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Quick Hits for Nov. 8

*** The Defense Department is looking to boost its skilled acquisition workforce through an exchange program that would let private sector employees to keep their salaries while working for the government.

"We have to address the pay and benefits or its not going to work," said founding Defense Business Board member Arnold Punaro Nov. 7 during the DOD Chief Management Office's first public meeting on DOD's study for an acquisition industry-exchange program.

Punaro, who is leading the review group for the study, added that an ideal scenario would mean that "while [the exchange employee] is a government employee, they're getting paid by a company."

There is precedent for it through other government exchange programs. Punaro compared it to the Cyber IT Exchange Program in the DOD CIO office, which allows for short-term assignments as a potential model for the acquisition program and requires companies to pay private sector participants' salaries while on assignment.

But while pay is one of the biggest concerns from technical and other skilled personnel shortages, Punaro noted potential legal barriers that still need to be reconciled before recommendations can be made.

The board is scheduled to submit its final findings to House and Senate Defense committees and DOD's Acquisition and Sustainment head Ellen Lord by March 1, 2019. Lawmakers are to be briefed by Dec. 31. Punaro said he expects to beat all deadlines.

*** The Department of Health and Human Services is moving to fulfill a series of statutory requirements dating back to 2011 to improve the sharing of foster care and child welfare case-level data between the federal government and state agencies. In a request for comment set to publish Nov. 8 in the Federal Register, the Administration for Children and Families at HHS wants to hear from stakeholders about barriers to automated data exchange, whether technical or regulatory or legal. The notice points out that variances on basic data elements like how dates are rendered can make it difficult for systems to communicate. Under the regulation required by the law, ACF plans to work with states to create a data exchange that would help track individuals across multiple agencies and prevent improper payments to recipients of cash assistance.

*** FCW's sibling publication Washington Technology announced its 2018 class of Industry Innovators . Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman writes that, "All 25 companies have developed capabilities and solutions that are laser-focused on their customers' missions."

Posted on Nov 08, 2018 at 1:06 AM


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