All National Science Foundation employees on an excepted service pay scale will receive a 4.6% average pay raise for 2023. NSF leadership announced the update in an email to staff, after previously making plans to implement a 1% raise for upper level employees in that pay scale. NSF said they’ll consider other options to correct pay differentiation issues among separate pay scales at the agency. General Schedule employees at NSF received the 4.6% raise,...
- All National Science Foundation employees on an excepted service pay scale will receive a 4.6% average pay raise for 2023. NSF leadership announced the update in an email to staff, after previously making plans to implement a 1% raise for upper level employees in that pay scale. NSF said they’ll consider other options to correct pay differentiation issues among separate pay scales at the agency. General Schedule employees at NSF received the 4.6% raise, regardless of the decision for excepted service employees.
- The House passes a bill that would return many feds to the office. It cleared Republicans’ SHOW UP Act in a vote of 221 to 206, mostly along party lines. The legislation would return the federal workforce to pre-pandemic work locations, meaning many federal employees would have to return to the office. The legislation would also require agencies to collect data on the impacts of telework on productivity. Although the SHOW UP Act passed the House, the bill is unlikely to be enacted, as Democrats have the Senate majority and are largely in favor of telework for federal employees.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development was far from prepared from a technology perspective when the COVID-19 pandemic forced mandatory telework for its 7,000 employees. A new report from HUD’s inspector general found major delays in updating remote workers’ computers against cyber threats. This left the agency more vulnerable to cyber attacks. The IG also found network infrastructure performance issues hampered employees from meeting mission goals. HUD’s chief information officer has taken steps to upgrade the network to mitigate performance issues and strengthened cyber policies around applying patches to remote devices.
- Watchdogs are still uncovering the full scope of fraud in $5 trillion in COVID-19 spending. Agency inspectors general have already flagged billions of dollars in suspected fraud. But Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Chairman Michael Horowitz said IGs need more time to understand just how much money went to fraudsters. “It’s clearly in the tens of billions of dollars, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it exceeds, ultimately, more than $100 billion,” he said. Horowitz is asking lawmakers to extend the statute of limitations to go after pandemic unemployment insurance fraud from five years to 10 years. Lawmakers already did that for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
- MaryKathryn Robinson takes the helm as senior executive for contract policy at the Defense Acquisition and Sustainment Office. She will head a directorate that develops new procurement policy to back up laws and best practices, while improving existing policy. Her office is responsible for peer review of contracting actions worth more than one billion dollars. She replaces acting director Michael Pelkey, who will report to her as a deputy director. Robinson previously worked for the Air Force as a deputy director of contracting.
- The Pentagon’s contractor cybersecurity program is inching closer to reality, but it still faces some big questions around timing. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program was expected to start showing up in contracts this year. But that’s looking increasingly unlikely. The Pentagon has yet to send the CMMC rulemaking package to the Office of Management and Budget for review. It’s also unclear how quickly OMB and the Pentagon will make the CMMC rules effective once they’re published. Still, the Defense Department is reminding contractors that they’re currently required to follow cyber standards, even if the assessment procedures aren’t yet in place.
- A Hawaiian company will help the Navy find community-based solutions to reuse the Red Hill fuel storage facility on Oahu. The site closed after leaks contaminated the aquifer. The Navy awarded a contract to Nakapuna Companies to develop a public outreach program to solicit discussions about repurposing the facility. It wants five ideas from residents of Oahu that can be considered for feasibility. The Navy closure plan calls for it to evaluate potential options for new, non-fuel related uses of the facility.
- Democrats on the House Veterans Affairs Committee are reshuffling subcommittee leadership roles. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.) will serve as ranking member of the Technology Modernization Subcommittee, where she’ll oversee the VA’s rollout of its new Electronic Health Record system. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) will serve as the ranking member of the Health Subcommittee, and Indiana Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-Ind.) will become the new ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
- Something old, something new for the House subcommittee overseeing federal IT and cybersecurity. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) is the new chairwoman of the Oversight and Accountability subcommittee on IT, cybersecurity and government innovation. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the author of major federal IT legislation like FITARA, is the new ranking member. Committee leadership announced the makeup of the subcommittees and its principals yesterday. The changes include Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) as the chairman of the Government Operations and Federal Workforce subcommittee along with Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) serving as the ranking member. Republican leaders decided to bring back the federal IT and cyber subcommittee after Democrats combined it with government operations two years ago.
- Auditors are calling the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s cybersecurity evaluation program “outdated.” A new report from the FDIC inspector general finds several weaknesses in the IT Risk Examination program used to evaluate cyber risks at financial institutions. The IG said the program has only been updated once since 2016, and doesn’t take into account the latest cybersecurity guidance used to defend against supply chain attacks and other threats. The FDIC agreed with the IG’s recommendations to make changes to the evaluation program to reflect current cyber risks and guidance.