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DOD Makes Tough Choices, Considers Eliminating Disaster Pay – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Earlier this week the President unveiled his new management agenda, part of the process involves a renewed emphasis on creating metrics to evaluate an agency’s programs and goals. That focus falls under the GPRA Modernization Act. We asked Deloitte’s Jitinder Kohli how it’s going.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a dire warning to Congress over the damage that a looming $52 billion cut in 2014 under sequestration would have on the military. The Hill Newspaper reports, Hagel sent an eight-page letter to the heads of the Senate Armed Services Committee that was particularly blunt about the impact to training and readiness if further sequestration cuts are not avoided.
  • The Pentagon is considering eliminating danger pay for service members in as many as 18 countries and five waterways around the world. That would save about $120 million each year while taking a bite out of troops’ salaries. Senior defense and military leaders are expected to meet later this week to review the plan. Sources tell the Associated Press, they are likely to approve it. It would cut some 56,000 troops’ pay by up to $225 a month. The cut would affect those in Kuwait, a hub in the Iraq war. Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula would still get danger pay, reports Federal News Radio.
  • A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced legislation aimed at security clearance reforms in the aftermath of disclosures of secret U.S. surveillance programs by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, reports Reuters. The bill was in response to issues raised at a Senate hearing last month where it was also revealed that a government contractor, USIS, which has been under investigation, conducted Snowden’s most recent security review in 2011.
  • Bid protests are now so common some agencies plan for them in their procurement schedules, according to agency officials. “We build time in our procurement now for protests. We know we are going to get protested,” Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at the General Services Administration, told Federal Times.
  • Cybersecurity talks between United States and Chinese officials are going well, according to Chinese state media. Reuters, says the Edward Snowden affair does not seem to be overshadowing the talks. They’re part of a larger set of annual negotiations. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry are leading the U.S. delegation. The Chinese say the two have made progress, but there’s still plenty of mutual suspicion to go around. The Chinese delegates say 249 Chinese government and academic websites were hacked from January to May, including 54 by U.S. IP addresses.
  • Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security Committee is looking into payroll problems at the Defense Department. Reuters found the Defense Department’s old record-keeping system is preventing it from tracking the money. Service members report pay withheld for no reason. Lawmakers suggest service members check their payroll stubs carefully because they could be wrong.
  • And on GovLoop, the President is talking about management issues, and it is also the topic for the next DorobekINSIDER Live. You can register now for the hour long presentation on July 17th at noon EDT.

DorobekINSIDER Watercooler Fodder

  • Huckberry: Razzle Dazzle Camouflage. In WWI and WWII, over 6,000 Allied warships used camo to confuse the enemy.
  • National Journal: The Wealthiest Americans Are More Likely to Be Dissatisfied With the Economy Than the Poorest

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