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FCW Insider: June 29

GSA makes 3 awards in e-commerce test

The General Services Administration awarded spots on its long-awaited e-commerce platform proof-of-concept test to Amazon, Overstock and Fisher Scientific

USCIS anticipates major furloughs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is staring down the prospect of having to furlough almost three-fourths of its workforce.

Feds to oversee grid supply chain effort

The Department of Energy's cybersecurity agency is set to begin the process of prequalifying vendors of bulk power equipment for the U.S. electric grid.

Senate NDAA repeals protest pilot, seeks clarity on JRSS

Lawmakers in the Senate are running out of patience with the nebulous status of the Joint Regional Security Stacks effort and want to give new contracting authority to Cyber Command.

Quick Hits

*** The White House is looking to overhaul the federal hiring system and deemphasize college education when recruiting new civil servants. In an executive order issued June 26, President Trump announced that federal agencies would be required to examine and prioritize applicants' job skills over whether they possessed a degree from an institute of higher education.

"Unnecessary degree requirements exclude otherwise qualified Americans from federal employment, impose the expense of college on prospective workers and disproportionately harm low-income Americans," a White House statement read. "As a result of this reform, talented individuals with apprenticeships, technical training, and apt backgrounds will have great opportunity to pursue careers in the federal civil service."

*** The Office of Personnel Management will kick off the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey on July 13, after the effort was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The survey will include a special section on agency response to the pandemic. The survey will be open for six weeks, with agencies receiving the first results in October.

*** President Trump nominated William Perry Pendley to become director of the Bureau of Land Management on June 26. Perry has served as acting director of the BLM since August 2019.

Since assuming the position, Pendley has faced an onslaught of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and former government workers for relocating the agency’s headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo., from Washington, D.C. Pendley justified the move as a common-sense decision in order for BLM personnel to be closer to government lands in the western U.S.

*** The General Services Administration created a tool that reminds agency contracting officers to get access cards back from their contractors when their work is completed. The agency described the tool in reply comments to an Inspector General report that looked at the agency's COVID-19 response. The report pointed out that GSA faced hurdles in retrieving out-of-date credentials from contractors who work on GSA's nationwide portfolio of buildings.

Posted by FCW Staff on Jun 29, 2020 at 2:11 AM


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