Congressman wants OSC to reconsider ban on impeachment talk

In today's Federal Newscast, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is asking the Office of Special Counsel to rescind its recent memo prohibiting certain speech...

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  • Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has asked the Office of Special Counsel to rescind its recent memo prohibiting certain speech such as resist or impeachment. Cummings told Special Counsel Henry Kerner the memo goes against previous Hatch Act guidance and may be unconstitutional. Cummings, the incoming chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested a briefing by Dec. 14 and all related documents by Dec. 21. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Democrats)
  • The Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform did not pass any recommendations to change annual procedures. Senate leadership told the committee it didn’t have time to consider the recommendations designed to avoid continuing resolutions and government shutdowns before the end of the year. Several committee members said the recommendations weren’t strong enough to create real change with the budget process anyway. (Federal News Network)
  • The Commerce Department drafted a new plan for commercializing federally funded research and development. A so-called green paper from the National Institute of Standards and Technology detailed five steps to modernize tech transfer. The paper pursued the lab-to-market cross agency priority goal in the Trump administration’s Management Agenda. The steps emphasize cleaning up rules and procedures, private sector engagement and better measures of effectiveness of R and S spending. Comments on the new approach are open until Jan. 9. (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • Federal chief financial officers are being called on to find out whether program and project managers are up to par. The Office of Personnel Management wants to measure agency program and project manager competencies. The competency test will help OPM comply with the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act and identify how many project managers government has as a whole. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • Air Force Base Tyndall will try to modernize as it rebuilds after being severely damaged by Hurricane Michael. The Air Force now asks Congress to use the supplemental funding to reconstruct the base as a means of preparing to house three F-35 squadrons there. The Air Force did not specify how much money it would need. If lawmakers approve the request, Tyndall could be ready for the F-35s by 2023. (Air Force)
  • The Navy plans to turn its postgraduate school into a premiere research institution working with industry. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer says collaborating on research is one of the best ways to build trust between government and industry. Spencer also said the Pentagon needs to stop its venture capital tourism and find better ways to connect with companies that will bring in innovative technologies. (Federal News Network)
  • President Trump announced his pick for the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Mark Milley is currently the Army’s chief of staff. If his nomination is approved by the Senate, he’d become the nation’s senior-most military officer, replacing Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford. The announcement was made earlier than expected, since Dunford’s term will not expire until next October. The president will need to pick several other military leaders between now and then, including a new chief of Naval operations, a new Marine Corps commandant and a new Army chief to replace General Milley. (Federal News Network)
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun standing up a career roadmap for its contracting workforce. Melissa Starinsky, director of CMS’s Office of Acquisition and Grants Management, said employees wanted more clarity on the skills needed to move up. The agency remains in the early stages of implementing the roadmap and its building out continuing education opportunities for employees to develop their skills. (Federal News Network)
  • GSA chose its third commissioner of the Technology Transformation Service. Anil Cheriyan, the former SunTrust Bank chief information officer, joined to help the General Services Administration run its Technology Transformation Service and be the deputy commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service. Cheriyan will join the agency in January. He replaced Joanne Collins Smee, who resigned in August after less than a year. Kelly Olson, the chief of staff at TTS since March, has been acting director and deputy commissioner of FAS since Collins Smee left. Cheriyan comes to GSA after retiring from SunTrust in April after six years. (Federal News Network)

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