On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
The government did more than furlough 800,000 federal employees, it also caused industries to furlough thousands. What's worse, during the shutdown contracts were halted and no new RFP's were issued. So what are the lasting impacts of the shutdown on contractors?
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The General Services Administration has been able to reinstate the majority of its work contracts and real estate auctions since the government reopened on October 17. During the shutdown, the organization had to suspend approximately 1,000 work contractst and 120 real estate auctions, the Federal Times reports.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Director of the OMB, shared in an interview with the Washington Post how she expected more furloughs from continued sequestration cuts in the future. Burwell further commented that the recent shutdown, combined with pay freezes and employee furloughs, may have a negative impact on recruitment in the federal government and on the trust of the American people in their political system.
George Little, the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Pentagon Press Secretary, has decided to step down from his position and pursue work in the private sector. Little has worked for the Defense Department since 2011, serving as a spokesperson for the CIA before transferring to DOD. The Washington Post notes that Little’s last day at DOD will be November 15 and that a search for his replacement is currently underway.
Contracting opportunities and IT programs with the Department of Defense are expected to decrease in the upcoming years as budget cuts from sequestration continue and military efforts in Afghanistan decline. Federal News Radio predicts that in the future the solicitation and awarding of contracts will experience further delays and be driven down to the lowest price as competition for the few remaining contracts intensifies.
The Marine Corps is preparing to scale back on many of its support programs for servicemembers and their families given expected budget cuts in the future. Federal News Radio reports that to determine which programs will stay or go, the Marine Corps is looking into evidence-based research on whether or not current support programs have been effective in helping servicemembers and their families deal with prolonged and repeated deployments.
Serco, the vendor responsible for processing paper applications for health insurance under Obamacare, received an $87 million addition to its already $114 million contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services days before the launch of the online system, Healthcare.gov. FCW states that the reason for the $87 million addition remains unclear, but that Serco’s initial contract was for the company to increase its ability to process up to 6.2 million paper applications during the open enrollment period of Oct. 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
The cost-of-living adjustment for 2014 will be published at the end of this month as the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Consumer Price Index figure on October 30. The Government Executive reports that the COLA for 2014 will more than likely equal 1.5 percent, representing a $17 per month increase in the annuity payments of federal retirees.