The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Thursday the 17th of May, 2012
- The Central contractor registration system will shut down next Wednesday. Companies currently use the online database to update their contractor registration with the federal government. The Washington Business Journal says, the General Services Administration is leading an effort to consolidate the various systems used for federal procurement into one: the System for Award Management. Ultimately, the new system will make life easier for contractors by allowing them to log in and enter their information into one online system rather than many.
- The White House is opposing a measure to up the small business contracting goals. The measure is part of the House’s Defense Authorization bill. The Washington Business Journal says the measure would bump up the minimum goal for small business contracting from 23 percent to 25 percent of all prime contract awards. Additionally, 40 percent of all subcontract awards would need to go to small businesses. The Obama Administration has called the measure laudable but overly ambitious. The House is expected to take up the bill sometime this week.
- Meanwhile that same House Defense Authorization bill could bar the Defense Department from awarding contractors to private security contractors in Afghanistan. The House says the reason for the ban is that there have been 42 insider attacks on coalition forces since 2007 by the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police or Afghan civilians hired by private security contractors to guard U.S. bases and facilities in the country. The Washington Business Journal says the bill also prohibits using funds to employ the Afghan Public Protection Force, which the Afghan Ministry of the Interior has offered to provide additional security.
- No more monkey business at conferences for the General Services Administration. The Federal Times says in the wake of GSA’s Western Region conference that featured a nearly million dollar price tag and mind readers — their upcoming conference will be a stark comparison. The Federal Times says the GSA Expo this year is “focused squarely on training,” said acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini.
- Meanwhile Senators are asking the inspector general to expand the General Service Administration’s investigation. The Federal Times says two senators have asked GSA’s inspector general, Brian Miller, to examine purchase card usage, contracting practices, and other travel and conference spending to see “whether there is a broader management crisis at GSA.”
- A Senate panel has approved benefits for same-sex partners. The Federal Times reports, The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill that would extend health and other benefits to same-sex domestic partners of gay and lesbian federal employees. The bill is headed to the full Senate floor. Federal Times says the measure would allow feds to claim family and medical leave to care for their same-sex domestic partners, and would make their partners eligible for group life insurance and long-term care insurance benefits. The Congressional Budget Office said extending these benefits would cost nearly $700 million over 10 years.
- Break-ins at the Capitol have police stumped. The National Journal says at least three House members and several committees are missing cash, expensive computer equipment, autographed baseballs and alcohol. In at least four of the cases, thieves broke into the offices at night when doors were locked, leading some staffers to believe they were victims of an inside job.
On Today’s DorobekINSIDER:
- How to keep your career focused — and your morale up… in these tough times.
- Improving political discussions — that’s the goal of a new online tool. We’ll talk to the creator of CitizenBridge