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2:17 pm, October 30, 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.

Kendall shapes DoD acquisition reforms around 7 areas

Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, sent a letter to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) back in June detailing how Congress can help DoD improve its acquisition outcomes. The list includes stopping sequestration, continued support of workforce training and simplifying rules and regulations.

Wednesday - 08/06/2014, 04:35am EDT
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Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

Fiscal 2013 was a banner year for small business contractors. For the first time in almost a decade, agencies awarded 23 percent of all available contracts to small firms. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive with details on how the government met its small business contracting goal. Read Jason's related article.

Monday - 08/04/2014, 08:24am EDT
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Agencies end 9-year small business contracting drought

For the first time since 2005, the government awarded at least 23 percent of all prime contracts to small businesses. The Small Business Administration reported Friday small firms received $83 billion out of a possible $355 billion in 2013.

Monday - 08/04/2014, 04:54am EDT
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Administration puts contractors on notice about labor law violations

President Barack Obama signed an executive order Thursday creating yet another set of compliance requirements for more than 24,000 companies that work for the government. Vendors will have to certify they have not violated any of the 14 federal labor laws in order to win new contracts.

Friday - 08/01/2014, 05:18am EDT
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GSA CIO calls for open source to be considered first

Sonny Hashmi issued a memo requiring agency software developers to look at open source before they consider traditional commercial solutions.

Thursday - 07/31/2014, 04:35pm EDT

Feds to feel the squeeze as cubicles and offices shrink

Federal workers to see as much as 50 percent less cubicle or office space as part of how agencies are reducing office space costs. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) pressed GSA and others on their preparation to more efficiently deal with 100 million square feet of leased space that is scheduled to expire in the next five years.

Thursday - 07/31/2014, 04:28am EDT
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GSA cuts 1,000 noncompliant vendors from IT schedule

Kay Ely, GSA's director of IT schedule programs in the Federal Acquisition Service, said removing 1,000 vendors who weren't meeting the minimum annual sales requirement of $25,000 a year is saving the agency about $3.2 million a year in administrative costs. At the same time, GSA is adding 30-to-40 new vendors each month to Schedule 70 as part of its effort to make sure agency customers have access to new, innovative companies.

Wednesday - 07/30/2014, 04:48am EDT
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Inside the Reporter's Notebook: Category management launches five pilots; more vendor past performance data

In this edition of Inside the Reporter's Notebook, Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz about the IT and acquisition communities.

Friday - 07/25/2014, 04:51pm EDT

Senators back OFPP nominee, lambast OMB over communication breakdowns

Anne Rung, President Obama's nominee to lead the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, detailed her three major priorities should the Senate confirm her. Lawmakers press Rung on improving communication between OMB and Congress, and how best to deal with the multi-sector workforce.

Friday - 07/25/2014, 04:04am EDT
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Agencies offered new approach to measure employee engagement

Ahead of results of the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint survey, a National Council on Federal Labor Management Relations working group proposed its initial ways to improve employee engagement through the use of different types of metrics. The Office of Personnel Management is expected to release the annual EVS results in August.

Thursday - 07/24/2014, 04:01am EDT
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DoD, DHS see more, earlier testing as a possible fix to troubled programs

The Defense and Homeland Security departments are pushing project managers to test technology or weapons systems earlier in the acquisition lifecycle to understand and solve potential roadblocks sooner. DoD submitted recommendations to Senate leaders for how to better integrate testing and evaluation into the acquisition lifecycle.

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 08:48am EDT
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DHS cyber executive to retire

Larry Zelvin is stepping down as the director of DHS's National Cyber and Communications Integration Center (NCIC) next month after almost 30 years of government service.

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 03:26pm EDT

HHS Buyers Club opens door to innovative approaches to IT projects

The Department of Health and Human Services isn't following in the footsteps of the Oscar winning movie, Dallas Buyers Club. Rather, HHS is trying to help contracting officers recognize agile and iterative approaches to buying and managing technology programs.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 08:39am EDT

State on path toward recovery after harsh IG report on cyber

Bill Lay, the State Department's chief information security officer, said his budget for cybersecurity doubled in 2014 to help address the recommendations outlined by the agency's inspector general.

Wednesday - 07/02/2014, 02:07pm EDT

GSA, DHS about ready to turn the spigot on for a new set of cyber tools

The General Services Administration and the Homeland Security Department are putting the final touches on the next set of contracts that will truly kickstart the federal move toward dynamic cybersecurity protections of agency networks and computers. The two agencies will release six task orders under the $6 billion CDM program in the coming year to implement tools and services across more than 40 agencies.

Wednesday - 07/02/2014, 04:08am EDT
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VA forming cadre of specially-trained acquisition workers

Ford Heard, the Veterans Affairs associate deputy assistant secretary for Procurement Policy, Systems and Oversight, said his office will launch the acquisition corps and program management framework in the coming months to further professionalize the agency's acquisition workforce. A Federal News Radio survey of chief acquisition officers and other senior acquisition managers says workforce training and retention remain among their biggest priorities and challenges.

Tuesday - 07/01/2014, 10:56am EDT
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SESers leaving due more to age, time than other factors

A new report from the Senior Executive Association and the George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration found a majority of the reasons for a 10 percent decline in the SES workforce in each of the last three years is age and length of service.

Friday - 06/27/2014, 05:44pm EDT

Sen. Tester wants to clean up one messy part of the federal hiring process

The Competitive Service Act of 2014 would let agencies share information about potential job candidates when they are trying to fill similar needs.

Friday - 06/27/2014, 03:20pm EDT

DHS S&T antes up $95M for cyber research, development

The Science and Technology Directorate issued a Broad Agency Announcement and four specific solicitations to get industry, academia and others thinking about how to improve cybersecurity. Over the next nine months, the agency will review white papers, proposals and make awards, with expectations of the development of commercial or open source projects in the next year or two.

Friday - 06/27/2014, 04:02am EDT
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Army issues new policy to gain better control over enterprise apps

Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, the Army's CIO/G6, said the service now is requiring all enterprise software titles to be modernized, virtualized and migrated to an approved data center.

Thursday - 06/26/2014, 07:57am EDT
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