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Agile acquisitions are causing quite a stir in the contracting community. But could it be the perfect match? Retired Coast Guard Captain Dan Taylor tells us why agile contracting could save time and money.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
The U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of $740 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2013. According to Federal Times, a gain in operating revenue was not enough to offset a legal requirement to book expenses for “pre-funding” future retiree health care. Last year, during the same fiscal period between April and June, the mail carrier reported losses of $5.2 billion.
On Friday, the White House formally notified Congress that the Defense Department’s military personnel account will continue to be exempted. The Federal Times reports that this move will likely force the Pentagon to make deeper reductions in other parts of the defense budget, such as training and readiness, modernization and new weapons systems. If a new budget agreement is not reached, the Pentagon will have to cut some $52 billion, or about 10-percent, from its overall budget beginning in October.
The Housing and Urban Development Department is canceling furlough days previously scheduled for August 15 and August 30. According to Federal Times, a deal was reached between the agency and the American Federation of Government Employees to lower furloughs from seven days to five days. The Defense Department and the IRS also agreed last week to reduce or postpone previously scheduled furlough days.
By last Thursday, the tiny Merit Systems Protection Board had received 26,192 appeals from federal workers seeking to recoup lost pay from furloughs imposed by budget cuts. The Washington Post reports that about 90 percent of the challenges are from Defense Department civilians, who were furloughed July 8 and had to wait until Thursday to appeal. In an interview with Susan Grundmann, chairwoman of the three-member board, if sequestration continues into the next fiscal year, the number of appeals will increase, further burdening the small agency.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is the midst of a major push to overhaul the technology it utilizes to move voice, video, and data communication around the world. According to Federal News Radio, DISA is planning several upcoming contracts to move to a system of unified capabilities and removing communication channels that are not integrated well. The agency’s plan for unified communications calls for all that traffic, both classified and unclassified, to be guarded under a single security architecture with a common user authentication scheme.
President Obama has signed a bill making it easier for wounded or disabled members of the military and veterans to get through airport security screening. Federal News Radio reports that the measure requires the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs to work with the Transportation Security Administration on a new protocol. The law ensures that troops can return to life at home as quickly and seamlessly as possible, providing veterans with the dignity they deserve for their service and sacrifices.
The U.S. Senate’s top appropriator, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) wants Congress and the White House to pursue a fiscal deal that would put off the next two years of across-the-board defense and domestic spending cuts. According to Defense News, GOP Senators and the White House have begun fragile talks toward a $1 trillion “grand bargain” fiscal deal, but the sides remain far apart on key issues. A short term deal would allow two more years for the President and Republicans to bridge their policy and spending differences.
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- Today is the DorobekINSIDER’s Birthday, so from everyone here at GovLoop have a very happy birthday, Christopher Dorobek!!!!