TikTok banned again, this time for federal contractors

In today's Federal Newscast: TikTok has been banned again, this time for federal contractors. Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to play 20 questions with DoD contract...

  • The TikTok ban now applies to federal contractors. A new acquisition regulation released Friday bans contractors from using the popular social media app on any device used for official business. The White House directed agencies to get TikTok off their networks in February. The new contracting rule applies to devices regardless of whether they are owned by the government, the contractor, or the contractor’s employees, including phones used as part of a "bring your own device" program. It does not apply to a personally-owned phone that is not used in the performance of a contract.
  • The Defense Department is facing new questions over contract pricing. The Pentagon is on the hook to answer 20 questions from lawmakers over how it is ensuring it is receiving fair and reasonable prices from contractors. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. John Garamendi (D-Cailf.) wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin seeking details after a report by the CBS magazine program "60 Minutes" alleged price gouging by defense contractors on weapons systems. The lawmakers also wrote to Boeing and Transdigm, pressing the contractors on their reasons for not providing DoD with cost and pricing data. Responses to the lawmakers' questions are due by June 12. Warren has been trying to hold DoD and contractors accountable for better cost and pricing transparency since 2017.
  • The Defense Department said it has picked 11 projects as part of a new program to bridge the "valley of death” in 2023. Congress gave DoD permission to spend up to $150 million this year on a new program called “APFIT.” The idea is to give a slight spending bump to technologies that have already proven they might be useful in a military setting, but don’t have enough funding to field in big quantities. Each of the projects will get an influx of $10 million to $50 million to field technologies from small and non-traditional Defense contractors.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is finalizing an agreement with one of its unions after years of stalled talks. The American Federation of Government Employees’ National VA Council ratified a tentative agreement with the VA. The VA said the agreement will help it expedite the hiring process as the department prepares to staff up to implement the toxic exposure PACT Act. The agreement amended a collective bargaining agreement that is more than a decade old. AFGE and the VA resumed negotiations back in December 2017, but both parties have struggled toward an agreement.
  • A new bill seeks to strengthen a Department of Veterans Affairs’ program to support caregivers of veterans injured in the line of duty. The Veterans Caregiver Application and Appeals Reform Act would require the VA to provide more specific information when denying caregiver applications, and would make it easier for veterans service organizations to help in the application process. The bill’s sponsors, Senate VA Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said the VA caregivers program lacks transparency and does not give veterans enough help through a complicated application process.
  • A software industry group said a former General Services Administration official will lead the expansion of its work in the federal procurement space. BSA - The Software Alliance announced Jessica Salmoiraghi is joining the trade association as senior director for IT modernization and procurement. Salmoiraghi had previously served in GSA as chief acquisition officer and associate administrator. She most recently served as executive vice president of shared and managed services at Golden Key Group.
  • Agencies now have one place to find information about program evaluation efforts across the government. The Office of Management and Budget's new evaluation.gov website is the home for the Evaluation Council and agency evaluation plans required under the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. The site is attempting to create a community around program evaluations, to include the March updates of agency-specific evaluation plans, as well as a place for members of the evaluation council to exchange best practices and lessons learned. It also includes new research opportunities, including one from GSA to measure the impact of community engagement on how public funds are spent. GSA will hold a virtual meeting to discuss this opportunity on June 21.
    (OMB launches Evaluation.gov - Evaluation/gov)
  • Almost two dozen agencies have taken steps to improve their transparency and accountability over the past year. Those 21 agencies, ranging from the departments of Veterans Affairs, Commerce and Homeland Security to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, received the Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting (CEAR) Awards from AGA last Wednesday. AGA, which stands for "advance, grow, accelerate," is a financial-related association. AGA also honored the Treasury Department with the Value-Added Distinction Award for the high standards met in its financial reporting. John Hummel received the Harold Steinberg Excellence in Accountability Reporting Award. Hummel was instrumental in developing the CEAR program, and now works as a consultant. AGA has been recognizing agencies with the CEAR Awards since 1997.
  • Agencies should implement eight leading practices to improve how they collaborate and improve their performance. The Government Accountability Office said these include defining common outcomes, bridging organizational cultures, identifying leadership and clarifying roles and responsibilities. GAO detailed these leading practices after identifying common issues and challenges among several agencies on GAO's High-Risk List. GAO said these leading practices will let agencies address crosscutting challenges in the federal workforce, such as foreign aid, cybersecurity and infectious diseases.

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Related Stories


    Congressional regulators want to know why a top official at the FCC was able to support what appears to be a Trump campaign initiative

    Read more
    Amelia Brust, Federal News NetworkSocial Security, SSA, worker, telework, episodic telework

    A policy tweak by the Social Security Administration should make it easier to give money to recipients it underpaid

    Read more