NewsBrief: April 1, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 1, 2022

DoD’s multibillion-dollar cloud procurement delayed by another eight months

(Federal News Network)The Defense Department said it’s still on track to deliver an up to $9 billion suite of cloud computing contracts to serve both its business and warfighting needs, but its enterprise cloud ambitions will have to endure yet another delay. Officials said Tuesday that they now expect to award contracts to several large cloud computing firms to build the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) in December. JWCC, the replacement for the ill-fated JEDI Cloud contract, was originally slated for awards by April. Read More

Navy Needs Info on Software Analysis Tool for F-35 Logistics System

(ExecutiveGov)The U.S. Navy seeks market information on software code scanning options that support the quantitative software architecture analysis of the F-35 aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System. The Navy said Tuesday in a notice it wants to eventually award a contract for a QSAA tool that can analyze defense-related software to inform cost estimates, schedules and feasibility. ALIS centralizes and distributes maintenance and health information of F-35 aircraft across the globe. The system combines operations, logistics, supply chain, customer support, technical data, training and maintenance functions related to the F-35. Read More

Senators want to eliminate any conflicts of interest with government contractors

Federal News Network”)OA bipartisan group of senators are taking aim at organizational conflicts of interest among federal contractors. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced the Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act yesterday. The bill would require contractors to disclose other business relationships with entities that conflict with the work that an agency has hired them to do. Agencies also would have to update their policies for determining whether vendors have a potential conflict of interest. Read More

Artificial Intelligence: DOD Should Improve Strategies, Inventory Process, and Collaboration Guidance

( )The Defense Department believes that artificial intelligence will transform warfare, and failure to adopt AI technology could hinder national security. DOD is making organizational changes and investing billions of dollars to incorporate AI technology. We found that DOD’s AI-related strategies could be more comprehensive, such as by including full descriptions of the resources needed for developing AI-enabled technologies. In addition, DOD has not yet issued guidance that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of components that participate in AI activities. Read More

DOD Small Business Contracting: Use of Sole-Source 8(a) Contracts over $22 Million Has Increased

( )The Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program encourages the government to award contracts to businesses owned by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups, such as Indian tribes. Under the 8(a) program, federal agencies can award contracts to such businesses either through competition or on a sole-source basis (without competition). We looked at contracts valued over $22 million that DOD awarded through the 8(a) program over a 6-year period. Over this time, the number and value of sole-source 8(a) contracts increased, while the number of competitively awarded 8(a) contracts varied. Read More

Inflation sparks new fight over Biden’s military budget request

(Defense News )Spiking inflations’s potential effect on the Pentagon has emerged as a line of attack for Republicans who argue President Joe Biden’s defense budget was already treading water when it was introduced Monday. Inflationary shocks are driving up Pentagon costs for labor, fuel and other materials, prompting Republicans to call for more than Biden’s $813 billion national defense budget request for fiscal 2023. That request would be a $30 billion, or 4%, boost from the fiscal 2022 level enacted by Congress ― which is a nominal increase above the Pentagon’s assumption of 2.5% inflation. Read More

With rising inflation, OPM to examine some employees current pay rate

(Federal News Network )Some federal workers may be getting a pay raise due to rising levels of inflation. The Office of Personnel Management is assessing current pay levels for remote workers to see if they need to be adjusted. That pay rate assessment will go to the White House and Congress by the end of the month. OPM is also looking at expanding overtime pay for overseas Navy employees. Those changes are required under the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022. Read More

Lawmakers Want to Know When Most Feds Will Be Working in Person Again

(Government Executive) Two years after the massive shift to telework began for the COVID-19 pandemic, two top House Republicans want to know when most federal employees will return to their worksites. Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., ranking member on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Jody Hice, R-Ga., ranking member on the committee’s government operations panel, sent a letter to the heads of the Office of Personnel Management and General Services Administration on Wednesday following the president’s remarks during the State of the Union on March 1, in which President Biden said the federal government would be leading the way on the return-to-office process, for those who were not able to telework. Read More

How to Have More Successful Conversations

(Knowledge @ Wharton) Negotiating a salary increase or a job promotion ranks high on the list of hard conversations to have at work, and it doesn’t get any easier without a plan. “People think, ‘I’m just going to knock on their door, sit down with them and noodle around and see where this goes.’ That’s not a plan. You want to have a specific goal in mind,” said Maurice Schweitzer, Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions. “People often fail to achieve their conversational goals because they fail to identify their objectives.” Read More

Wow! Astrophotographer spots spacewalking astronauts from the ground

(’s a spacewalk as you’ve probably never seen one before. Last Wednesday (March 23), NASA astronaut Raja Chari and the European Space Agency’s Matthias Maurer spent nearly seven hours outside the International Space Station, performing a variety of maintenance work. Amazingly, astrophotographer Sebastian Voltmer managed to capture a snapshot of the spacewalk action from the ground — and from Maurer’s hometown of Sankt Wendel, Germany, no less. Read More