5 important federal items you may have missed last week


It was a busy week. Congress finally passed a budget for fiscal 2014 that includes a slew of new provisions and changes in funding levels across the government. The NSA has been under fire for the collection of phone records, metadata and even text messages. The governor of New Jersey is under continuing investigation because of the closure of a bridge that snarled traffic for four days.

So if you missed a few things that is certainly understandable. Which is why we have compiled a list of stories that are interesting or important that may have flown under your radar.

1.Sequestration cuts contract spending $58 billion in 2013

Budgets cuts, contracting reforms and the military drawdown in Afghanistan have pushed government contract spending to its lowest level in more than seven years.

Government spending on contracts plunged almost $58 billion – 11 percent – to about $460 billion in fiscal 2013, according to the Office of Management and Budget and preliminary estimates from the Government Accountability Office.

Read more here.

2. OPM considering transgender care in future employee health plans

The Office of Personnel Management is evaluating expanding its federal employee health coverage to include transgender care. Other agencies such as Health and Human Services – which governs Medicare and Medicaid – are also taking steps to re-evaluate their positions excluding the coverage.

Read more here.

3. Close look awaits NIST cybersecurity framework due next month

Agencies and companies are in a state of high anticipation over cybersecurity guidelines NIST plans to release next month that create voluntary standards for how companies involved with critical infrastructure should protect themselves.

“I think it’s very highly anticipated,” said Scott Montgomery, vice president and chief technology officer for the public sector at McAfee, an information security firm.

Read more here.

4. Military services undergo massive health IT consolidation

Until recently, each of the military services had their own health information technology organizations, complete with separate data centers, contracting practices, infrastructure and applications.

But all that is going to change, according to David Bowen, the chief information officer at the Defense Health Agency.

Read more here.

5. Pentagon to launch mobile rollout Jan. 31

The Defense Information Systems Agency will begin deploying initial capabilities this month to support thousands of Apple and Android devices across the military.

The initial roll out, or version 1.0 of the mobile device management solution is set for Jan. 31 and will focus on managing unclassified devices, DISA announced Thursday.

Read more here.


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    • Hi: We’ve been on a publishing break for the holidays, but you should be getting our Jan. 20 print issue early next week. Also, we’re continually updating our website at http://www.federaltimes.com.
      Thank you for your interest and for reading Federal Times!

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