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9:28 am, November 1, 2014

Jason Miller Reports

Jason Miller covers civilian agencies in the federal government with a focus on technology and acquisition. He is also an executive editor at Federal News Radio. Jason's reports can be heard Monday - Friday on the Federal Drive and In Depth.

Treasury Acquisition Institute adjusts delivery model to reach more students

Kelvin Wood, the director of TAI, said the organization is investing more in virtual training as travel budgets continue to decrease. Wood said the institute also is focusing on more tailored courses to meet specific needs of its students.

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 03:55am EDT
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Acquisition workers as critical thinkers: A change that has to happen

In Federal News Radio's special report, Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, the Defense Acquisition University, the Federal Acquisition Institute and other experts say a new kind of acquisition worker is needed. One that brings business acumen, understands technology and knows the FAR forward and back. The ever-evolving training regime for federal acquisition workers is no longer just about the hard skills of acquisition.

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 04:18am EDT
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VA exec at center of FedBid procurement scandal retires

Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration deputy chief procurement officer, resigned and retired Oct. 14. She sent an email to staff announcing her decision as VA had started the process to fire her.

Tuesday - 10/14/2014, 05:53pm EDT
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Agencies get 2017 deadline to move to new procurement ID standard

The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council issued a final rule Monday detailing the timeframe and steps agencies must take to begin using the Procurement Instrument Identification (PIID) numbering system. The PIID only is for new contracting actions after the effective date.

Monday - 10/13/2014, 01:35pm EDT

Governmentwide cloud contracting efforts missing key ingredients, IGs find

The Council of Inspectors General analyzed 77 commercial cloud contracts across 19 civilian agencies and found most failed to implement federal guidance and best practices. Auditors found these shortcomings could put data and systems at a greater risk to cyber attack or data theft.

Monday - 10/13/2014, 06:39am EDT
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Schneider leaves a legacy of change at DIA

Grant Schneider was the chief information officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency for seven years before leaving for a two-year detail at OMB earlier this month. Schneider said DIA relies less on contractors and is knee deep in shared services.

Friday - 10/10/2014, 04:35pm EDT
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White House now thinks smaller is better for cyber bills

Michael Daniel, the White House cyber coordinator, said the administration believes getting cyber legislation through Congress on small pieces is more likely to be successful than in one comprehensive bill. Legislation to update FISMA, to improve information sharing and to expand the workforce all have garnered bi-partisan support.

Friday - 10/10/2014, 04:19am EDT

DHS says cyber initiatives healthy and growing

Andy Ozment, assistant secretary of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications in DHS, said the CDM, Einstein and Enhance Cybersecurity Services programs are on the upswing in terms of impact and number of users. Ozment said there are no delays with CDM, and the Einstein intrusion detection and prevention software covers 25 percent of all federal employees.

Thursday - 10/09/2014, 04:12am EDT
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Feds' health care costs to increase by 3.2 percent in 2015

The Office of Personnel Management released the latest costs for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Tuesday, which show an increase of less than 4 percent for the fourth straight year.

Tuesday - 10/07/2014, 02:06pm EDT

VA begins process to remove executive at center of FedBid scandal

Sloan Gibson, VA's deputy secretary, said he's proposed the removal of Susan Taylor, the deputy chief procurement officer at the Veterans Health Administration. Gibson will use the new authorities provided by Congress and President Barack Obama in August under the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014.

Monday - 10/06/2014, 05:54pm EDT

Helpdesk award continues USDA's trek toward more shared services

Cheryl Cook, USDA's CIO, said the Forest Service awarded a contract to AbilityOne for tier one helpdesk services. This is one of several enterprisewide services the agency is creating to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Monday - 10/06/2014, 12:26pm EDT
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PSC hires Navy acquisition exec to lead defense, intel committee

Jerry Punderson, the outgoing director of contracts for the Naval Sea Systems Command, will join PSC as its new senior vice president of defense and intelligence.

Monday - 10/06/2014, 08:58am EDT

OMB gives DHS new powers to scan some civilian agency networks for cyber threats

In fiscal 2015 FISMA guidance, OMB is trying to close a big hole exposed during the government's reaction to the Heartbleed vulnerability. The White House is giving DHS the authority to regularly conduct proactive scans of certain civilian agency networks. DHS made it clear to Congress earlier this year the delay in getting permission from agencies to scan their networks cost them days in response time during Heartbleed.

Friday - 10/03/2014, 01:53pm EDT

DHS' Ozment seeks the best metrics for new cyber scorecard

The goal of the scorecard or dashboard would be to give government leaders a better sense of just how secure agency networks are from hackers. As the 11th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month begins, DHS is doing much less education about why securing computers and networks is important.

Friday - 10/03/2014, 03:40am EDT
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Energy reverses course on plan to hire VA executive at center of FedBid procurement fraud

The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management planned to bring on Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration's deputy chief procurement officer, but now has changed its mind. Taylor is accused by the VA inspector general of committing procurement fraud, lying to investigators and having a conflict of interest by promoting FedBid.

Thursday - 10/02/2014, 03:14pm EDT

NSF launches new financial system as fiscal year begins

Federal News Radio's annual chief financial officers survey found dealing with budget reductions and workforce challenges continue to be top priorities. At the National Science Foundation, CFO Martha Rubenstein said her office completed what may be the last modernized financial management system done by the private sector.

Thursday - 10/02/2014, 04:21am EDT
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Recipe for a successful DATA Act is part collaboration, part oversight

OMB and Treasury are creating a roadmap on how to move forward with DATA Act implementation over the next 12 to 36 months. Meanwhile, congressional and executive branch auditors are part of the oversight process from the beginning.

Wednesday - 10/01/2014, 04:03am EDT

Rep. Coffman calls on VA to take swift action against Susan Taylor

The chairman of the Veterans Affairs subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations wrote a letter to Veterans Affairs Department Secretary Bob McDonald wanting more details on the actions it will take in light of the inspector general report involving the deputy chief procurement officer at the Veterans Health Administration and FedBid.

Tuesday - 09/30/2014, 06:34pm EDT

VA IG unwinds tale of procurement fraud, abuse involving senior agency officials, FedBid

The Veterans Affairs inspector general issued a report alleging the deputy chief procurement officer at the Veterans Health Administration used her position to promote and award a contract to FedBid, a reverse auction vendor, and improperly acted as an agent of the vendor, creating a conflict of interest.

Monday - 09/29/2014, 05:26am EDT
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Treasury's fixes to USASpending.gov begin with mapping, navigation

Christina Ho, the executive director for data transparency in the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, said Treasury developed short-and long-term plans to improve the spending portal. She said DATA Act requirements fit well in the department's strategy.

Friday - 09/26/2014, 04:57am EDT
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