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Results are in on the Defense Department’s 2022 financial statement audit, and DoD remains the only federal agency that has yet to earn a clean opinion. The results aren’t surprising — Pentagon officials have previously said they don’t expect to pass an audit until at least 2028. But this year’s process showed very little progress toward that goal. Auditors flagged three new material weaknesses that show a pervasive lack of internal controls. As of now, DoD still has 28 of those. (Fifth year of DoD financial audits shows little progress toward clean opinion – Federal News Network)
For the 12th year in a row, NASA received a “clean” opinion. The space agency’s fiscal 2022 financial report earned the highest possible rating, meaning that it conformed with accepted federal accounting principles. In their report, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Chief Financial Officer Margaret Vo Schaus said they are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. NASA plans to integrate its DEIA strategic plan into its mission.
The General Services Administration is putting more than $3 billion in infrastructure spending to work on projects all along the U.S. border. GSA said work has begun at all 26 border stations or land ports of entry. These modernization projects got their funding as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that passed a year ago. The agency has so far spent $130 million on these projects, with nearly $14 million going to small or disadvantaged businesses.
Industry got its first look at the follow-on to a popular professional services contract vehicle. The first draft of the OASIS-plus solicitation is ready for review. The General Services Administration released its initial thinking for the follow-on to their highly successful professional services multiple award contract after 18 months of planning. In it, GSA details eight domains under OASIS-plus, ranging from management and advisory services to logistics to environmental services. The small business version of OASIS-plus will include RFPs for all five socioeconomic categories. Comments on the draft solicitations are due by December 31. GSA plans to take this feedback and release a second draft RFP later in 2023.
The Defense Logistics Agency has moved a step closer to working with the Treasury Department’s government invoicing program, G-Invoicing. The program manages intragovernmental buy-and-sell transactions through a common web-based platform. While the Treasury Department wanted all federal agencies to start using G-Invoicing by last month, the DLA doesn’t plan to have it fully implemented until April 2024. G-Invoicing will automate how DLA receives payment for goods and services.
The Justice Department has made its permanent pick to lead its environmental justice efforts. DOJ this week named Cynthia Ferguson as full-time director of the Office of Environmental Justice. Ferguson had been serving in an acting capacity since May. The office was established last year as part of DOJ’s environmental justice strategy. Ferguson brings more than two decades of experience in the department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Agencies will soon have access to a new system for transferring electronic records to the National Archives. If everything goes to plan, the Electronic Record Archives 2.0 system will be available for agencies starting in early 2023. ERA 2.0 has been in the works since 2014. It’s intended to provide agencies with a more user-friendly, modern IT system for scheduling and transferring digital records to the National Archives and Records Administration. NARA is planning to shut down the current ERA system for up to four weeks to finalize data transfers to ERA 2.0. (NARA preps agencies to move to new e-records system in early 2023 – Federal News Network)
The Postal Service’s demand for seasonal workers is down this year, thanks to an effort to build up its career workforce ahead of the holidays. USPS is hiring 20,000 seasonal employees to prepare for its peak season holiday operations, less than half the number of temporary hires than it recruited last year. USPS executive manager of strategic initiatives Gregory White said the agency needs fewer seasonal hires this year, because it converted more than 100,000 employees from part-time to full-time career positions over the past two years. “We are not the organization we were two years ago, during the challenging 2020 peak season, amidst a global pandemic. While headwinds remain, we are now structured for precision,” White said. (USPS demand for seasonal workers drops after building up career workforce for holidays – Federal News Network)
Two key federal management positions are one step closer to confirmation. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the nomination of Rob Shivers to be deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management. The committee also passed through the nomination of Richard Revesz to be the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRAH) in the Office of Management and Budget. Both nominations now head to the full Senate for final confirmation. OPM hasn’t had a full-time deputy director in more than two years, while OIRAH hasn’t had a leader since the beginning of the Biden administration.
The General Services Administration has taken a big step toward making federal agencies more sustainable. GSA announced its first memorandum of understanding with a utility to provide carbon-pollution free energy to federal agencies by 2030. Under the MOU, Entergy Arkansas will allow customers in its region to use nuclear or renewable energy sources, with 50% availability 24/7. This marks a major step on the path laid out by President Biden’s 2021 clean energy executive order.