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The Transportation Security Administration wants to hire 6,000 more officers as airport screeners. TSA is launching a national recruitment campaign to fill the jobs by this summer. The agency said it’s expecting travel to pick up later this year based on the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations and normal summer travel. Full time and part time positions are open. TSA said it will participate in virtual job fairs and will launch targeted recruitment efforts to fill open positions at 430 airports.
If you want to start a career negotiating contracts for the U.S. government, the barriers to entry just got a lot lower. It’s part of a bigger initiative the Defense Department called “back to basics.” For the contracting workforce, initial certification requirements are being cut from 650 hours of training to just 200. The idea is to give the tens of thousands of acquisition professionals who work for DoD just the fundamental skills they’ll need, and make the rest of their training a continuous learning process, tailored to their actual jobs. The Pentagon plans to implement a similar overhaul for the rest of the acquisition workforce by October. (Federal News Network)
The Department of Veterans Affairs saw noticeable progress in vaccinating its workforce. Reaching the entire veteran population is another challenge. VA said it’s focused now on vaccinating the 9.3 million veterans who are enrolled in the department’s healthcare system. But it does eventually want to reach every veteran. VA said the biggest challenge is having enough doses. The Department of Health and Human Services so far allotted 6 million vaccine doses for veterans, 400,000 for VA employees, plus additional doses to vaccinate 23,000 employees at the Department of Homeland Security. (Federal News Network)
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Pentagon will look into the case of a female Marine who claims her sexual assaulter was allowed to stay in the Marine Corps. A TikTok video of the female Marine went viral late last week, in which she alleges that a commanding general decided to retain her assaulter despite an admission of guilt and previous decisions to discharge the assaulter. Austin called the video “very disturbing”, but said the Pentagon needs to get the facts on the matter.
The Justice Department won a $6 million settlement from a federal contractor for overbilling for IT services under DHS’ EAGLE contract. DOJ announced Information Innovators Inc. will pay to resolve allegations that a predecessor company, Creative Computing Solutions Inc., or CCSI, violated the False Claims Act. DOJ said that from October 2007 to April 2014, CCSI knowingly submitted claims for payment to DHS for work performed by its employees who lacked required job qualifications. CCSI allegedly violated the terms of the EAGLE contract by using under-qualified personnel who were billed to DHS at higher rates reserved for more qualified employees.
The Air Force is looking deeper into its race and diversity issues. The Department of the Air Force’s inspector general will conduct a follow-on review of race, gender, and ethnic disparities in the Air and Space Forces. The department already conducted a racial disparity review late last year. That review showed widespread gaps in punishment and promotions between races. The new review will take a deeper look into those issues after senior leaders emphasized the need for further analysis. The review will take six months.
A progress report on how vendors are removing Chinese telecommunications products or services from their supply chain. More than 99.9% of all vendors on contracts run by the General Services Administration said they aren’t using equipment or services from Huawei, ZTE, or other prohibited Chinese telecommunications companies. Starting last August, part B of Section 889 of the 2019 Defense Authorization Act went into effect. GSA’s 889 Part B dashboard shows 263 vendors — most of which are small firms — have not met the requirements Congress laid out. In all, more than 16,000 vendors said they met the supply chain risk management mandate, while 31 declined or canceled their contracts with GSA.
The Labor Department said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will now be overseeing worker retaliation complaints filed under two new whistleblower statutes. Under the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, OSHA will investigate whistleblower complaints of retaliation for reporting criminal antitrust violations to their superiors or the government. It will also be handing complaints of retaliation for those who report allegations that fall under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
It’s not looking good for President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) announced Friday that he would be voting against Neera Tanden’s confirmation. Manchin called in her ability to work in a bipartisan way after reviewing years of social media activity attacking Republicans. Manchin’s opposition leaves the administration needing support from one Republican in order to secure the confirmation. Tanden is a former adviser to Hillary Clinton and served as president of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress. (Federal News Network)
Congress is getting set to honor a centenarian, and you might be part of it. Friday was the 100th anniversary of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Now, two bipartisan congressional resolutions will honor that century of service. Virginia’s Gerry Connolly (D) and Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick (R) introduced the House version. Maryland’s Ben Cardin (D), joined by Oklahoma’s James Lankford (R), introduced the Senate version. NARFE started in 1921 when 14 recent federal retirees got together to start advocating a better retirement system.