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DOD Streamlines Downsizing – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • “Young people are eager to serve and to change the world. They just have no faith that public service or elected office are the way to get it done.” That’s a pretty staggering statement, and a not-so-good prediction for the future of the government workforce. We wanted to get to the bottom of the disconnect.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life:

  1. Former Air Force Secretary Michael Donley will be in charge of streamlining the process of downsizing Pentagon HQ staff, The Federal Times reports. Donley plans to consolidate functions and eliminating positions in order to implement the reduction schedule. Prior to this appointment, Donley served as DOD’s director of organizations and management, or “the mayor of the Pentagon.”
  2. Janet Napolitano officially stepped down as Homeland Security Secretary in a speech at the National Press Club. Napolitano led the department for over four years, through emergencies from the Boston Marathon Bombings to Hurricane Sandy, notes The Washington Post. Napolitano said she sought to improve adaptability and local partnerships during her time at the agency. She advised her successor to prepare for cyber security threats and to be armed “with a large bottle of Advil.”
  3. The Air Force added eight additional vendors to work on the $6.9 billion Network-Solutions2 (NET-CENTS2) project, bringing the total to 16 vendors. The selection comes after delays and backlash against the first version of the contract with competing vendors arguing the contract did not comply with the Trade Agreement Act, according to The Federal Times. The vendors will work on networking equipment, software, and other products.
  4. The Army Reserve has had to overhaul its structure and hiring procedures due to a lack of even distribution among its ranks. Specifically, Federal News Radio says, they have an excess of entry-level enlisted personnel yet too few midgrade soldiers. The problem, according to Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith, the director of the Army Reserve Human Capital Enterprise, is convincing recent enlistees to stay in the service long enough to reach midgrade positions. Smith points to overly-rigorous physical testing and a decrease in tenure incentives as the root of the issue.
  5. President Obama has named the members of a new intelligence review panel that seeks to reassure the public on U.S. surveillance programs. The members include former government officials and academics who all have current or past ties to the Obama Administration, Federal New Radio reports. The group is set to research and present their findings to the President within 60 days. “It’s not enough for me, as president, to have confidence in these programs. The American people need to have confidence in them as well,” Obama said.
  6. The U.S. Labor Department announced in a press release concrete steps to improve employment opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities. The first step updates Vietnam-Era legislation on veterans by providing contractors with a quantifiable metric to measure their success in recruiting and employing veterans. The second step asks federal contractors to strive toward 7 percent of each job group in their workforce be qualified individuals with disabilities. “These rules make it easier for employers to tap into a large, diverse pool of qualified candidates,” Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said.
  7. The Food and Nutritional Service (FNS) is not doing enough to address retailer fraud, especially Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Oh, SNAP! According to the Office of the Inspector General for the USDA, the FNS did not updates its anti-fraud policies when the organization moved from a stamp-based benefit system to the current Electronic Benefit Transfer System. FNS failed to analyze potentially $6.7 million in penalties and authorized ineligible store owners who redeemed over $5.3 million in benefits.

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