GSA developing EV battery strategy as foundation for proposed fleet expansion

The General Services Administration's EV battery strategy will help it maximize its use of the expensive components.

  • The Biden administration is calling on agencies to add more electric vehicles to the federal government’s fleet. To do that, the General Services Administration is seeking public feedback on how to manage all those EV batteries. GSA is looking for best practices on charging EV batteries, and how to maximize battery life. It’s also looking at how to reuse or recycle EV batteries, and how to safely dispose of them. GSA said it will use that information as the foundation for an EV battery strategic plan it’s working on.
  • Across government, more than 140,000 employees joined the civil service between 2019 and 2023. That's an increase of about 7% in the last couple of years, according to data the Partnership for Public Service released this week. In 2023 alone, the workforce size increased by 80,000 employees. But in Congress, current budget deliberations may change that. The GOP-led House Appropriations Committee is eyeing budget cuts for many agencies in 2025 spending legislation. Democrats, though, have said that limiting agencies’ budgets could lead to hiring freezes and staff layoffs. With most Democrats opposed to the House's proposals, agency budgets for 2025 likely won’t be finalized for months to come.
  • The intelligence community is working on new standards and policies to guide the adoption of AI. Over the next few years, intelligence agencies will also work to establish shared AI services, including a model repository and training data. Those are just some of the action items in the intelligence community’s new IT roadmap. “This roadmap really provides a unified vision for where the IC needs to go over the next five years,” IC Chief Information Officer Adele Merritt said in an interview.
  • Agencies and unions have an upcoming opportunity to learn how to deal with some in-the-weeds arbitration issues. An upcoming training, hosted by the Federal Labor Relations Authority, will explain recent changes to its framework that stem from a 2023 FLRA decision. The FLRA's three members will lead the virtual training event, which will take place on July 23rd. Those interested in attending can register online on the FLRA's website.
    (Management rights in arbitration: The CFPB test - Federal Labor Relations Authority)
  • A Department of Veterans Affairs employee is suing the VA over its rollout of a new Electronic Health Record. The lawsuit claims VA’s new Oracle-Cerner EHR doesn't work with assistive devices, such as screen readers that allow visually impaired users to access information on a computer screen. Laurette Santos is a licensed social worker who’s worked at the VA for over a decade, and is leading the lawsuit. She’s legally blind, and said her screen reader software worked with VA’s legacy health record, which is still used by most VA health care facilities. But it doesn’t work with the new Oracle-Cerner EHR. She said the VA didn’t address accessibility concerns she raised prior to the new EHR going live at her workplace in 2022.
  • The chief records officer for the U.S. government is stepping aside. In a memo to agencies this week, Laurence Brewer announced that his last day at the National Archives and Records Administration will be July 13th. William Fischer will step into Brewer’s role in an acting capacity. Brewer has served as NARA’s chief records officer since 2015, and at the Archives since 1999. In recent years, he’s helped guide the federal government’s transition to digital record-keeping. Brewer’s next stop is the Justice Department, where he'll serve as director at the Office of Records Management Policy.
  • The Technology Modernization Fund has a permanent leader. Larry Bafundo is losing the word "acting" from his title as executive director of the Technology Modernization Fund. General Services Administration Deputy Administrator Katy Kale announced his promotion to staff yesterday. Bafundo returned to GSA in January to be deputy executive director and acting executive director of the TMF program management office, replacing Raylene Yung. Kale said in the email obtained by Federal News Network that Bafundo has provided thoughtful and strategic leadership that has set up the TMF team for future success. The TMF Board has made nine awards worth more than 168 million dollars since January.
    (Deputy Administrator Katy Kale - General Services Administration)
  • The Department of the Air Force releases its zero trust strategy. The new strategy focuses on seven key areas that will drive the department’s allocation of resources. The strategy aligns with the Defense Department’s zero trust strategy and reference architecture, the Air Force’s zero trust roadmap and zero trust implementation plan, as well as recently released DoD Fulcrum Digital Advancement Strategy. The new document will help the service strengthen its cybersecurity posture, reduce the number of separate systems, improve interoperability and unlock crucial capabilities such as Combined Joint All-Domain Command & Control (CJADC2).
    (Air Force releases zero trust strategy - Department of the Air Force)
  • NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) initiative launches its second round of challenges to find innovative solutions for defense and security needs. Challenge areas include energy and power, data and information security, sensing and surveillance, and critical infrastructure and logistics. Those interested in applying are encouraged to consider how their solutions can support environmentally friendly technologies and practices while increasing resilience. Applications are due by August 9. Proposals will be assessed against dual-use potential and commercial viability.
    (NATO’s DIANA launches second round of challenges - North Atlantic Treaty Organization)


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