To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe on PodcastOne or Apple Podcasts. The best listening experience on desktop can be found using Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
Oct. 1 is D-Day for GSA’s schedules. That is when the Federal Acquisition Service will release its consolidated schedule, which will include the new special item numbers and terms and conditions. This means contractors can begin moving to the new single schedule. GSA’s goal is to consolidate 24 schedules down to one by the end of fiscal 2020. Over the last six months, GSA has been working toward that goal by asking industry and other experts to weigh in on its planned changes. (Centre Law Group)
It’s time for the federal workforce to become acquainted with artificial intelligence. That’s the hope of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In its AI strategy, NIST has urged the Office of Personnel Management and Commerce Department to develop job series and career paths for future AI-centric positions. NIST has also asked the White House National Science and Technology Council’s Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Subcommittee, to name a standards coordinator for future AI regulations. (Federal News Network)
Almost a year after Congress created CISA, the cybersecurity agency now has a strategic plan. Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or CISA, is keeping the two core goals of the newest Department of Homeland Security bureau to a simple motto: Defend today, secure tomorrow. Krebs rolled out CISA’s strategic intent outlining the organization’s vision and objectives yesterday. Krebs said CISA will focus on being the nation’s risk adviser whether it’s for federal networks or critical infrastructure providers or for state and local governments. He said the agency will work with partners to help them prepare for the most immediate threats like ransomware and for emerging ones that aren’t even known yet. (Department of Homeland Security)
House Republicans said there’s no evidence Interior Secretary David Bernhardt hid calendar meetings from Congress or the public. Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform, and Natural Resources Committees said the National Archives and Records Administration found no evidence of records mismanagement by the department. They interviewed career Interior employees, and reviewed thousands of pages of Bernhardt’s calendars and emails. The minority committees’ review comes after House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) suggested Bernhardt had skirted ethics regulations. (House Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans)
Federal law enforcement take umbrage at a bill coming from two members of Congress. The Peace Act, from Democratic House members Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), would allow force only as a last resort. Patrick O’Carroll, executive director of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said it’s an answer looking for a problem. He said lethal force is used in less than 0.1% of arrests, and that the standard already in place for use of lethal force by federal law enforcement is the protection of officers’ or bystanders life.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) wants House and Senate appropriations committee leaders to get to work on some kind of appropriations agreement as soon as possible. The House passed 10 of 12 appropriations bills for 2020. The Senate hasn’t introduced or passed any yet. Hoyer acknowledged a continuing resolution might be inevitable. He said a 60-day short term CR is his preference if Congress can’t pass an omnibus or a series of appropriations bills by the Sept.30 deadline. Congress returns from August recess Sept. 9. (Federal News Network)
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said the Army will need more money in 2022 through 2026 to continue to meet its modernization goals. McCarthy said earlier this week that without more freed up funds the Army’s buying power will decrease in the near future. The Army has recently been divesting from legacy systems, which may be a way to find more cash if future budgets don’t increase. (Federal News Network)
The Navy has a new top officer. Adm. Michael Gilday took over as chief of naval operations during a ceremony yesterday, relieving the retiring Adm. John Richardson as the service’s senior uniformed leader. Gilday had previously been the commander of the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command. Although he was easily confirmed by the Senate, Gilday’s nomination was something of a surprise. It came after Adm. Bill Moran, the Navy’s vice chief, withdrew from consideration over inappropriate emails he had sent to a former subordinate. (Navy)
The Defense Heath Agency released its final request for proposal for TRICARE health services overseas. The $605 million contract provides a wide range of administrative health care support services for those using TRICARE outside the U.S. The period of service will have a one-year transition period plus seven one-year option periods. There is also the potential for six-month extensions up to eight and a half years.