One of EPA’s top cops is retiring

  • The head of the EPA’s enforcement wing said she is retiring. An email obtained by E&E News from Susan Shinkman, director of EPA’s Office of Civil Enforcement, said she will be leaving reluctantly by the end of the summer. Shinkman joined the agency five years ago, and had a hand in its massive enforcement against Volkswagen. She also faced scrutiny however for EPA’s slow response to the Flint water crisis. (E&E News)
  • The House passed its version of the 2018 defense authorization bill by a vote of 344 to 81. It called for giving members of the military a 2.4 percent pay raise and establishing a new Space Corps branch of the military. The Senate still has to pass its version of the bill. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Trump administration is getting behind a Congressional proposal to set up an Amazon for the federal government. The idea started as part of the House proposal for next year’s Defense authorization bill, but it’s since been expanded to include the entire federal government. That’s partially because the General Services Administration strongly supports the proposal, which would set up e-commerce portals that would let federal agencies point and click to buy the commercial goods they need. Alan Thomas, the new commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service told Congress last week that the idea “is a major step in the right direction.”
  • The IRS wants more information on real estate options. It issues requests for quotes on commercial web-based services. The services should provide real-time information on rental rates, vacancy rates, parking availability and real estate taxes. IRS uses the information to search zip-codes for the best places to house its offices and facilities. (FedBizOpps)
  • Former Veterans Affairs Sec. Anthony Principi says the department spent too much maintaining its facilities, and not enough on doctors and nurses. He told the House Veterans Affairs Committee that Congress needs to do a full review all VA facilities. Committee Chairman Phil Roe himself also called for an independent review. VA has 6,000 owned buildings and 1,500 leased buildings. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Census Bureau is about to take an important step in its march towards the 2020 decennial count. Bureau officials said they’ll launch part one of the end-to-end test in August. Scheduled to end in 2018, the end-to-end will check out accuracy of addresses, and the methods the bureau will use in the real count. The first part checks out addresses in three locations. Separately, Fedscoop reports, Census awarded CDWG a contract to supply mobile devices in time for 2019 testing. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants to know how the Office of Personnel Management is going to better vet many of its information systems. The inquiry comes after OPM’s inspector general said the agency made several mistakes during its 30-day sprint to secure previously expired security authorizations. McCaskill wants to know if and when OPM will conduct a more thorough security controls assessment. (Federal News Radio)
  • A bipartisan group of Senators asked the Defense Department to speed up its process for transferring excess vehicles and equipment to state and local fire departments. The letter signed by 11 senators, explained how recent guidance from the Defense Logistics Agency on demilitarizing DoD’s excess non-combat military vehicles may make it harder for departments to obtain them. (Senator John McCain)
  • A race to the beginning for government telecommunications. The General Services Administration is weeks away from announcing its $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract — an award GSA’s Bill Zielinski called an important milestone. Zielinski said the next-gen contract recognizes the need to go beyond backbone network services and provide more access to new technologies. (Federal News Radio)