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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.
Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel said the new process is centered around three concepts: the why, the what and the results. The White House also is consolidating 30 reporting requirements into three that will help agencies determine answers to the three questions. OMB also updated the goals under the data center consolidation initiative.
Bryan Jones, the director of the Counter Measures and Performance Evaluation (CAPE) team in the U.S. Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General, said the development of a dashboard to help investigators visualize data more easily helped overcome initial resistance to these kinds of tools.
March 28, 2013
Inside the Reporter's Notebook: A deeper focus on strategic sourcing, boosting acquisition and cyber workforces
News and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed this week.
The FEHBP Drug Integrity, Transparency and Cost Savings Act would give OPM more oversight of contracts and pricing methods. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) said the bill would save the government billions.
Tom Sharpe, the commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration, is focusing on 10 areas to make the organization more responsive and efficient. Sharpe also plans to meet with vendors and employees to improve their satisfaction with FAS.
Including the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday passed 12 bills focusing on a variety of agency management issues.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) with little debate and no amendments. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the bill's author and chairman of the committee, said the provisions to give CIOs more budget control and the IT project and program management improvements will have a big impact on how agencies spend money on technology.
Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack can move money in-between accounts within the same bureau, but not across the agency under a special provision called Interchange Authority. Vilsack has officially asked Congress for use of that authority in an effort to stunt the negative effects of sequestration at his agency. At at recent House hearing, Republican lawmakers questioned why more agencies haven't movasked Congress for similar permission.
For the third year in a row, Congress is unlikely to give GSA enough money to repair and maintain federal buildings. Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini told House lawmakers Tuesday that the government isn't spending the 2-to-4 percent industry average to keep buildings operating well.
Real reform for the U.S. Postal Service may be gaining some steam in Congress. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), the new chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service, tells Federal News Radio, House leadership sees room for compromise with Democrats when it comes to figuring out ways to get USPS back in the black. Farenthold supports the Postal Service's plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.
The annual SmartPay and FedForum conferences have been canceled this year due to cuts to agency travel and training budgets under sequestration.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) asked auditors to review five different areas of sequestration. The Government Accountability Office will examine the actual sequestration order, as well as the July 31 memo to agencies from the Office of Management and Budget. He also wants GAO to look at any supporting reports, regulations and orders for compliance with the Budget Control Act, the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, and other relevant statutes.
The agency in an email to contractors said information including social security numbers and bank account information were publicly assessable. GSA is offering credit monitoring services to those affected.
Cyber coordinator Michael Daniel released updated goals for TIC, HSPD-12 and continuous monitoring on Performance.gov. He said by adding new goals to the portal, performance improvement officers will pay more attention and influence how agencies meet the targets.
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved two cybersecurity bills this week. Both bills were approved by the House last term, but never came up for a vote in the Senate. That chamber is considering a comprehensive approach to cyber legislation.
Mark Weatherford, the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity, will leave the agency on April 12 after accepting a job in the private sector.
Jim Craft, the CIO of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), said the culture of taking appropriate risk to get technology to soldiers is making a huge difference in saving lives.
March 14, 2013 (Part two of interview airs March 21, 2013)
Employees at TSA, CBP and Bureau of Prisons will no longer be able to work overtime. SSA offers its employees a new round of early retirements to deal with budget shortfalls. AFGE continues to press Congress, White House to stop sequestration.
U.S. Cyber Command is putting together dozens of groups to defend the military's network, to work with combatant commanders on offensive tactics and to respond to attacks against the nation. Gen. Keith Alexander, however, said budget cuts will delay DoD's ability to recruit and train team members.
Paul Prouty, the former GSA Region 8 commissioner, won his appeal of the agency's decision to fire him in the wake of the Western Regions Conference scandal last April. The Merit Systems Protection Board's administrative judge found "no evidence" of wrongdoing by Prouty.