*** Chip Fulghum, the Department of Homeland Security's deputy undersecretary for management, will be leaving the government to become chief operating officer for the San Antonio-based non-profit Endeavors. Fulghum, a 2017 Fed100 winner, oversees many aspects of DHS' information technology, acquisition and procurement missions. He will start at Endeavors in July.
Fulghum's departure adds to the vacancy list in DHS’ Management Directorate. The CFO position is also currently vacant and Claire Grady, the current undersecretary, has doubled as acting deputy secretary of DHS since Elaine Duke resigned in February 2018.
At an April 3 House Homeland Security committee hearing, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) lamented the pending departure. "These vacancies undoubtedly hamper the Department's ability to run effectively and efficiently,” he said. “I urge the President to quickly nominate a deputy secretary and hope that someone as committed as Mr. Fulghum will soon be appointed to fill his shoes.”
*** The General Services Administration is increasingly relying on video conferencing to communicate across the nationwide enterprise, according to a recent agency solicitation. GSA regional administrators, along with Public Buildings Service and Federal Acquisition Service regional commissioners and their staffs hold periodic "all-hands" meetings that can involve field sites and respective regional offices. Those meetings can draw in 250-2,500 staff, according to the agency. Administrator Emily Murphy also uses video streaming to address employees across the agency's Washington headquarters and regional offices, drawing 500 to 7,500 staff viewers, typically with a near 50/50 split between on-site viewers and remote teleworkers.
The agency is now seeking a cloud-based Video-as-a-Service solution an anticipates provisioning the capability to 14,000 authenticated users across GSA. Currently the agency streams video from headquarters and regional offices via a legacy system that can swamp capacity at low-bandwidth field sites -- resulting in poor audio quality, frozen video screens and uneven playing speeds.
*** This morning, a federal appeals court will hear the Trump administration's appeal of an August 2018 decision invalidating much of three executive orders aimed at making it easier to fire federal employees, restricting union activity and limiting collective bargaining negotiation time. Last year, District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that aspects of the orders "plainly further the President's intention to restrict the scope and effectiveness of federal employees' right to collective bargaining," and that such provisions "conflict with congressional intent in a manner that cannot be sustained."
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