The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Thursday the 2nd of August, 2012
- While there may be a budget deal for at least part of fiscal 2014, there is still a lot of wrangling around sequestration. Congress and the administration continued to square off those automatic spending cuts. Members of the House Armed Service Committee were expecting details on what military programs would be curtailed under automatic budget cuts from Office of Management’s and Budget’s acting director Jeffrey Zients. But Zients repeated what he’s been telling Congress for months. Until it has a 2013 budget, the White House can’t deliver a list of cuts. Federal News Radio says Congress is likely to vote on a six-month continuing resolution when it returns from its summer recess after Labor Day. Zients promised a plan by Jan. 2, the day sequestration is scheduled to occur. Meanwhile, The Hill reports that Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned on Wednesday that sequestration would be a “major step” to “an unready, hollow” military force, the Hill reported. Carter began laying out some of the impacts of the $55 billion cut facing the Pentagon in 2013 if sequestration is not reversed while testifying at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on sequestration. And Federal Times says that the Pentagon is assessing all options, including the possible implications of a one-year, $100 billion, governmentwide, “mini-sequester” deficit-reduction deal, Defense Department and industry sources said.
- The cybersecurity bill will not get a vote before lawmakers head into summer recess. The Senate today failed to to invoke cloture this morning, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S.3414) isn’t going anywhere before the August recess. And there has been much wrangling about the bill. The New York Times reports, the crux of the problem is how easily the government can go through private data online. The White House made a last-minute effort yesterday to salvage the bill. Meanwhile the director of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander said that private companies would not have to share information with his agency, but only with the civilian-run Department of Homeland Security. A cloture vote is expected sometime today.
- Agencies need to do a better job at clarifying what their chief acquisition officers are supposed to do for the sake of the organization, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. Federal Computer Week reports that GAO found many agencies lack documents defining what chief acquisition officers are supposed to do for the sake of the organization. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy agrees with the recommendation that the positions duties be better documented.
- An app aimed at helping vets with post-traumatic stress disorder has one an American Telemedicine innovation award. Health.mil reports the ‘PTSD Coach’ app was jointly developed by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The app tracks symptoms, educates and provides support connections to individuals with PTSD. The app was released in 2011 and has been downloaded more than 53,000 times.
- The Transportation Security Administration and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) have reached agreement on the first-ever labor contract for TSA officers. Government Executive says discussions on the agreement have been underway since January. They culminated in a marathon bargaining session that ended at about 3:00 a.m. Thursday. One sticking point in the negotiations involved TSA’s current pay-for-performance system, known as the Performance Accountability and Standards System. PASS evaluates how well screeners are performing and determines employees’ annual pay raises. AFGE claims the system is discriminatory to older workers, minorities and women.
- The Air Force is preparing to open up their cyberwarfare simulation center. NextGov reports, the Air Force will allow more military commands, educational institutions and other federal agencies to test in the simulation center. The Air Force Network Integration Center Joint Cyberspace Operations Range at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois plans to begin expansion around in mid-January. The program is part of the Pentagon’s existing Joint Cyberspace Operations Range that runs troops through training, accreditation and simulated warfighting exercises. Current members include the Air Force, Navy, National Guard Bureau and U.S. Strategic Command.
- And on GovLoop, if you attended our Next Generation of Government Training Summit last week, the pics are in. We have more than 200 photos from the event. So you can scroll through to pick out your favorites.
On today’s program
- The Office of Personnel Management has made great strides with innovation — that according to feds themselves. How did they do it? You hear from OPM’s Matt Collier. He spoke at GovLoop’s Next Generation of Government Training Summit, and you’ll hear from him.
- And we’ll hear from the organization that is working with OPM on creating a culture of innovation. It’s called the Luma Group, and we’ll hear about their model for innovation.