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*** The Office of Personnel Management ordered agencies on Jan. 4 to continue pay freezes on senior officials including the vice president until Congress weighs in. For years a provision in the Financial Services and General Government appropriation bill maintained a freeze on pay for the vice president, cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking officials, but the provision lapsed when the partial government shutdown took effect on Dec. 22. This put officials in line to receive raises of about $10,000, just as rank-and-file federal workers were being furloughed or required to work without pay. The order from acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert came after the Washington Post published a story highlighting the coming raises.

*** Capitol Hill's federal IT duo is back with a bill to elevate the federal CIO and chief information security officer roles. Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Will Hurd (R-Texas) are reintroducing a bill they offered last Congress that passed the House but never got a vote in the Senate. The bill makes the federal CISO a direct report of the federal CIO and makes the federal CIO a direct report of the director of the Office of Management and Budget. During the 115th Congress, Hurd and Kelly were respectively the chair and ranking member of the IT Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The full committee now goes by the name Committee on Oversight and Reform, and has yet to designate subcommittees; it's not clear if the IT panel will be reconstituted.

*** Just before the federal government shutdown began on Dec. 22, Customs and Border Protection posted a notice in the Federal Register asking for public input for a "21st Century Customs Framework." CBP wants to talk to industry about emerging roles in the global supply chain, intelligent enforcement, data sharing, and self-funding customs infrastructure. The announcement comes almost a year after the agency deployed the final core elements of its Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) automated cargo processing system that is the primary interface for commercial shippers. ACE provides a "single window" processing system for commercial cargo companies to transmit all their import/export documentation and data to CBP for approvals and review. The system was under development by the customs agency for almost 20 years, but picked up speed in its final stages in the last couple of years by leveraging agile development practices.

Posted on Jan 07, 2019 at 12:51 AM


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