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GSA is preparing version No. 3 of its successful 8(a) small business governmentwide acquisition contract called STARS. The 8(a) Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resource for Services 3 draft solicitation focuses on IT services, including software development and maintenance, and emerging technology like artificial intelligence. STARS 3 is proposed as an eight-year contract with a ceiling of $20 billion. Responses to the draft RFP are due Sept. 6. Agencies spent more than $1.6 billion on 8a STARS 2 in 2018. (FedBizOpps)
Employees at the two Agriculture Department bureaus which are relocating to Kansas City will receive incentive payments equal to one month’s salary, to help compensate for their now lower wages. USDA and the American Federation of Government Employees reached an agreement Friday to alleviate some burden on employees at the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture who agree to relocate. Additionally, the agreement lets employees who agree to relocate work remotely through at least Dec. 30. (American Federation of Government Employees)
The Department of Homeland Security’s immigration components cut back on the organization’s international footprint. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it will close thirteen field offices outside the U.S. by August of next year. It plans to keep open seven international offices: Beijing and Guangzhou, China; Nairobi, New Delhi, Guatemala City, Mexico City, and San Salvador. Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli said domestic staff or people temporarily deployed aboard will take over functions of the closed offices. State Department consulates will handle in-person services. (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
Federal employees will see changes in reimbursement for official travel after Oct. 1, but it depends on the destination. Boise, Idaho, is the newest non-standard area, but seven other areas will return to potentially lower standard per diem rates. Overall, the General Services Administration said the standard per diem rate will increase slightly to $151 in fiscal 2020. (Federal News Network)
Nearly all of the State Department employees questioned by the agency’s inspector general said the 2017 hiring freeze made it more difficult for them to do their jobs. Respondents to an IG survey said the freeze had a negative effect on their security, consular, and administrative operations. The IG office also found that the agency, under former Secretary Rex Tillerson, failed to coordinate the freeze with agency restructuring efforts. (Federal News Network)
A major contract for secure cloud services is awarded by the Census Bureau in preparation for the 2020 population count. CenturyLink received a contract worth up to $24 million, to ensure the security of online responses. It also partnered with the bureau to help encourage more than 125 million households to participate in the count. (CenturyLink)
DoD tried to correct the facts about its JEDI cloud procurement. The Defense Department finally was able to play a little offense about its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI initiative. DoD CIO Dana Deasy sought to set the record straight about what he called false narratives that have emerged about the cloud contract that could be worth $10 billion over 10 years. But Deasy may have opened JEDI up for more scrutiny just as Secretary Mark Esper begins his review of the program. Deasy said JEDI is less about the cloud and more about the applications that live on the infrastructure. This begs the question, why focus on the infrastructure? (Federal News Network)
DoD is well on track to set a new record in spending on other transaction agreements, or OTAs, by the end of fiscal 2019. Bloomberg Government found DoD will spend $7 billion using this alternative procurement approach. It passed its previous record for OTAs, four-billion-dollars, in the first seven months of 2019. BGov said Microsoft was the largest individual OTA recipient. (Bloomberg Government)
The Pentagon is undertaking a defense-wide review to see if it can identify money, time and manpower it can reallocate for its highest priorities. The Defense Department will look at all of its agencies and military services to see how money can be better spent from 2021 to 2025. Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist will head the effort along with the DoD chief management officer, the comptroller and the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Office. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency will be the first organization to justify its spending. (Federal News Network)
Air Force Space Command unveils its new enterprise data strategy. The framework integrates space enterprise data sources into a common, resilient and agile architecture. Gen. Jay Raymond, the leader of the command, said the strategy is a plan for next generation data management that will energize the command’s warfighting ability because decisions and actions are based on the better analysis of data. (Air Force)
There was a decrease in shipping and package volume at the Postal Service for the first time in nearly a decade. That’s more bad news for an agency that has ended the past 12 years in the red. The Postal Service ended the third quarter of fiscal 2019 with an overall net loss of more than $2 billion. USPS leadership said increased competition in package delivery led to the decline. (Federal News Network)
USPS’ oversight agency has announced more leadership changes. The Postal Regulatory Commission’s leadership named Michael Kubayanda as their vice chairman, through the end of 2020. The announcement came just days after the swearing-in of two new PRC commissioners. Kubayanda started his tenure as a PRC commissioner in January. (Postal Regulatory Commission)
The U.S. Forest Service has extended the comment period for proposed policy changes to help the agency comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. Commenters now have until Aug. 26. The agency said the proposed rule would give it the tools and flexibility to manage land and tackle critical challenges like wildfires and diseases.