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FCW Insider: April 28

Big changes on GSA's IT category team

Bill Zielinski, who had been the face of the agency's next-generation, $50 billion telecommunications contract, is leaving to become a municipal CIO. Mark Rockwell has more.

GOP lawmakers seek limits on foreign TSP investments

A House bill lands as a veterans group steps up efforts to lobby the military and the White House against investment in Chinese defense firms. Lia Russell reports.

IRS recalls certain mission-critical employees for tax season

The tax agency is putting distancing measures into place and requiring employees to wear face coverings on the job. Adam Mazmanian explains.

FCC records progress with public comments system

In a recently-released study, a government watchdog said the FCC has been implementing recommendations to fix its electronic comment filing system. Get more from Mark.

Quick Hits

*** The Office of Personnel Management put out a fact sheet aimed at answering commonly asked questions after publishing a plan to reopen federal facilities. Agencies were encouraged to continue extending all possible paid leave options and flexible work schedules to federal workers who had dependents and children to care for while school facilities remained closed. The fact sheet also encouraged agencies to consider granting alternative arrangements like telework or personal leave before requiring such employees to report back to working in the office.

*** The Army made its first awards for ventilator prototypes that can help treat coronavirus patients in rugged and rural environments. Spiro Devices and AirMid Critical Care Products won $100,000 for innovative emergency ventilator designs that include a breathing bag-based solution and a bellows-based technology, respectively, to help regulate airflow. The Army announced the winners April 23.

The awards are part of the Army’s ongoing effort, called the xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge, to produce 10,000 ventilators suitable for field operation in eight weeks. The contest is ongoing and uses other transaction authorities, an acquisition mechanism that can help speed prototype production. The Army first put out the call out April 5. A panel of judges culled through entries from 150 entities and started reviewing pitches April 13. The contest is ongoing.

Posted by FCW Staff on Apr 28, 2020 at 2:18 AM


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