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FCW Insider: March 19

A March 18 executive order positioned President Trump to invoke broad powers to direct production and receive orders of medical supplies in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. But the order stopped short of directing industry to take specific steps. Mark Rockwell has more on the Defense Production Act.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is requiring employees to telework while frontline agencies are sharing assessments for lowering risk of exposure for employees who cannot telework. Lia Russell reports on telework across the federal enterprise amid the COVID-19 response.

Federal agencies are focused COVID-19 response telework, and telecom carriers are working to help expand bandwidth and support virtual presence applications, so modernization promised under the $50 billion governmentwide Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract may have to wait. Mark explains.

The Defense Department wants prototype solutions to combat the novel coronavirus disease and other emerging bio-threats, according to a March 15 request to industry. Lauren C. Williams takes a look.

A new report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government offers a road map for agencies looking to adopt Design Thinking and related methodologies.

Quick Hits

*** Less than a week after launching the 2020 Census count, the Census Bureau announced it would suspend field operations for two weeks until April 1 due to concerns over coronavirus. Internet and phone intakes and mail counts would continue.

"The Census Bureau is taking this step to help protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and everyone going through the hiring process for temporary census taker positions," Census Director Steve Dillinger said in a statement. "In the limited number of instances where an in-person visit is necessary, we are working closely with public health authorities to ensure each visit is accomplished safely."

*** Russell Vought, who has served as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget for more than a year, was nominated to hold the job on a permanent basis by President Trump on March 18. Vought is replacing Mick Mulvaney, who exited the day to day running of OMB to assume the job of acting White House Chief of Staff. Mulvaney was recently replaced in the White House job and is heading to a diplomatic role in Northern Ireland.

Posted by FCW Staff on Mar 19, 2020 at 2:12 AM


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