GSA trying to whip inflation now for contractors

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  • The Department of Defense is in the process of filling positions on its Senior Advisory Council on Women in the Military. The Biden administration cleaned up for a review of all of its Pentagon advisory committees a year ago. Now the the administration renews the staff of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service. Shelley O’Neil Stoneman will be the new committee chair. She brings two decades of experience in the executive and legislative branches. Other newly appointed members include former Vice Admiral Robin Braun and retired Command Chief Octavia Harris.
  • The Ministry of Defense formal creation of an independent review committee on suicide prevention and intervention to examine mental health issues and sexual assault in the military. The panel is based on the Sexual Assault Panel’s 2021 in-depth review of military culture. The new panel was mandated by Congress in the Defense Authorization Act of 2022.
  • The DoD’s first-ever Chief Software Officer returns to the private sector. Jason Weiss told Federal News Network that he’s taken a new job with a private cybersecurity firm. He has served in the newly created DoD position since January 2021 and plans to stay until April 15. to give the department head more authority to initiate overall change.
  • The GSA tries to help contractors reduce inflation. General Services Administration made changes in four areas to help companies on their contract schedule cope with rising prices. A new GSA memo temporarily suspends certain economic pricing adjustment clause requirements. A change allows sellers to increase prices more than three times in a 12-month period. Another suspends the 30-day requirement before companies can raise prices a second time. And a third change lowers the GSA’s decision-making power for price adjustments. These changes remain in effect until September 30, 2022.
  • As some agencies begin to return to office, there are new concerns over plans to return to office for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Currently, there are no open offices for the EEOC and no publicly available plan to pick up employees in person. Two senior members of the Education and Labor and Oversight and House Reform committees expressed their concerns in a letter to Commissioner Charlotte Burrows. The authors requested information from the EEOC on return-to-office times and the impact of closed workspaces.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is bringing employees back to the office, but is considering a hybrid workplace for staff. The VA says it brought non-office bargaining unit employees back to the office last week and expects bargaining unit employees to return to the office by May. A return to the office only affects a portion of the total VA workforce. Nearly 80% of staff have been on the front line since the start of the pandemic. VA Assistant Secretary Donald Remy said the agency was moving toward a hybrid workplace that would keep telecommuting in place for eligible employees. “The hybrid work environment will allow people to use telecommuting arrangements so they only have to come into the office a set number of days during the week,” Remy said.
  • The number of federal contractors is decreasing. New analysis by Bloomberg Government has revealed that the number of unclassified prime contracts, over the past decade, has fallen nearly 33% to 97,000 from a peak of 142,000. BGov said the Department of Defense in 2021 had about 44,000 contractors, the lowest number than at any time in 10 years. The base of civilian contractors has fallen by 31% since 2011, falling to 67,000 suppliers.
  • The National Park Service, Social Security Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are among the most important agencies Americans trust. A Public Service Partnership National Survey finds that at least 60% of respondents gave positive feedback for these individual agencies, while only four in 10 Americans said they trust the federal government as a whole. The IRS is the only agency with a majority unfavorable opinion at 51% negative responses. The survey is a first part of the Partnership’s research on improving trust in government.
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has set up a new portal for reporting cyber incidents. CISA is asking companies to disclose cyber incidents to a new portal set up recently amid concerns about Russian cyberattacks. It also comes after Congress passed new incident reporting requirements for critical infrastructure companies. But the requirements only come into effect when the CISA goes through a rule-making process. So, for now, CISA is asking companies to report on a voluntary basis. (Federal News Network)
  • The FBI reports commercial email compromise scams were the costliest cybercrimes in 2021. The bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center said it received nearly 850,000 complaints of alleged internet crime last year, a 7% increase over 2020, for reported losses of nearly $7 billion. Business email compromise amounted to $2.4 billion in losses in 2021 alone, with investment fraud, personal data breaches and romance scams also topping the list.
  • The Postal Service emails digital scans of incoming mail to millions of homes every day. The agency is now moving the infrastructure that supports its Informed Delivery service to the cloud. USPS said it is moving towards a cloud-based platform which will store, send and host emails for its Informed Delivery service. USPS said moving to the cloud will allow it to replace its current on-premises infrastructure for the program. The USPS has stated that the migration of this data will have no impact on the privacy rights of individuals.

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