More resistance to merging OPM and GSA

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  • Yet another legislative attempt to block the Trump administration’s proposed merger of the Office of Personnel Management with the General Services Administration passed the House. The amendment is part of the 2020 defense authorization bill. It prevents the administration from transferring resources from OPM to GSA. The House already included and passed similar language in its 2020 appropriations bill. (House Rules Committee)
  • As the House continues to debate its version of the 2020 defense authorization bill, the American Federation of Government Employees is putting its support behind a handful of amendments to the bill. AFGE is supporting amendments to limit the privatization of moving service members’ items during changes of station and to limit the consolidation of the Defense Media Activity. (American Federation of Government Employees)
  • Three members of the Federal Salary Council officially made recommendations to change the way government measures and then compensates federal employees. The members submitted five recommendations to the President’s pay agent for consideration. The pay agent includes the directors of the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management, and the Labor secretary. Members suggested using a different methodology to compare federal pay with the private sector. They also recommended including federal employee benefits in that comparison. (Federal News Network)
  • The Government Publishing Office is stepping up efforts to make presidential records available online. GPO has already digitized volumes of public papers from the Presidents Herbert Hoover through George H-W Bush — with the exception of Franklin Roosevelt. His papers were privately published before the project. This comes after GPO already digitized copies of records from the Clinton, George W. Bush,  and Obama administrations. The e-records include public writings, speeches, and photographs. (Government Publishing Office)
  • The House’s Chief Administrative Office has launched a Congressional Staff Academy aimed at giving Hill staffers a chance to upskill into higher positions. CAO rolled out the nine-part seminar based on input from the Partnership for Public Service and the Marine Corps University, as well as from 600 Hill employees and congressional offices. CAO is also rolling out a customer-focused strategic plan, and has begun migrating its systems to the cloud in order to fast-track IT modernization efforts. (Federal News Network)
  • The Army is pushing ahead with a project that could eventually outsource much of the information technology on its bases. The service issued a prototype project announcement earlier this week, saying it will select up to three companies to deliver enterprise IT as a service on small, medium and large Army bases. Each firm will be responsible for three bases. The Army is moving quickly: the first round of proposals from industry are due next week, and final responses for the other transaction agreement are due a month from now. The service wants vendors to start rolling out commercial IT solutions on three bases by the end of this year. (FedBizOpps)
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff nominee Army General Mark Milley said a lapse in government funding in October would seriously harm the progress the military has made on regaining readiness. Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee the military needs predictable, sustained and timely funding to stay relevant. (Federal News Network)
  • After more than six months without a confirmed defense secretary, acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper is making his first steps to get approval from the Senate. The Senate Armed Services Committee announced it will vet Esper in a public hearing next Tuesday. Esper is currently the Army Secretary and took on the duties of acting defense secretary after former acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan stepped down. (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • The Defense Contact Audit Agency says its backlog of incurred cost audits fell by more than 99% — about 20,000 years. It considers an audit backlogged if its more than two fiscal years old. DCAA uses years as its unit of backlog measure. Between 2011 and the end of fiscal 2018, the backlog dropped from 21,000 years to a mere 152 years. The agency says the remaining backlog is from factors beyond its control. (Defense Contract Audit Agency)

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