Lawmakers troubled by data dearth of USPS trucking contractors’ accidents, fatalities

A recent IG report found USPS does not have a single written policy requiring it to track trucking contractors' accidents and fatalities.

  • Nearly 80 people in the past three years have been killed in crashes involving trucks hired by the Postal Service. Lawmakers contend that is an incomplete picture of the data. The House passed the Mail Traffic Deaths Reporting Act., which would require USPS to collect, track and publicly report all deaths from vehicles transporting mail. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) introduced the bill. A recent inspector general report found that USPS does not have a single written policy requiring it to track trucking contractors' accidents and fatalities.
  • Supporters of small business are raising concerns about the Pentagon’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program. The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy said the CMMC requirements could be too costly for many smaller companies. The office has provided formal feedback on the Defense Department’s proposed CMMC rule. The requirements could be effective as soon as later this year. But SBA’s Advocacy office said DoD needs to provide more details on how it will help small businesses comply with CMMC before finalizing the regulations.
  • The Army has laid out its initial thinking of a new contract to set up an agile software development pipeline for recruiting. The Army Training and Doctrine Command needs an integrated enterprise system that uses new business practices to modernize its recruiting capabilities to meet the Army's force requirements. To do that, the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems is developing a new contract to support the Army Accessions Information Environment (AIE). PEO-EIS released the draft solicitation for a multiple-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract that calls for an agile acquisition approach. In the draft RFP, PEO-EIS wants vendors to provide DevSecOps and agile development to quickly bring on board new recruiting tools to include prospecting, interviewing and processing. Comments on the draft solicitation are due by May 17.
  • The Defense Department has secured the funding for the first tranche of the Replicator initiative. The department got $300 million from the fiscal 2024 defense appropriations bill to fund the program. DoD also used existing authorities to bring in an additional $200 million it needed. These investments will bring together products and capabilities from a wide range of technology companies. The first set of technologies under the Replicator initiative includes uncrewed surface vehicles, uncrewed aerial systems and counter-uncrewed aerial systems.
  • Some lawmakers want to press pause on the Transportation Security Administration’s use of facial recognition. Fourteen senators are calling on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to address the issue as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill. They say TSA’s plans to expand facial recognition to hundreds of airports should be stopped until Congress can conduct more oversight. TSA currently uses the technology to verify traveler identity at 25 airports. Lawmakers who oppose facial recognition contend that growing use poses a threat to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties.
    (Letter on TSA facial recognition - Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.))
  • Do you know any federal acquisition workers who excelled in program management, small business contracting, or procurement equity or sustainability? Then why not nominate them for the 2024 Chief Acquisition Officers Council excellence awards? This annual program recognizes acquisition professionals who contribute to outstanding improvements in acquisition through the Better Contracting Initiative strategies or other efforts. Award categories also include innovation, data and technology, and category management. Nominations are due by July 31 and the CAO Council will honor the awardees in October.
  • The National Science Foundation and the Energy Department are lending their supercomputer capabilities to 35 artificial intelligence projects. It is all happening under the National AI Research Resource, as a way for federal agencies to share AI capabilities with researchers working on this emerging technology. The projects include using AI to identify agricultural pests and ways to secure medical imaging data when AI is involved.
  • Most National Guard personnel performing space missions would retrain or retire rather than join the Space Force. An Air National Guard internal survey showed that up to 86% of all Guard space professionals would rather stay in the National Guard and retrain for other missions. Air Force officials recently sent a legislative proposal to Congress seeking to bypass governors in 14 states and to transfer units with space missions within the Air National Guard into the Space Force. The governors of 48 states and five territories sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calling for the immediate discontinuation of the legislative proposal.

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