo the remaining regional jurisdictions. It assigned the Dallas duties to the Denver and Atlanta regional offices. Cases from South Dakota slid from Denver to Chicago. The changes become effective next Friday, Sept. 21. The Boston office is scheduled to close later in the year. FLRA will use electronic case management and videoconferencing to help fill the gaps. (Federal Register)