The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Thursday the 14th of June, 2012
- Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins are warning against cutting the acquisition workforce. Collins told Federal News Radio, “If we don’t have a highly trained and experienced workforce we will lose some value in the negotiations on federal contracts.” Lieberman added that too many members of Congress do not pay enough attention to workforce issues.” Both Lieberman and Collins are members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
- The chief Financial Officer at the General Services Administration is taking a six month leave of absence to work at the Partnership for Public Service. Federal Computer Week reports, Alison Doone, will be working on financial management and budget issues across the federal government. In her absence, Gary Grippo will be acting CFO for GSA.
- Meanwhile, GSA is considering changing the numbering system used by the federal government to identify contractors — the DUNS number system. The Washington Business Journal reports, GSA plans to assess alternatives and push Dun & Bradstreet to reduce restrictions on how the company’s unique identifiers are used. The agency’s annual costs have increased from about $1 million in 2002 to about $19 million under the current sole-source contract.
- A cybersecurity bill has stalled in the Senate. Politico reports the window for legislative action this year is rapidly closing. Democrats, faced with the real possibility that the Senate won’t be able to pass a bill, are openly blaming Republicans. Majority Leader Harry Reid accused GOP lawmakers of failing to work with Democrats on critical infrastructure provisions in a bill by Senator Joe Lieberman. Reid warns if the impasse drags on until August, it’s unlikely the Senate will act on the issue this year.
- Senators Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb have reintroduced wartime contracting legislation to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse in overseas contingency operations. This time, they’ve got bipartisan support. Congressional Quarterly says Senator Susan Collins pointed to a $900 bill that a contractor sent the Defense Department for a $7 control switch. She says peace depends on well-executed wartime contracting. The legislation builds on recommendations by the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would require a contractor accused of wrongdoing to be referred to a suspension and debarment official, but it would not require an automatic suspension.
- President Obama plans to sign an executive order to cut the costs of building broadband by up to 90 percent. The White House said agencies would have to adopt a uniform approach for letting broadband carriers build networks on or through their properties. It singled out seven large departments, including Defense, Veterans Affairs and the Postal Service. Federal News Radio reports, they would have to post leasing information on their websites, and Performance.gov will track the progress of regional broadband projects. The cost savings would come when carriers time their construction activities to coincide with periods when streets are already under construction.
- And on GovLoop, you only have two days left to vote on your favorite Lightning speaker for the Next Generation of Government Training Summit. The 12 finalist cover a wide variety of topics from using nature to connect to government to being a blind federal employee. Pick your favorite. And you can hear the top three speakers at the NextGen conference this summer on July 28th and 29th.
On Today’s Edition of the DorobekINSIDER
- How one feds helped millions of low income residents get their tax returns completed. The amazing work has made him a Service to America Award Medal Finalist. The Sammies — the oscars for feds. you’ll meet him
- A step by step guide to making your agency more innovative — with the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program.