FCW Insider

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FCW Insider: March 20

Contractors still waiting on consistent pandemic guidance

A few agencies have advised their contractors on how to proceed in the current uncertain environment, but lawmakers and trade groups want clear guidance and legislation amid the worsening pandemic. Mark Rockwell explains.

FAA administrator instructs employees to avoid agency facilities

Only mission-critical employees are required to report to agency facilities, the administrator -- who is himself quarantined after COVID-19 exposure -- told staff March 19. Adam Mazmanian reports.

Weichert explains employee-facing crisis communications

Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert said OMB has been leading federal agencies in how to respond to employee questions operating status, telework and taking weather and safety leave. Lia Russell has more.

COVID-19 funding package includes federal building safety and security

The Trump administration wants hundreds of millions of dollars in extra funding to clean and secure federal buildings from exposure to coronavirus. Derek B. Johnson takes a look.

DHS unveils EIS plans to industry

The Department of Homeland Security issued a draft solicitation to Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vendors for headquarters data networks. Mark learned that DHS is seeking a mix of modernization and "like-for-like" replacement services.

FLRA pushes ahead with union dues rule

The Federal Labor Relations Authority will advance a policy to allow federal workers to suspend paying dues to their bargaining agents at any time after one year. Lia explains.

Quick Hits

*** The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking $1.15 billion in supplemental coronavirus funding to dramatically and quickly scale up telemedicine and to support telework at the agency. The funding request is one of the bigger tech-focused pieces of the $45.8 billion supplemental funding sought by the Office of Management and Budget in a March 17 letter to Vice President Mike Pence. Agencies are seeking millions to scale up IT systems to support telework. Telehealth funding also plays a big role in a proposed request for $6.5 billion for Health and Human Services.

*** While many Republican lawmakers downplayed the threat of coronavirus to the U.S. as the virus was raging in China, Korea and Italy, official briefings may have alarmed some senators sufficiently to sell shares in stocks before the markets began their steep slide. The Daily Beast is reporting that Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) sold between $1.275 million and $3.1 million between Jan. 24 and Feb. 14, while picking up shares in virtual meeting software firm Citrix and in Oracle. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) also sold between $628,000 and $1.7 million on Feb. 13. Both lawmakers attended private briefings from administration officials about COVID-19 before the sales. Lawmakers are required to disclose shares of stocks.

Posted by FCW Staff on Mar 20, 2020 at 2:26 AM


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