Federal officials are settling a yearlong disagreement over a new headquarters for the FBI. The FBI in the coming years will relocate its headquarters to the D.C. suburbs in Greenbelt, Maryland. The federal government’s landlord, the General Services Administration, picked Greenbelt from a final list of three sites, the others being in Landover, Maryland, and Springfield, Virginia. Lawmakers from both states made their final pitch to GSA in March. The decision ends a long search that began under the Obama administration.
The Pentagon is inching closer to making the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program a reality. The Defense Department is expected to publish the CMMC rule any day now. “This is the most ambitious cybersecurity conformity initiative ever attempted,” said Matt Travis, chairman of the Cyber Accreditation Body. Travis and other outside experts expect the rule will come in at over 100 pages long. And it will likely elicit at least hundreds of public comments. Key questions ahead of the rule’s release include the timeline for implementation and the support DoD will provide to small businesses.
Agencies have a list of 33 skills to seek out when hiring and developing employees in a new program evaluation model. Decision making, customer service, teamwork and leadership are just a few of the traits agencies should look for as part of the new program evaluation competency model. The Office of Personnel Management, which developed that list, said those skills are important for delivering high-quality work in that field. Program evaluators generally focus on data analytics to measure how well an agency is meeting goals across various federal programs. The list of skills can be used for recruitment, retention, performance management and more.
The Biden administration is launching a new four-pronged procurement initiative. The Better Contracting Initiative (BCI), introduced yesterday by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), focuses on four main areas: Improving data access to drive decisions; enterprisewide software licenses; getting contract requirements right the first time; and increasing value from sole source and other high risk contracts. Christine Harada, is the senior advisor in OFPP, said getting agencies the right information at the right time to make decisions underpins all aspects of the BCI. "We are launching a new centralized data management strategy supported by a new OMB circular to facilitate a more robust sharing and analyzing of acquisition data across the federal enterprise," Harada said.
Consulting firm Guidehouse is switching venture capital owners. Bain Capital is buying the McLean, Virginia company for $5.3 billion dollars from Veritas Capital. Veritas bought Guidehouse in 2018. Guidehouse received $905 million in federal contracts in 2023 with the departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Interior being their largest federal clients. This is Guidehouse's second big deal in the federal sector in the last 14 months, having bought Grant Thornton's public sector business in August 2022.
The head of the Pentagon office responsible for investigating UFOs is retiring next month. Sean Kirkpatrick, the director of the Defense Department’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office will retire in December. During his almost 18 months in the role, the office investigated more than 800 unidentified anomalous phenomena cases. He has served in the federal government for more than 27 years. As DoD looks for the next director, deputy director Timothy Phillips will be in charge.
The Space Force has a new digital modeling strategy, as it works to incorporate digital twins into the service. Its chief technology and innovation officer, Lisa Costa, said the service is also working on creating open standards. She said there is no commercial standard for the service to adopt, so the Space Force is working in its own.
African American women in the federal workforce earn about $12,000 less on average than other government employees. That is just one of the findings in a series of new reports from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Those reports reveal significant pay gaps for Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native women as well. All three demographic groups are also underrepresented in federal leadership positions. The EEOC said it hopes the new data will help agencies easily identify and better address the disparities.
There is a new leader at one of the largest federal law enforcement employee groups. Matthew Silverman was elected national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association this week. Silverman is a longtime special agent at the Justice Department, who previously served as the group’s vice president. The association represents more than 32,000 federal law enforcement officers and agents across 65 federal agencies.
Most agencies aren’t meeting federal accessibility standards with the technology they use. But the Office of Management and Budget is looking to change that. It is working on guidance to ensure all federal software, hardware and digital services are accessible to people with disabilities. The 1973 Rehabilitation Act already requires agencies to make electronic information accessible to individuals with disabilities, but recent data shows more than 62% of federal websites have at least one accessibility issue.