GAO says VA needs plan for coming retirement wave

In today's Federal Newscast, the Government Accountability Offices says one-third of the Veterans Affairs workforce is eligible to retire by 2022, and the agenc...

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  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is in need of an agency-wide succession plan. The Government Accountability Office said one-third of the VA workforce is eligible to retire by 2022. GAO said a succession plan would help VA better manage an annual turnover rate of 11%. That includes some 24,000 medical and dental professionals and 900 human resources specialists who leave the VA during any given year. GAO said turnover in these positions is threatening VA’s ability to meet its mission. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development is getting a new second in command. President Donald Trump plans to nominate Brian Montgomery to be HUD’s deputy secretary. Montgomery currently serves as the assistant secretary for Housing, and Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD. He has been in that role since 2017. He’s also been serving as acting deputy secretary since January. Montgomery has worked at HUD under three administrations and has more than 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors. (White House)
  • Ryan McCarthy has been sworn in as the 24th Army Secretary. The ceremony was conducted by former Army secretary and now Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. In remarks, McCarthy vowed to modernize the branch and make sure the U.S. military remains the most lethal fighting force in the world. (Department of Defense)
  • The Air Force has been talking about reorganizing its cyber and intelligence forces for years and the service has now made it official. In a ceremony on Friday, officials formally stood up the 16th Air Force. That organization will combine the functions of the former 24th and 25th Air Forces into a single “information warfare” command. Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh will lead the new organization. (Department of Defense)
  • The Defense Department has turned to an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for new identity management capability. DoD is struggling to centrally monitor, manage, secure and audit the identity of the users on its network. Basically, DoD does not have an enterprise-wide identity, credential and access management or ICAM capability. To that end, the Defense Information Systems Agency released a request for white papers under an OTA. DISA wants to see if a vendor could help establish a federated identity service for CAC and non-CAC holders. White papers are due by Nov. 5. (FedBizOpps)
  • The Trump administration took steps to clarify how agencies should continue collective bargaining negotiations with federal employee unions, now that the president’s workforce executive orders are in full force. The president said agencies that finalized new bargaining agreements while the injunction was in place, can continue. But agencies that currently are in the middle of negotiations with unions must abide by the terms of the executive orders. (Federal News Network)
  • Congress hasn’t forgotten about a spare parts supplier who’s alleged to have been gouging the Pentagon for years. Earlier this year, DoD’s inspector general found Transdigm had been padding its profit margins on parts – more than 4,000% in some cases. But Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said DoD hasn’t delivered the information Congress needs in the wake of those revelations. In a seven-page letter, Grassley asks dozens of questions about how DoD handles intellectual property situations when it’s up against sole-source vendors. (Sen. Chuck Grassley)
  • Some US companies will be allowed to work with Huawei. The Wall Street Journal reported the White House has signed off on special licenses for some businesses to work with the Chinese telecom giant. It was blacklisted by the Trump administration earlier this year. Now though, the Commerce Department will grant those licenses as long as it doesn’t effect national security.

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