Browsing: Defense

11 things you probably didn't know were in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015

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On May 8, the House Armed Services Committee voted on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 – about 15 minutes after midnight. The committee voted on hundreds of amendments and debated the legislation for more than 12 hours before finally passing it. You have probably heard some of the highlights of whats in the bill, but here is a longer list of stuff that made it in that you might not have heard about. Now remember, the bill still needs to be voted on by the full House and then by the Senate, so there are still changes that…

Review faults Navy oversight of "audit-readiness" contractors

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Irony alert: In its quest to improve management of its finances, the Navy is having trouble managing the contractors who have received tens of millions of dollars to help the service meet congressionally imposed “audit-readiness” deadlines. That’s the takeaway from a newly released review by the Defense Department’s inspector general. One finding: The Navy’s Fleet Logistics Center office in Philadelphia spent $12.6 million on two task orders, “but did not adequately track whether the contractor met the requirements.” The report highlights other shortcomings in how Navy employees oversaw the contracting work, including failing to devise quality assurance plans for some…

DoD bested by adorable sea otters in recently passed legislation

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At the end of the day even the combined military might of the United States could not stand up to the relentless onslaught of cute, adorable sea otters. What on earth am I talking about? Just a few paragraphs in a 1,100 page bill. On June 14 the House passed their version of the National Defense Authorization Act which – among many other provisions – weakened some of the protections afforded to sea otters near several Navy installations, including Naval Base Ventura County and Naval Base Coronado in southern California. The legislation would have designated some of the coastal waters…

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…

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…

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.…

Shutdown Watch-Day 10

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Good morning! As many observers predicted, the government shutdown crisis has now morphed into the will-Congress-raise-the-debt-ceiling-in-time-to-avert-a-global-financial-panic crisis. Although there are some glimmers of movement, it’s less clear in what direction. If the presumption is that both stalemates will be settled together, however, that means furloughed feds will likely remain out of work through at least part of next week. The Washington Post, for example, reports today that key congressional Republicans are showing willingness to back down from their insistence on delaying or defunding implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) as the price of reopening shuttered agencies. But with…

Shutdown Watch–Day 9

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Good morning! For several hundred thousand federal employees, it’s another day of unpaid time off with-once again—no end on the horizon as President Obama, House Republicans and Senate Democrats all remain seemingly dug into their respective positions. There’s also no immediate sign that Congress is going to give final passage to legislation that would ensure retroactive pay for furloughed feds once the shutdown ends. After Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, signaled objections to fast-track consideration of the back-pay bill passed by the House on Saturday, the House GOP leadership tried again yesterday, linking a separate back-pay measure to legislation that would…

Shutdown Watch–Day 8

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The big news today is what’s not happening—i.e., there is no indication of any deal in sight to reopen the government this week. In addition, a bill to ensure back pay to hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees appears to be hitting a Senate slowdown. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., raced through the Republican-run House on a 407-0 vote Saturday; supporters had hoped for a similar glide through the Democratic controlled-Senate. But on Monday, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called it “premature” to move ahead with the back pay bill while Democrats were refusing to take up…

FedLine begins round-up of shutdown-related developments

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Good morning! Today we launch a new–and presumably temporary–feature on FedLine: A regular (as events warrant) rundown of all the noteworthy shutdown-related news that we can find. Given what happened over the weekend, we’re playing catch-up today. As always, would appreciate your help in keeping federal employees informed on what’s happening across government. You can email tips at any time to shutdownstories@federaltimes.com. Feel free to offer suggestions on how to make this feature useful. We’ll start by calling it “Shutdown Watch,” but are definitely open to something more original. So,  we start Day 7 of the partial shutdown with what…

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