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FCW Insider: Dec. 17

There was good news for civilian federal employees in the compromise spending package released Dec. 16 – the bill includes an average 3.1% pay raise – a 2.6% hike in base pay plus locality pay increases. Adam Mazmanian has more.

The Technology Modernization Fund got a $25 million boost in the same funding bill. Many were worried that TMF would remain flat in 2020. Adam reports.

According to the annual "Best Places to Work" report released by the Partnership for Public Service today, federal job satisfaction ticked down slightly across the board. But at certain agencies, major upheavals sparked big dips in job satisfaction. Lia Russell takes a look at the data.

Congress agreed on $425 million in election grants to states to be administered by the Election Assistance Commission in the appropriations bill, but ditched proposed stronger mandates to states on how to spend the funds. Derek B. Johnson explains.

Porter Orr, director of the capabilities accelerator team with the Army Applications Laboratory, explains in an interview with FCW's Lauren C. Williams how the Army connects with nontraditional problem solvers to close capability gaps and speed modernization.

A report from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council heads to the White House with some alarmist typography scaled back but with recommendations for new federal agencies intact. Derek digs into plans for shaking up federal cybersecurity response.

Meagan Metzger, the founder and CEO of Dcode, shares her thoughts on how shift the burden on market research for emerging tech from acquisition staff to program personnel. "Step outside your comfort zone when it comes to researching emerging tech," Metzger advises in an FCW commentary.

Quick Hits

*** The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council passed an interim rule Dec. 13 that allows vendors who bid on federal contracts to certify they aren't using specific China-made telecommunications equipment and services in the System for Award Management database. The certification can be made annually instead of per offer made. The rule, which implements a provision in the 2019 defense policy bill banning China-produced telecom products, applies to all acquisitions, including those involving commercial off-the-shelf technology.

*** The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will be funded at $2 billion in 2020 under a funding bill released Dec. 16 and expected to be voted on this week. That funding includes $947 million to protect civilian federal networks and $136 million to "modernize and better defend the federal enterprise."

*** In the legislative branch appropriation, $34.7 million was added to the U.S. Senate's FY2019 appropriation of $935 million to invest in Senate cybersecurity and to provide training to members and staff.

Posted by FCW Staff on Dec 17, 2019 at 2:32 AM


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