Feds in fatigues too fatigued to properly do their jobs, GAO says

The watchdog group found that military personal consistently get less than six hours of sleep each night, which could compromise safety.

  • Service members are apparently not getting enough sleep each night to properly do their jobs. A watchdog organization found that service members are consistently getting less than 6 hours of sleep. Military personnel say they fall asleep on the job, which Government Accountability Offce said creates serious safety concerns. The GAO wants the Pentagon to conduct an assessment of DoD's oversight structure for fatigue-related efforts. And the Defense Department recommended that troops get seven hours of sleep each night.
  • Attention vendors, who provide grants services to the government, this RFI's for you. The Grants Quality Service Management Office (QSMO) is ready to expand its marketplace of service providers. But first, it is taking the pulse of the vendor community to gauge the capabilities of the sector. The QSMO's new Request for Information (RFI) is asking vendors for details about their grants management system, including whether it is set up as a software-as-a-service, whether it integrates with SAM.gov and login.gov and whether it is highly configurable and does not require code changes. Responses to the RFI are due by April 30.
  • Agencies have likely escaped budget cuts due to sequestration for another year. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed the fiscal 2024 spending bills and estimated that the discretionary budget authority for defense and non-defense agencies falls under the caps established in the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. CBO, however, said the final decision about whether cuts are needed under sequestration will come from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), based on its own estimates of federal spending. OMB told Congress in August it did not think sequestration cuts would be necessary based on current estimates, but it will send another letter to Congress later this year with the final decision.
  • There is a new artificial intelligence chief at the top U.S. spy agency. John Beieler has been named the chief AI officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He also serves as the top science and technology adviser to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. Beieler now leads a council of chief AI officers across the 18 components of the intelligence community. One of the first tasks for that group is developing an AI directive for the IC. Beieler said it will cover everything from data standards to civil liberties and privacy protections.
  • The Postal Service may soon ask for a sixth rate increase, since November 2020, that would go into effect this summer. But the Postal Regulatory Commission is taking a closer look at whether this new pricing model is actually helping USPS improve its long-term finances. The regulator is asking for public feedback on whether the current pricing model is working for USPS and its customers — and if not, what modifications to the ratemaking system should be made, or what alternative system should be adopted? The regulator will accept comments through July 9.
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is preparing to host its biggest biannual cybersecurity exercise. Dubbed “Cyber Storm,” the event will kick off this month with more than 2,000 participants from government and industry. The weeklong exercise simulates the response to a cyber attack on multiple critical infrastructure sectors. This year’s Cyber Storm comes as CISA rewrites the national plan for responding to major cyber incidents. CISA expects to release the updated plan by the end of 2024.
  • The IRS is looking to take the next steps in its most ambitious project under the Inflation Reduction Act. The IRS is letting taxpayers in 12 states test out its “Direct File” platform this filing season, as it gets feedback from earlier users, in the hopes of scaling up the pilot program. In a roundtable discussion with Direct File users, the IRS said all participants said they would recommend Direct File to eligible friends and family. Roundtable participants included college students, military veterans, as well as nonprofit and government employees.
  • The Air Force wants to bypass governors in seven states and transfer the National Guard space units to the Space Force. Air Force officials are calling for legislation to bypass existing law requiring them to obtain a governor’s consent before making changes to a National Guard unit. It would allow the service to transfer 14 Air National Guard space units located in New York, Florida, Hawaii, Colorado, Alaska, California and Ohio and make them part of the Space Force. Not surprisingly, the idea is facing criticism from governors.

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