NewsBrief: July 1, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 1, 2022


Air Force looks to HBCUs to lead its first university applied research center

(FCW) The Air Force is looking to tap a historically black college or university to lead the department’s first university applied research center. And its focus will be on tactical autonomy. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the military department will commit to five years of funding at $12 million per year “to start in a competitive process” for a research center focused on tactical autonomy—an area not well explored in defense research institutes. Additionally, the offices for the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment will each contribute $2 million per year. Read More

Frank Calvelli: Fixed-Price Contracts Could Help Speed Up Acquisition Process

(Executive Gov) Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisitions and integration, said one of the approaches he plans to borrow from the National Reconnaissance Office and apply to military space acquisitions is doing more fixed-price contracting to help reduce costs and keep acquisition programs on schedule, Government Executive reported Tuesday. He said Friday at a virtual event that fixed-price contracts could also help accelerate the acquisition process. Read More

When key personnel really do matter in bidding for federal contracts

(Federal News Network) It’s an old question. An agency awards a services contract because of specific people the contractor promised would work on the project. Then one of them quits. In the ensuing protest cases, the Government Accountability Office and the federal courts seem to be of differing minds. The Federal Drive with Tom Temin gets more now from Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney Joe Petrillo. Read More

House Panel Wants Data on DoD Hiring, Encourages Flexible Work Arrangement

(FEDweek) The House version of the annual DoD authorization bill would require the department to report to Congress on problems it faces in hiring civilian employees, saying that “prolonged delays in filling civilian positions can increase the workload of other employees and impede the ability of the department to support the needs of the warfighter.” The measure would require a report to include information on the average duration of Department of Defense civilian employee vacancies over the past three years at each GS level, with specific information on the average duration of vacancies at bases deemed remote or isolated by the Department of Defense. Read More

How capital expenditure management can drive performance

(McKinsey & Company) One of the quickest and most effective ways for organizations to preserve cash is to reexamine their capital investments. The past two years have offered a fascinating look into how different sectors have weathered the COVID-19 storm: from the necessarily capital expenditure–starved airport industry to the cresting wave of public-sector investments in renewable infrastructure and anticipation of the next mining supercycle. Indeed, companies that reduce spending on capital projects can both quickly release significant cash and increase ROIC, the most important metric of financial value creation Read More

IRS commissioner: ‘History will be very polite’ to agency’s pandemic response

(Federal News Network) The IRS needs more consistent funding from Congress to dig out from pandemic-era challenges, replenish and modernize its workforce, an advisory panel told Congress. The Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC), in its annual report to Congress, urges lawmakers to provide the agency with “flexible, sustainable, predictable, multi-year funding.” The report found the IRS experienced over 100 continuing resolutions since 2001, and that funding uncertainty forces the agency to opt for more expensive, less effective, short-term solutions. Read More

Catch the moon basking in Earthshine this weekend

( Look low in the western sky after sunset over the next few days and you may catch a glimpse of mesmerizing Earthshine lighting up the young moon. The phenomenon occurs when sunlight is reflected off Earth and back toward the moon according to geophysicist Chris Vaughan, an amateur astronomer with SkySafari Software who oversees’s Night Sky calendar. The reflected light slightly brightens the dark portion of the moon’s Earth-facing hemisphere. The enchanting sight is also known as the Ashen Glow and “the old moon in the new moon’s arms,” according to Vaughan. Read More

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