COVID-compliance requirements in job postings are so 10 minutes ago, OPM says

  • Agencies need to double-check all of their postings on USA Jobs. The Office of Personnel Management is reminding agencies to remove any remaining COVID-19 vaccine requirements from current job announcements. The reminder to agencies comes several months after President Biden revoked the vaccine requirement for federal workers in May, at the planned end of the national public health emergency. By the start of 2022, 98% of feds had already either complied with the mandate or requested an exemption. OPM said agencies still need to review all job postings to make sure none of them lists compliance with the outdated vaccine mandate as a requirement.
  • A key House lawmaker is raising questions about the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s approach to working with critical infrastructure sectors. House Homeland Security cybersecurity subcommittee chairman Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.) is asking CISA whether it is shifting toward a more sector-specific approach to cybersecurity collaboration. In a new letter to CISA Director Jen Easterly, Garbarino pointed to CISA’s emerging relationship with the Energy Department’s new Energy Threat Analysis Center. The New York lawmaker said CISA has previously relied on a cross-sector partnership with the private sector-based Analysis and Resilience Center.
    (Garbarino letter to CISA on Analysis and Resilience Center - House Homeland Security Committee )
  • The Energy Department has taken the first step to recompete its massive IT services contract. The Energy Department's chief information officer is ready to move onto version two of its massive IT support contract. The department released a draft performance work statement and request for information (RFI) for the second iteration of the DOE OCIO Business Operation Support Services (CBOSS) blanket purchase agreement vehicle. CBOSS 2 will include five core IT services, including general IT support, cybersecurity and enterprise shared services. DOE awarded Accenture Federal Services the original CBOSS contract in 2019, with a ceiling of $10 billion. It expires in 2024. Responses to the RFI are due by September 22.
  • The federal government’s landlord has outlined more of the Biden administration’s sustainable building goals. The General Services Administration is planning to make more than 100 federal buildings all-electric and make 28 buildings zero-emission. GSA is funding these projects through the Inflation Reduction Act. Among these projects, GSA is spending more than $13 million to fully electrify the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington, D.C. The project is expected to save more than $6 million in energy costs annually. More than 200 federal buildings are already all-electric.
  • National Guardsmen from five different states are now helping fight wildfires in Louisiana. As of Friday, helicopter crews dropped over a million buckets of water on the fires. The Chinook and Blackhawk crews continue their work in coordination with the three Louisiana state departments, as well as local agencies. The largest of the blazes, the Tiger Island fire, is the largest in state history. Only about 50% contained, the fire has so far consumed over 48 acres.
  • Federal contractors working with the General Services Administration get another six-month extension to continue to deal with inflation, supply-chain shortages and price volatility. GSA will keep the temporary moratorium in place for certain requirements of the economic price adjustment clause (EPA), through March 2024. This is GSA's third extension of the EPA, which lets contracting officers and companies adjust prices more quickly based on current inflation or supply-chain challenges. For July, the inflation rate was 3.2%, down from the peak of 9.1% in June 2022.
  • Agencies can now bring in new employees to help in the aftermath of the 2023 fires in Hawaii. The Office of Personnel Management has authorized Schedule A appointments for agencies that need to hire immediately to help with the recovery and relief efforts. The hires will come in for a temporary basis of just one year. If needed, agencies can extend the appointments to a maximum duration of two years.
  • The annual Combined Federal Campaign is officially underway. Federal employees can donate to the CFC to support over 20,000 nonprofit charities that participate in the governmentwide donation program. Last year, federal employees gave a combined total of more than $80 million to the campaign to support local, national and international charities. Since 1964, the CFC has raised a total of nearly $5 billion in contributions from feds. This year’s CFC will run through January 15, 2024.
    (2023 Combined Federal Campaign - Office of Personnel Management)
  • The Navy's innovation hub, NavalX, updated its website with a simplified navigation system and a new design. The redesigned site offers innovators information about different funding paths for new technology and what resources the Navy offers for public-private partnerships. The site links to the Navy's 18 Techbridge locations, which pair local labs and warfare centers with business, academia and researchers.
    (NavalX - Navy)
  • The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) is encouraging federal employees to speak up when they witness troubling conduct in the workplace. That message is a part of September’s “National Insider Threat Awareness Month.” This year’s theme is bystander engagement. The NCSC said if federal employees witness actions like discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment on the job, they should intervene and advise the proper authorities, rather than standing on the sidelines. The center is also encouraging agencies to hold training and education events this month about insider-threat best practices.
  • The top senator on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has released a proposal to improve veterans’ access to care in and out of the VA system. Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) has introduced the Making Community Care Work for Veterans Act. The bill would require the VA to provide new hiring incentives for employees who schedule veterans’ appointments and give them a pathway to support VA human resources. The bill would also codify current standards for veteran wait times and standardize interoperability of electronic health records coming in and out of the VA health care system.

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