Military unveils plan to help service members with base housing issues

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  • The Army, Navy and Air Force said they’re establishing a “tenant’s bill of rights” to help military members deal with cases of substandard on-base housing. The services said they will enforce the changes by renegotiating their leases with private housing providers in the coming months. Among the provisions are the appointments of housing advocates to help service members deal with landlord disputes, and they’ll have the right to be moved into new homes if problems aren’t fixed within 30 days. The changes also withhold rent payments from landlords while a health or safety issue is under dispute. (Army)
  • Though the shutdown has ended, the National Treasury Employees Union is pressing on with its lawsuit, which says forcing federal employees to work without pay violates the Fair Labor Standards Act. NTEU President Tony Reardon said the end goal is for the federal district court to agree that agencies can’t compel employees to work without pay, if they don’t have the appropriations to pay them. (Federal News Network)
  • President Donald Trump will send the first part of his 2020 budget request to Congress next week. It will be a high level breakdown of agency spending. He’ll then follow up with a more specific version of the request the following week, which will offer details on an agency-by-agency basis. The president’s request is a month late — the second time in three budget cycles the White House has missed its deadline of the first Monday in February.  (Government Publishing Office)
  • The Office of Personnel Management said the position descriptions and hiring guidance for federal accounting, auditing and budgeting jobs could use an update. It wants feedback from human resources managers on a series of updates to the job classification series. OPM said it worked with agencies and chief financial officers to inform the updates on accounting and auditing jobs. The work fits in with the President’s Management Agenda and the administration’s goals to attract, hire and retain top talent. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • The General Services Administration and the Air Force released details on what it will take to win a spot on the $5.5 billion multiple award IT products contract known as 2nd generation IT. GSA issued the request for quotes under Schedule 70 earlier this week. GSA and the Air Force are looking for vendors to provide products and services across five functional areas including data center, end user and network services. The 2G IT BPA will replace the Air Force’s NETCENTS-2 IT Products vehicle. It is expected to be available to the Defense Department, civilian agencies, state, local, and tribal governments to purchase IT, security and law enforcement products and services. GSA will hold a pre-bid webinar conference on March 14 and bids are due April 18. (General Services Administration)
  • The Government Accountability Office took DoD’s supply chain management and agencies’ handling of weather satellite data off its high-risk list. Overall, 24 high-risk areas have either met or partially met all five criteria needed to get removed from the list. Some new ones got added though, like Veterans Affairs’ acquisition management and security clearance processing. (Federal News Network)
  • The acquisition of weapons systems and contract management continues to plague the Defense Department when it comes to cost and scheduling. GAO’s High Risk List said the DoD has not done much to improve on the two issues since 2017. Acquisition and contract management make up nearly $2 trillion of taxpayer funds. GAO said DoD needs to follow knowledge-based practices and develop action plans to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in acquisition and contracting. (Federal News Network)
  • Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and Defense Department were on the hill yesterday to give an update on efforts to solve water contamination issues on military bases. House Oversight and Reform subcommittee on the environment Chairman Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) said the purpose was to find out why the agencies weren’t moving faster on possible solutions. At least 401 active and former military bases are affected. Defense officials said it may cost $2 billion dollars or more for investigation and clean up efforts. (House Oversight and Reform Committee)
  • The Pentagon unveiled its first-ever shared, classified supercomputing capability. It will give Air Force, Army and Navy researchers the ability to respond quickly to complex challenges. The environment is hosted at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio and takes advantage of four supercomputers. (Air Force)
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s computer security team plans to retire a popular guidance document with a planned update. A revision is coming to special publication 800-53A, which covers how to assess controls for supply chain security, privacy and security engineering. The revision will push aside version four in 2020. NIST fellow Ron Ross said that version is the most downloaded publication ever for the agency. It garnered some 20 million web visits over the last six years.
  • A new national security strategy from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence marks the first time the agency has published the strategy only as an unclassified document. The intelligence community also outlines several priorities it sees as goals for the entire community, not just for one agency to solve. The IC says its looking for shared solutions to tackle big data, infrastructure and workforce challenges in the coming years. (Office of the Director of National Intelligence)

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