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It’s been one year since the launch of the President’s Management Agenda and the administration said it now sees an opportunity to build on many of the 14 cross-agency priority goals the agenda outlines. Category management is one area that will soon get more focus. Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, said new guidance on the subject is coming out later this week. The guidance will institutionalize how agencies buy common goods and services, and task agencies to develop annual plans to cut procurement spending. (Performance.gov)
The 1.9 percent retroactive pay raise for federal employees is in the final legal clearance now. Weichert, who also serves as acting Office of Personnel Management director, acknowledged federal employees’ frustration with how long it’s taking. She said the delay shows why now is a good opportunity to review the current pay and compensation system. (Federal News Network)
Federal employees’ motivations are about to become the subject of an in-depth study. On the assumption that salary is not the primary motivator of job satisfaction, OMB is planning what Weichert said will be a major study of compensation, rewards and recognition. She said most feds expressed satisfaction with their pay and benefits, but see no connection between pay and merit. The issue gains importance as the government competes for cyber and other technical talent. (Federal News Network)
President Trump nominated Steve Dickson, a former Delta Air Lines pilot and executive, as the next head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Dickson also served as chairman of several industry stakeholder groups and federal advisory committees. Daniel Elwell has been the acting FAA chief for 14 months. If confirmed by the Senate, Dickson would step into an agency undergoing scrutiny for its approval of the Boeing 737 Max jets, which were involved in two crashes in the last five months, and have recently been grounded in the United States. (Federal News Network)
The amount of Freedom of Information Act requests the government received in 2018 produced another record breaking year. A study presented at a FOIA Advisory Committee meeting showed a handful of agencies bearing the burden of the majority of those requests. The departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Defense, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Social Security Administration, all ranked as top FOIA request recipients between 2008 and 2016. The study also found that for every FOIA officer in government, there are about 188 requests. (Federal News Network)
The Volcker Alliance will launch two government-to-university regional marketplaces to help agencies build stronger talent pipelines and create shared research agendas with colleges. Two regional hubs will launch in Kansas City, Missouri, and Austin, Texas this spring, with plans to launch more later in the fall. The initiative has support from OMB and OPM. OMB said the goal was to create a systematic way to collaborate and partner with colleges and universities. (Federal News Network)
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is selling the Space Force as an innovation hub which will consolidate space procurement as he tries to convince Congress to institute the Force in the coming months. Shanahan also said the size of the force will be between 15,000 and 20,000 employees. (Federal News Network)
The Pentagon’s inspector general also opened a formal investigation into whether Shanahan has been tilting procurements toward his former employer Boeing. The investigation was prompted, in part, by a complaint from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. CREW cited press reports that suggested Shanahan derided Boeing competitors during Pentagon meetings, and allegedly pressed the Air Force to buy more of Boeing’s F-15 fighter jets. At a Senate hearing last week, Shanahan said he would welcome an IG investigation, and that he’s followed ethics rules. (Federal News Network)
Fifteen thousand military medical personnel may not stay in the service. The 2020 defense health budget is down for the first time in years due to a planned reduction in military medical personnel. Dentists, nurses and doctors would transition to civilian jobs under the proposal so the military force can become more lethal.
The Social Security Administration is once again pushing back against an attempt by fraudsters with a new campaign. SSA and its inspector general warned that calls can even “spoof” the SSA national customer service number as the incoming number on caller ID. The agency said that while its employees do occasionally contact people by telephone for business purposes, they will never threaten a person or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information. (Social Security Administration)
Is the SEAT management concept for IT services coming back in vogue? DHS will explore whether it could move all of its IT and desktop end user support services to a managed service. DHS released a request for information seeking to transition to a contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) environment for more than 10,000 employees and 12,000 pieces of hardware and software. The agency asked vendors to answer 12 questions, including how a consumption-based billing model would work and how the vendor would support the COCO model. Responses to the RFI are due March 25. (FedBizOpps)