USPS hits pause on some modernization plans

The Postal Service will hold off until January 2025 on its decision to move mail processing to larger regional hubs.

  • The Postal Service is hitting pause on some of its network modernization plans, but not all of them. USPS recently told lawmakers it will hold off on deciding whether to move some mail processing operations to larger regional hubs until January 2025. But USPS is still moving ahead with other facility changes. Among them, the agency is proceeding with plans to open 13 of these large hubs, called Regional Processing and Distribution Centers. USPS will also push ahead with plans to transport mail and packages across its network with fewer, but fuller truckloads. The agency runs about 50,000 truck trips a day, at about 40% capacity.
  • The Army is ready to adopt more digital engineering capabilities and processes. The Army's new digital engineering policy, signed yesterday, is all about changing the way the service develops warfighting capabilities in the future. Gabe Camarillo, the undersecretary of the Army, said at the AFCEA NoVa Enterprise IT Day that the policy initially focuses on three commodity areas — like ground vehicles — where these digital tools already are more mature. "We are looking to benefit from that utilization of digital engineering tools to be able to help establish the right processes in the Army, the right training and really how do we adapt our institutional approach to be able to accommodate more digital engineering," Camarillo said.
  • The Labor Department is embarking on a state-by-state refresh of unemployment insurance (UI) systems. Those systems were pushed to their limits at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a nearly 3,000% surge in UI claims in 2020. New Jersey, one of the first states to receive funding, launched a pilot program of its new unemployment benefits system. Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su said the department is now funding projects in 18 other states at a time when its systems are experiencing historically low levels of strain. “Now is the time between storms to fix the roof, when the unemployment rate is at historic lows," Su said.
  • A team of university researchers from around the country found that military officers who outrank their military doctors receive better care than lower-ranked patients. A new study finds that high-powered patients receive more effort and resources than patients of equal or lower rank in military emergency departments. The researchers also found that reallocation of resources and effort came at the expense of lower-power patients. Race and gender played a role in these power dynamics. The study found that male doctors are a lot more responsive to patient power than female doctors, while white doctors respond to powerful patients equally, regardless of their race. Black physicians give “off-the-charts” treatment to high-powered Black patients.
  • The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is one step closer to getting an extension and new oversight requirements. The House yesterday passed the Modernizing Government Technology Reform Act by voice vote. A bill sponsored by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) would extend the TMF to 2030 and revise the criteria by which agency proposals are evaluated. The MGT Reform Act was one of two technology-related bills the House passed. It also approved, by voice vote, the Government Service Delivery Improvement Act, sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). The bill, among other things, would require the Office of Management and Budget and every agency to name a senior government service delivery lead responsible for improving citizen services. Both bills now move to the Senate for consideration.
  • The Army’s top cybersecurity official is moving on. Maj. Gen. Jan Norris left the Army Office of the Chief Information Officer last week. He had led cyber policy issues as a deputy CIO for the past two years. His next assignment will be as commander of the Army’s 335th Signal Command, the Georgia-based command that, among other responsibilities, oversees the Army Reserve’s cyber forces.
    (Fond Farewell - Army CIO)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services is launching a new project to develop automated cybersecurity tools for healthcare facilities. The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) plans to invest more than $50 million in the effort. The goal is to develop easier ways for hospitals to find and fix vulnerabilities in their software. One of the big challenges is that hospitals and health facilities rely on a wide range of complex and interconnected technologies. ARPA-H will hold a proposers day in June to discuss the project in more detail.
  • A new panel of cloud and technology experts from across the government will help guide the FedRAMP program through its next stages. The General Services Administration said the new Technology Advisory Group (TAG) will offer expertise to agencies who are trying to navigate risk management issues around cloud and emerging technologies. It will also advise the board that manages the FedRAMP program. The first members of the TAG are cyber and cloud authorization experts from seven different agencies.
  • The Space Force is standing up two new Integrated Mission Delta units this summer. Last year, Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman created two Integrated Mission Delta provisional units focused on electromagnetic warfare and positioning, navigation, and timing mission areas. Space officials are now looking to restructure missile warning and space domain awareness mission areas. Lt. Gen. Philip Garrant, the Space Systems Command chief, and Lt. Gen. David Miller, who leads Space Operations Command, are currently conducting mission analysis of the operational deltas.


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