NewsBrief: May 13, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: May 13, 2022

Challenge to USPS fleet cost analysis advances to House floor after committee vote

(Federal News Network) The Postal Service is facing yet another challenge to plans for its next-generation vehicle fleet — this time from Congress. Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would require USPS to conduct a new environmental impact statement (EIS), which accounts for the costs and benefits of electric and gas-powered vehicles in its future fleet. The Ensuring an Accurate Postal Fleet Electrification Act passed out of committee in a 20-15 vote along party lines, with no Republican member voting for the legislation. The bill now heads to the full House for a floor vote. Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said USPS underestimates the benefits of electric vehicles in its current environmental analysis and lowballs the future price of gasoline. Read More

Raj Iyer: Army Must Operationalize Data to Gain Decision Advantage

(ExecutiveGov) Raj Iyer, chief information officer of the U.S. Army and a two-time Wash100 Award recipient, wants the military service to transform how it uses data as he believes the future battlefield will be very different from what the world has seen during the past two decades, Defense News reported Tuesday. “Our advantage in the future is going to be how well and how quickly we’re able to synthesize large volumes of data and get it into the hands of the warfighter at all echelons,” Iyer told his audience at a recent Army-hosted forum. He said the service branch should begin to operationalize data for current missions and not wait to advance information-sharing systems for the next decade. The Army CIO expects the branch to emphasize data utilization and platform integration at Project Convergence, the branch’s experimentation campaign to support the Department of Defense’s Joint All Domain Command and Control strategy. Read More

Half of federal agencies expected to meet all zero trust requirements by 2024 deadline

(FedScoop) Just under half of federal agencies are expected to meet all zero trust requirements by OMB’s 2024 deadline as laid out in President Biden’s 2021 cybersecurity executive order, according to a new survey by GDIT. According to the study, 49% of respondents felt their department was likely to meet all requirements on time, while 14% expected to meet the zero trust requirements ahead of schedule. The federal contractor surveyed 300 prequalified federal mission and IT decision-makers, of which 40% worked at defense agencies and 60% worked at federal civilian agencies. Read More

Senate Bill to Train Acquisition Workforce on AI gets House Counterpart

(Nextgov) Congress is inching closer to passing a plan to require artificial intelligence training for the federal acquisition workforce. A bill establishing the new requirement cleared the Senate in Dec. 2021, and last Friday a House version was introduced by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and James Comer (R-Ky.), the chairwoman and ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. The AI Workforce Act would require the director of the Office of Management and Budget to provide training on artificial intelligence for the acquisition workforce. That training could include how AI works and its potential use and benefits for the federal government, but also its risks, especially the potential for discrimination and privacy issues. Read More

How much does inflation actually matter to DoD and can it be fixed?

(Federal News Network) The word inflation is being bantered about in Congress relating to the Pentagon’s 2023 budget quite a bit as senior leaders justify their funding decisions for the upcoming year. However, how important is inflation to the actual military budget, especially when the budget, after all, is just a recommendation? Last week, the Defense Department provided important information to Congress on how it is thinking about the nation’s inflation rate in terms of next year’s budget. The letter, requested by both Armed Services Committees’ ranking members, provided tidbits of insider knowledge on what DoD does at a time when its budget isn’t meshing with the economy. The Pentagon uses the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) chain-type price index, not the inflation rate, as its baseline for measuring changing from year to year for building its budget estimates. Read More

Federal COLA Count Hits 6 Percent

(Fedweek) Through seven months of the counting period toward the January 2023 federal retirement cost of living adjustment, the COLA count stands at 6 percent, following an increase in April of 0.5 percentage points in the inflation index used to set the COLA. Barring a change of direction in inflation during the rest of the measuring period, the count already is in line to top the increase paid in January of this year, which was 5.9 percent for those retired under CSRS and 4.9 percent for those retired under FERS who are eligible for COLAs (generally not until reaching age 62). That increase was the largest since the 8.7 percent paid in 1982, before the FERS system even existed. Read More

In the relatively small world of government contracting, it pays not to be a jerk

(Federal News Network) Forget about the idea of six degrees of separation. In the world of government contracting people are no more than a hopper two away from one another. That’s why with a pressured end-of-the-year fiscal coming, my next guest says it’s a good time to remember a few of them human relations ground rules. Federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more insight. Read More

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