NewsBrief: August 11, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: August 11, 2023

DeJoy pledges to trim workforce costs as USPS continues to lose more money than expected

(Government Executive) The U.S. Postal Service lost $1.7 billion from April through June of this year, with revenue dropping by 1% compared to the same period in 2022 and operating costs spiking by 10%. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy once again recognized the mailing agency’s finances are not in the place he had hoped for by this point in his tenure, but vowed to double down on and accelerate his proposed reforms to right the ship. Among the solutions, he said, would be significantly reducing work hours by closing some facilities and removing other inefficiencies. Read More

Office of Strategic Capital hits road bumps on future funding

(Federal News Network) While some lawmakers and Defense Department officials frequently hold up the Office of Strategic Capital (OSC) as a success story, a disagreement on Capitol Hill appears to have put its funding in question as the office comes under criticism for allegedly allowing conflicts of interest. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s fiscal 2024 defense appropriations bill described the office’s funding request as “unexecutable.” Appropriators say that’s because the office, which DoD set up to help fund innovative small businesses, hasn’t had its programs formally authorized by Congress. Read More

DHA faces legal challenges to how it conducted $2.5B procurement

(NextGov/FCW) The Defense Health Agency’s attempt to open a $2.5 billion multiple-award contract for business has been mired in protests that have now moved to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The Military Health System Enterprise IT Services Geographic Service Provider vehicle is a 10-year program that DHA is using to standardize how it buys IT services as it modernizes how it provides health services across the military. In early July, DHA awarded six companies spots on the contract out of the 39 total bidders. Several protests immediately followed, but the Government Accountability Office has since dismissed those now that AccelGov has gone to U.S. Court of Federal Claims on July 13 with its protest. The court has a higher level of authority than GAO regarding bid protest rulings. Read More

Pentagon memo aims to leverage $9B JWCC ‘to greatest extent possible’: Official

(Breaking Defense) The Pentagon’s latest memorandum on its Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) aims to “lay out the conditions” for how the entire department and military services can leverage the contract “to the greatest extent possible,” according to an official from the Defense Department’s chief information office (CIO). “So now we really are in a place where we need to make sure that we look at our entire cloud landscape, rationalize our cloud landscape, enable the military departments to make sure that they continue to use their platforms to optimize cloud,” Lily Zeleke, deputy CIO for information enterprise, said at a Defense One Cloud Workshop event on Tuesday. Read More

Sydney Metro report highlights ‘significant technical and budget risks’

(New Civil Engineer) The Sydney Metro project involves three different schemes, Sydney Metro West, City and Southwest and Western Sydney Airport. Due to procurement issues with the Sydney Metro West scheme, the overall project is now “highly unlikely” to meet its target opening date of 2030. The report, compiled by the New South Wales government, also stated the City and Southwest leg of the scheme will require a cash injection of roughly A$1.1bn (£560M). It further reports: “[The risks] are not insurmountable but will require a sustained and concerted effort to project manage over the next 24 months.” Read More

Report reveals ‘sudden surge’ in cyberattacks targeting government agencies

(Government Executive) A new report has found that cyberattacks targeting government agencies and the public sector increased at an alarming rate in recent months, as threat actors unleashed a slate of novel malware campaigns that impacted financial institutions, healthcare services and critical infrastructure industries. The quarterly Global Threat Intelligence report published by Blackberry shows a 40% increase in attacks targeting government agencies and the public sector between March and May, as well as a 13% increase in novel malware samples that the company observed from the previous reporting period’s average. Read More

UAH to develop propulsion system to boost surveillance between Earth and Moon

(Moon Daily) Dr. John Bennewitz, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), has been awarded a $650,000, 45-month Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) grant to develop an advanced propulsion system that will facilitate surveillance of space between the Earth and the Moon by the United States Space Force. The research is being funded through the AFOSR Energy, Combustion and Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics Portfolio. “With the recent international push for lunar missions, the U.S. Space Force has emphasized the need for surveillance of the region beyond geosynchronous orbit, i.e., xGEO and cislunar space, or out to approximately 385,000 kilometers,” Dr. Bennewitz explains. Read More

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