New bill would grow Navy to 355 ships

  • The Navy would benefit from a proposed law that would make it a national policy of having its fleet grow to 355 ships. That’s 79 ships more than the Navy has in its inventory today. The bill, co-sponsored by Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), would also dictate that the U.S. achieve a fleet of that size “as soon as is practicable.” Estimates vary as to how quickly the buildup could happen, or how to pay for it. The Navy’s proposed 2018 budget does not include funding to even begin a buildup of that scale. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Department of Homeland Security said it will launch the federal Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) dashboard later this summer. The CDM program is DHS’ choice for cybersecurity on its systems and networks. Homeland Security is also considering the cloud as an option for the dashboard moving forward. DHS said the dashboards are all part of the administration’s push to hold agency leaders accountable for cyber vulnerabilities. (Federal News Radio)
  • Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has told a congressional committee his agency needs more money to handle President Donald Trump’s executive orders directed at deregulation and government reorganization. OMB is responsible for implementing those orders, and Mulvaney said an additional $100 million in next year’s budget would do the job. Mulvaney said at the top of his wishlist is 30 new full-time positions. (Federal News Radio)
  • The General Services Administration said it is looking to machine learning, or artificial intelligence, to reduce the time it takes to get vendors on its schedule program to less than 45 days. GSA issued a request for proposals for a small business contractor to automate its FAStlane process used in the cloud, cyber, agile and health IT sectors. The goal of the program is to cut down on the amount of human interaction required to review new proposal documents, improve experience during the new offer proposal process, and reduce the review time for new proposals. Bids on the RFP are due July 10. (FedBizOpps.com)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs said it plans to start getting rid of some of the most outdated, under-utilized, and vacant buildings in its inventory. The first step in that process is the disposal or sale of 142 buildings out of a total of 1,100 properties. VA Secretary David Shulkin said “maintaining vacant buildings, including close to 100 from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars “makes no sense.” (Federal News Radio)
  • The Internal Revenue Service has announced a switch in the time for renewing taxpayer ID numbers. IRS said it is now accepting renewal applications for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers due to expire at the end of the year. Last year, the renewal process didn’t begin until October. The IRS encouraged those affected by the changes to submit their renewal applications as soon as possible to avoid the rush. The process will start in June, three months earlier than in the past. The ID numbers are used by people who owe taxes, but don’t qualify for a Social Security number. The announcement affects 1.3 million non-citizens. (IRS)
  • The House of Representatives has passed two bills that would tighten up procedures at the Department of Homeland Security. The first, sponsored by Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.), would establish a review board to oversee acquisitions larger than $300 million. The undersecretary for management would chair the board. The second bill, sponsored by Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) would require the chief human capital officer to develop a department-wide employee misconduct policy and a system for tracking it. (Congressional Budget Office)