Federal contractors could get favorable treatment for hiring disabled workers

In today's Federal Newscast, the Labor Department is looking to reward four contractors who make an effort to hire qualified disabled people.

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  • Federal contractors who make an effort to hire people with disabilities could be rewarded. The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Office of Disability Employment Policy want to give two large and two small contractors a three year moratorium on compliance evaluations for taking proactive steps to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified people with disabilities. Nominations are due Aug. 31. (Department of Labor)
  • New guidance from the Office of Management and Budget includes a formula to help agencies follow a June executive order to reduce the number of federal advisory committees. Agencies have until Aug. 1 to make recommendations for the committees they want to end. Then they must cut at least three, or as many as one-third of all of their advisory committees by Sept. 30. (White House)
  • More agencies are taking steps to protect their networks and data from cyber attacks. In seven of 10 cybersecurity metrics, the Office of Management and Budget said agencies improved. New data on Performance.gov reveals agencies made the most progress in implementing software asset management and intrusion detection and prevention capabilities over the last six months. Nine agencies now have intrusion detection and prevention tools versus three in December, while 17 have software asset management capabilities versus 10 that had them six months ago. EPA and Energy are among the agencies struggling with implementing several capabilities including software asset management and intrusion detection and prevention. (General Services Administration)
  • The National Archives and Records Administration does not have a reliable way to flag missing electronic copies of historical records agencies scheduled to send to NARA. The agency’s inspector general said that means NARA can not ensure historic records aren’t lost or destroyed. IG office made this finding just weeks before NARA and the Office of Management and Budget released a memo mandating all agencies to move fully from paper to electronic records by the end of 2022. (Oversight.gov)
  • The Navy no long requires hardcopies of fingerprints for background investigations submitted to the National Background Investigations Bureau. All fingerprints for security clearances will now be submitted digitally. The Navy said the change is an attempt to speed up the clearance process and to cut down on the backlog. The backlog for security clearances currently stands at about 400,000. (Navy)
  • The Congressional Budget Office is estimating a new Space Force will cost about $3.6 billion in one-time and recurring costs over the next five years. That’s after adding up the costs for the House of Representative’s proposal for the new military branch. The House’s proposal puts the Space Force under the Air Force, much like the Marine Corps is a component of the Navy. CBO estimates the Defense Department will need to hire as many as 6,800 new employees to maintain the Space Force. DoD would also transfer about 23,000 civilian and military personnel to the new branch. (Federal News Network)
  • The Army is offering incentives to fill out its infantry ranks. Soldiers who sign up for the infantry occupational specialty by the end of September can get up to $40,000 as a bonus. The Army said it is currently short 3,300 soldiers to fill infantry positions. (Military.com)
  • Veterans looking to take their business to the next level may soon get some training funded by the Small Business Administration. SBA awarded $100,000 to the Veteran Entrepreneurial Training and Resource Network for a pilot training program, to educate veteran small business owners on how to compete for federal contracts. Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton said the pilot will help veterans grow their own small businesses, rather than start new ones. (Small Business Administration)
  • The State Department adds another new embassy building in its long-term rebuilding project. Officials cut the ribbon on a new diplomatic campus in Pristina, Kosovo. It’s the 159th new embassy since 1999. Another 57 are in design or construction. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci attended, along with State Department and Kosovo elected officials. The State Department said the new structure will receive gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Department of State)

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