Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Services told to budget for JIE initiative

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The military services have been directed to include funding for the Joint Information Environment in their 2015 budgets, according to a Pentagon official. Defense Department Chief Information Officer Teri Takai said she is working with DoD acquisition officials to figure out how JIE funding should be characterized in the services’ budgets, and how to manage JIE implementation plans and ensure future programs align with JIE engineering specifications, the American Forces Press Service reported earlier this month. DoD would not provide more details on the budget guidance issued by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “The direction by the Secretary of Defense…

NASA extends deadline for SEWP contract — again

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NASA has once again extended the deadline for bids on its $20 billion Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V contract, the agency announced Friday. The due date for bid proposals has been extended several times and is now set for Dec. 10, according to a notice on fbo.gov. The 16-day government shutdown in October played a role in earlier delays, the agency said. In a Q&A document also released Friday, one vendor requested an extension to the due date following amendments to the RFP earlier this month. NASA is giving vendors an additional week from its most recent  Dec. 3 deadline. The SEWP…

Is the White House ready to take up classification reform?

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The Public Interest Declassification Board meets publicly tomorrow amid anticipation that the Obama administration may at last take up the panel’s recommendations for modernizing the national security classification system. Those 14 recommendations are now almost a year old; the first was for the White House to name a steering committee to guide implementation of the other 13. “All indications are” that the administration is now going to appoint a committee along those lines,  John Powers, a staff member for the declassification board, said in a phone interview today. A spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council could not be reached…

Report details factors behind flameout on $1B Air Force logistics project

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Muddled governance, ineffective change management and revolving door leadership were among the forces leading to last year’s demise of a costly and high-stakes Air Force logistics modernization program, according to newly released findings from an internal inquiry. The Air Force canceled the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) last November after spending $1 billion for what one top manager termed “negligible” capability. But the acquisition review team offers a more upbeat take, concluding that much of the work done on the system “can be reused.” The ECSS “wasn’t the failure people think it was,” the team adds. “It was the first…

NASA issues call for innovative technology

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NASA is looking for cutting-edge technology that can revolutionize aerospace technology, according to a Nov. 15 press release. The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program (NIAC) offers as much as $100,000 to help study potentially groundbreaking technology that is at least 10 years from being operational, according to the agency. NASA is accepting short proposals until Dec. 18. The agency will pick from among the applicants to write longer proposals due March 2014. “Our NIAC program provides an on ramp for early stage technology concepts to take seed and potentially create revolutionary new capabilities for space exploration that might one day…

TVA privatization proposal still a live wire

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President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request may be moribund on Capitol Hill, but one hot-button proposal buried deep within it appears to be very much alive: Taking a close look at the option of selling off the Tennessee Valley Authority, the government-owned electric utility. The administration has launched a strategic review that’s delving into issues like “de-federalization,” the implications of a change in TVA ownership for economic development and how to deal with the agency’s assets, according to a rundown of “stakeholder outreach discussion items” provided to FedLine by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, a union representing about one-fifth of TVA’s some…

DoD launches mobile device management training

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The Defense Department is rolling out training for end users and systems administrators on how to operate its new mobile-device management software. Enterprise mobile security firm PaRaBaL is designing, building and delivering the training for all of DoD, said CEO Peter Coddington. “On this contract, our task is to make sure that all the DISA or DoD employees that will use the solution are fully versed and trained,” he said. The small-business firm is a subcontractor to Bethesda, Md., technology company DMI, which was awarded a potential $16 million, three-year contract in June for mobile application store services and an…

Competition underway on $6 billion DHS cyber contract

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The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday released the first request for quote under its $6 billion continuous monitoring contract, according to industry sources. The RFQ is for cyber tools and equipment, not services. The goal is to increase or extend software licenses that agencies already have in place, at a discounted price, said James Yeager, director of federal civilian sales at McAfee.  As of last month, 12 of the 17 vendors on the contract included McAfee products as part of their tool set available to agencies. The RFQ will provide tools for 33 departments and agencies and range in value between $37.5 million and $60…

Postal Service announcing 2013 year-end financial results next Friday

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The U.S. Postal Service will be announcing its final fiscal 2013 financial results next Friday, according to a Federal Register notice today, and as usual, the only suspense will lie in the exact amount of red ink. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that last year’s loss will be nowhere near 2012’s monster figure of $15.9 billion. That was a fluke, caused in large part because the Postal Service’s books reflected the cost of two skipped payments for future retiree health benefits. (Congress had pushed the deadline for the 2011 payment into 2012.) For 2013, the final number is likely…

Golf lands another fed in the rough

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The linguistic origins of the word “golf” are lost to time. But for 21st century feds, the game often just means trouble. The latest evidence: Stephen Calvery, head of the Defense Force Protection Agency, gets an unfavorable write-up by the Defense Department’s inspector general for giving employees administrative leave to participate in the agency’s 2009 and 2010 golf tournaments. Under the rules, such leave is allowable only if it benefits the agency’s mission, furthers a particular DoD function or has “a government-wide recognized and sanctioned purpose,” according to a redacted copy of the report posted today on the IG’s website.…

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