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In a major update to Performance.gov, agencies have a new set of goals to meet under the President’s Management Agenda. The Office of Management and Budget will collaborate with interagency teams to set targets for empowering the federal workforce and improving customer experience. OMB is also releasing the names of strategy leads — that’s team members across government in charge of sustaining attention on PMA priorities. Agencies will also focus on moving more federal contracting dollars to small, disadvantaged businesses. (Federal News Network)
The Postal Service takes inventory of what it’s accomplished more than a year into its 10-year reform plan. USPS converted 63,000 pre-career track employees into career positions over the past year, a move the agency says has stabilized employee availability across the country. The agency spent more than $6 billion on capital investments over the past year. More than half of that has gone into the first order for 50,000 vehicles under its next-generation delivery vehicle contract. USPS says greater flexibility to set mail prices, authorized by its regulator in 2020 has helped the agency bring in nearly $2 billion a year in added revenue.
The Small Business Administration is looking to showcase entrepreneurs developing technology in key industries in part through federal funding. SBA is holding a virtual expo next month, and is calling on companies to present what they’ve created through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. The agency works with 11 others to support more than $4 billion in federal research and development spending. SBA will accept applications to participate in the expo through April 22.
The Pentagon wants to open a new fund to help companies get projects from experimental phases to actual products. The Defense Department is asking Congress for $100 million to help field technologies from companies that don’t traditionally work with the military. Often companies find it difficult to work within the Pentagon’s parameters. The money would help small businesses finish prototypes and bring the products to service members. DoD says it is piloting a similar program this year and appointed someone internally to oversee it.
The Air Force Cryptologic Office is revamping its decades’ old approach to intelligence production. In a new framework, the office is working to create a collaborative ecosystem that will benefit analysts. The system will connect intelligence officers working on similar projects regardless of location or unit assignment. Most of the connections will be virtual.
It’s been a long time coming, but the Pentagon now has a Senate-confirmed leader for its massive acquisition bureaucracy. Bill LaPlante won Senate approval by a unanimous voice vote to be the next undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment. That position has been vacant since the beginning of the Biden presidency. LaPlante previously served as the Air Force’s top acquisition official during the Obama administration.
The Senate has signed off on Erik Raven’s nomination to be undersecretary of the Navy. The Navy’s been without a Senate-confirmed undersecretary since April of 2020, when Tom Modly resigned the position. Raven previously served as a senior staffer on the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate approval means all three military departments now have both confirmed secretaries and undersecretaries for the first time in several years.
A new pick for a top cyber job on the military’s Joint Staff. President Biden nominated Lt. Gen. Mary O’Brien to serve as chief information officer on the Joint Staff. O’Brien currently serves as deputy chief of staff, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and cyber effects operations at Air Force headquarters. If she’s confirmed as the Joint Staff’s CIO, she’ll play a key role in approving requirements for programs under the military’s Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, concept.
Agencies are looking at how to harmonize cyber incident reporting requirements for companies. Officials met to discuss those rules during Friday’s “Cybersecurity Forum of Independent and Executive Branch Regulators.” Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the group will take a look at disparate incident reporting rules across sectors. The forum will also discuss how to advance the goals of last year’s cybersecurity executive order.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is using its new hiring system to recruit for a key leadership role. The agency posted a job listing on USAJobs.gov, looking for a chief information security officer. That leader will work under CISA’s chief information officer. Director Jen Easterly says the role is central to strengthening cybersecurity posture, both within the agency and government-wide. The CISO will also be responsible for maintaining a comprehensive information security and risk management program.
Organizations trying to implement DevOps should look to others who have already done it, as their best resource. It sounds simple, but as DevOps professionals say, a sterilized “best practices” guide that only details successes won’t help your unique case. Speaking on a panel for ATARC on Thursday, Derrick Curtis in the Office of Information and Technology at Veterans Affairs said not to suffer in silence when hitting roadblocks on the path to DevOps implementation. He says every scenario is a learning opportunity, and that VA is no exception. (Federal News Network)
NASA isn’t giving Congress the cost and schedule information needed to make fully informed decisions about the agency’s multi-mission programs. That includes the Artemis mission to return humans to the Moon. That’s according to the agency’s inspector general. The IG says NASA is circumventing required cost and schedule controls. It says the agency is categorizing certain production costs as operations when IG thinks they should be categorized as development. The watchdog agency’s seven recommendations for NASA include setting requirements to report baseline costs for major programs or activities by component, rather than by mission.