AFGE hoping to save Pentagon employees’ right to unionize

In today's Federal Newscast, the America Federation of Government Employees is making a final push to protect Defense Department employees’ right to unionize....

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  • The American Federation of Government Employees is making a final push to protect Defense Department employees’ right to unionize. In a letter to Congress, the organization asked lawmakers to support a provision that protects collective bargaining. A recent presidential memo excluded DoD employees from the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute. The provision is in response to a presidential memo that excluded DoD employees from the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute. The letter also asks lawmakers to expand paid parental leave and to ensure DoD employees can carryover leave that was not used during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The General Services Administration will lay out its vision for the new small business governmentwide contract on August 27. GSA is using this industry day to explain how it will move forward after canceling the Alliant Small Business solicitation in July after more than two years of delay. The agency also wants industry feedback about its strategy at the industry day.
  • Eight Democratic senators are asking the Government Accountability Office to look into the Census Bureau’s effort to wrap up decennial field operations a month earlier than planned. The request comes after the bureau said enumerators would stop knocking on doors at the end of September, in order to meet statutory deadlines to deliver apportionment data. The senators asked GAO whether the bureau has reduced the number of times enumerators visit households, or increased reliance on administrative records to complete the count. The senators warned that a rush to finish could lead to an undercount of Native American, rural and immigrant communities.
  • The Census Bureau adds another political hire to its top ranks. Benjamin Overholt will serve as the deputy director for data as the bureau prepares to compile 2020 census data for apportionment and redistricting purposes. Overholt held statistician jobs at the Equal Employment Opportunity’s enterprise data and analytics office and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The bureau’s other recent deputy director hire, Nathaniel Cogley, is focused on policy, but the Commerce Department’s inspector general has requested documents about his role and qualifications.
  • If data is the new oil, then here are 10 ways to release a gusher. With the never-ending focus across every agency to use data to make better decisions, a new playbook tries to help make that process easier. The Data and Analytics Center of Excellence at the General Services Administration released 10 plays focused on key concepts like governance, culture and infrastructure. The CoE says not every play will apply to every agency, but taken together, the straight-forward steps encompass the best practices to make any organization more data-driven. Each play includes a checklist and key questions to help agencies improve their processes.
  • The Postal Service’s top leadership will appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee next Monday to discuss recent changes in the way it does business. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan will face questions about recent cuts in overtime and an overhaul of its logistics. The agency also plans to raise commercial package prices, and recently announced a hiring freeze and early retirements for USPS management. The committee moved its hearing up from September 17 amid reports that the Postal Service has removed mail-sorting equipment from some of its facilities.
  • DoD wants to consolidate its online training to a central repository that will hold tens of thousands of courses. The Pentagon’s chief management officer is undertaking an effort to consolidate the 150 training systems into one platform. DoD estimates the move could save about $22 million by reducing duplications and redundancies. Users of the new system will have their own profile that keeps track of online learning. (Federal News Network)
  • Two more pieces of the reorganization of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence fell into place yesterday. John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, said the agency officially established the directorates of Policy and Capabilities, and Mission Integration. The Policy and Capabilities Office will help focus the intelligence community on future requirements. The Mission Integration directorate’s charge will center on meeting the IC’s intelligence needs of today. In May, ODNI announced other changes including to the National Counterterrorism Center and the creation of a single cyber executive.
  • The Navy is quintupling the value of the nontraditional acquisition vehicle it uses for information warfare projects. The Navy’s Information Warfare Research Project has been up and running for nearly two years. Officials initially set a $100 million ceiling for the program, which uses DoD’s other transaction agreement authorities for rapid acquisition. But the contract vehicle was used for enough prototype projects that that ceiling was reached within a year and a half, so officials are raising it by another $400 million. They’ve also extended the OTA’s expiration date for another two years.

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