Federal IT reform hits a snag – Plus the 7 DorobekINSIDER Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • The age of austerity is here and it’s here to stay. But one potential way for agencies to save is to use strategic sourcing in its acquisitions. But what is strategic sourcing and could it really work at your agency? We hear from a DoD strategic sourcing expert.
  • We depend on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that the medical innovations are safe and effective. But how does the agency that regulates our food safety regulate its own workforce? Insights from the Director of Innovate FDA. Click here for the full recap.


The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Federal News Radio reports, critics are attacking a congressional plan to reform federal IT management before it’s even officially proposed. Tech contractors’ groups say the plan hurts their industry by promoting open-source solutions. TechAmerica, BSA, The Coalition for Government Procurement and the IT Industry Council say laws should be technology-neutral. Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) tried to drum up support for their plan at a forum earlier this week. They intend to introduce the bill, nicknamed FITARA (Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act), early next year.
  2. Federal Unions are striking back against additional pay cuts. The Federal-Postal Coalition represents 25 unions and associations has taken out a full-page ad in today’s Politico newspaper. In it, the coalition says the government has cut more than $100 billion from federal employees’ compensation over a decade. It points out that feds haven’t gotten a pay raise in nearly three years. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said federal compensation reform should be part of a deficit-reduction package.
  3. The Senate defeated an amendment to the Defense authorization bill that would have halted an effort to cut the department’s civilian and contractor workforces by an estimated 5 percent through fiscal 2017. Government Executive reports the failure of the amendment, offered by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., means a provision that could slash up to 36,000 Defense jobs will remain in the Senate’s fiscal 2013 bill.
  4. A new report shows most agencies are properly following FOIA requirements. The Washington Post reports, an audit by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive has found that nearly 70 percent of government agencies haven’t updated their Freedom of Information regulations since Eric Holder sent out that letter, and well over half haven’t done so since Congress and President George W. Bush approved the Open Government Act of 2007, which mandated certain changes.
  5. Senators say the Department of Homeland Security has wasted money in its grant program. Federal Times says State and local governments have tapped federal homeland security grants to pay for snow cone machines, sports stadium fortifications and a training simulation that highlighted a “zombie apocalypse,” according to a report released Wednesday by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Coburn’s report said it is “uncertain” whether the more than $7 billion in grants handed out between 2003 and 2012 by DHS’ Urban Area Security Initiative has contributed much to preparing the nation for a terror attack.
  6. The Senate has unanimously passed a 2013 defense authorization bill, ignoring a veto threat by President Obama. It would give members of the military a 1.7 percent raise. Federal News Radio reports it would also cut tens of thousands of civilian jobs in the Defense Department, and it would speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The bill authorizes a smaller increase in Defense spending than has occurred in the last several years. The sticking point with the White House is a provision limiting the president’s power to move terror detainees out of the prison at Guantanamo Base, Cuba. Now the Senate must reconcile with the House version.
  7. And on GovLoop – you still have time to attend our half day in-person training event going on next Thursday here in the District. NextGen plus will feature:
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    4. Training takes place next Thursday
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