Two agencies team up to address national supply chain issues

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  • Two agencies are teaming up to review the federal supply chain to address longstanding acquisition and logistic issues. The General Services Administration and Defense Logistics Agency say they have launched the first comprehensive Federal Supply Class review in almost 50 years. It involves reviewing all 600 FSC’s which categorize millions of items used by agencies and the military. (Defense Logistics Agency)
  • Agencies have received even more performance management guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM is reminding agencies, common performance management concepts like progressive discipline and tables of penalties aren’t required by law or statute. Agencies then shouldn’t rely on them to manage their employees. OPM instead is encouraging managers to fully consider the details and history of an employee, over choosing a punishment from a list. OPM’s new guidance comes after agencies were also instructed to review and update their performance management plans. (Federal News Network)
  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) wants OPM to get moving on a comprehensive recruitment plan for young talent to the federal workforce. Norton introduced the Federal Employee Recruitment Act. It would require OPM to develop a specific plan within three months of the bill’s potential passage. Norton also wrote to OPM Director Dale Cabaniss, suggesting the agency consider paid family leave, more telework flexibilities and more internship opportunities as ways to recruit more young people to agencies. (Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton)
  • The National Treasury Employees Union is making another push to get a federal paid family leave program into law. The House version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act includes 12 weeks of paid family leave for federal employees. But the Senate version doesn’t. House and Senate leadership are conferencing over the issue now. NTEU says it’s optimistic Congress will approve it. The National Partnership for Women and Families estimates government could save $50 million a year through reduced employee turnover with the Federal Employees Paid Leave Act. (Federal News Network)
  • Four Senators said Congress and the courts need help securing their IT supply chains. In a letter to the White House, they applaud the work the Federal Acquisition Security Council is doing to shore up supply chains for executive branch agencies. But they say the council and the intelligence community need to share security information with the legislative and judicial branches. They’re asking the council to draw up a strategic plan to help make that happen. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee)
  • The Agriculture Department is working with industry to develop smart farms. Farmers have no shortage of tools to increase their production, but the Agriculture Department is taking the next step with industry, to build the data-driven farms of the future. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, together with partners like Microsoft and Esri, have launched a Data Innovations project, aimed at using the Internet of Things and other emerging tech, to give farmers and researchers near-real time data on farm conditions. (Federal News Network)
  • The Office of Management and Budget says the government has saved billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of work hours under the President’s Management Agenda. OMB released an updated compilation of agency “burden reduction” initiatives on Thursday. The administration says the 24 largest agencies reported more than 100 initiatives between the beginning of the administration and March of this year. A plurality of those – 44% – fell in the category of process improvement and standardization. Agencies also leaned heavily on robotic process automation and AI. Initiatives in that category made up 26% of the total. (Performance.gov)
  • President Donald Trump has signed an executive order designed to “reinvigorate” the Administrative Pay-As-You-Go rules OMB first created in 2005. The “PAYGO” rules are meant to force agencies to offset any mandatory spending increases they propose with equivalent mandatory spending cuts. But the White House says agencies aren’t applying the rules stringently enough. (White House)
  • The Naval Academy’s engineering and weapons division got a financial boost from industry. Northrop Grumman made a $150,000 grant to the academy foundation to enhance the academy’s additive manufacturing laboratory. The lab, dubbed the USNA Maker Space, gives midshipmen a place to design and print complex parts, using processes the Navy wants to eventually deploy in tactical situations. Some student projects are connected to Northrop Grumman Mission Systems own additive manufacturing programs, including parts for satellites and a Marine Corps equipment pack. (USNA Maker Space)

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