VA appoints new permanent director for DC medical center

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  • Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie appointed a new permanent director for the D.C. medical center. Michael Heimall will take over leadership duties next week. Heimall previously ran the Walter Reed National Military Center in Maryland and has 30 years of experience in hospital leadership. VA fired a previous D.C. medical center director after an inspector general investigation found examples of supply mismanagement and poorly cleaned facilities. The previous director appealed his removal and returned to the facility. VA used the accountability act to fire him a second time. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • Over 20 federal buildings closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael when the storm caused power outages at offices and facilities in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. The General Services Administration advised federal employees to contact their agencies to determine their current operating status. The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Wednesday. (General Services Administration)
  • The Office of Personnel Management authorizes an emergency leave transfer program for federal employees impacted by Hurricane Florence. The program lets employees transfer unused annual leave to employees in any agency who have been affected by a major disaster or emergency. OPM said agencies should determine who might be impacted by the hurricane and who might be in the best position to donate unused leave. Employees who want to donate leave should contact their agencies, not OPM. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • An inspector general report points the finger at the Navy’s top officer for not acting fast enough against a staffer accused of sexual misconduct. The Pentagon IG cleared Adm. Paul Richardson of any wrongdoing, but said he failed to remove his then public affairs officer until four months after announcing his decision. (Department of Defense Office of Inspector General)
  • The Navy offers a year-long master’s degree in applied cyber operations to enlisted sailors in an effort to increase the service’s cyber capabilities and build a professional cyber workforce. The education will be fully funded by the Navy and the full-time students would start in Monterey, California in September 2019 or March 2020. (Navy)
  • A data breach involving travel records may have affected as many as 30,000 Defense Department employees. Defense officials said the breach involved a vendor that provides travel-related services to DoD personnel, but they declined to identify the company. They did say the firm has been ordered to stop performing work under its DoD contracts. In a statement, the Pentagon said its cyber teams notified defense leaders about the breach on Oct. 4. Although the data involves sensitive personal details, it doesn’t appear to include any classified information. (Federal News Network)
  • There’s another mega merger in the federal contractor market. Harris and L-3 are coming together to form L3 Harris Technologies. This new company will be the sixth largest defense contractor with about $16 billion in annual revenue. The companies said the merger is expected to close in mid-calendar year 2019. This merger follows several other high profile changes including Northrop Grumman acquiring Orbital ATK and General Dynamics buying CSRA. (Harris)
  • DoD wants its program and acquisition managers to have a stronger agile detector. The Pentagon is having some fun in teaching its acquisition and program managers how to detect if a company is actually providing agile services or just talking about it. Called the DIB guide to detecting agile BS, DoD releases the document last Friday. DoD details eight potential red flags that the contractor is calling a process agile but it’s really waterfall. The guide also highlights the questions and the wrong answers for software programming teams, for users or customers and for leadership. (Department of Defense)
  • Have 30 minutes to spare? That’s plenty of time to craft a Technology Modernization Fund request. Liz Cain, the director for the agency’s program management office said that’s all agencies need to sit down with them and develop an idea. The PMO also helps prep agency teams before they make their case to the TMF board. This summer, the board awarded about half of the fund’s $100 million to three agencies. (Federal News Network)