Alliant 2 contracting vehicle to start accepting orders

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  • The next generation multiple award IT services governmentwide contract known as Alliant 2 has received the go-ahead to start accepting orders. The General Services Administration said a Court of Federal Claims ruling rejecting five contractors’ post-award protests had cleared the way to using the procurement vehicle. Agencies can start ordering IT services from the more than 60 vendors on July 1. (General Services Administration)
  • President Trump has signed the VA MISSION Act into law. It consolidates all of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department’s previously disparate community care programs into one. Some Senate appropriators say they still haven’t resolved questions over how to pay for the MISSION Act after May 2019. The new law gives VA an additional $5 billion to continue the current Choice program for another year. But Congress hasn’t yet set aside enough mandatory funding past next May. Some Senate appropriators said they still haven’t resolved questions over how to pay for the MISSION Act after May 2019. (Federal News Radio)
  • Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have weighed in on the DoD JEDI Cloud initiative. Senate lawmakers have directed the Defense Department to compete the JEDI Cloud procurement with a preference for multiple awards. New language in the Senate’s version of the 2019 Defense Authorization bill would mandate the deputy secretary of defense ensure the use of FAR Part 16 for this expected multi-billion dollar procurement. The provision also would require the deputy secretary to conduct an assessment of all current applications and any future onse to determine if moving to the cloud is feasible. The Senate Armed Services Committee passed the NDAA last week and the full Senate currently is debating the bill. (SASC)
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee has also taken aim at two Chinese telecom companies. The Defense Department has already said it does not use equipment made by ZTE or Huawei because of what it sees as cybersecurity risks. But language approved by the committee as part of the Senate’s version of the annual Defense bill would put that ban into law, and go even farther. It would prohibit DoD from entering into contracts with vendors that ZTE or Huawei equipment. It also included a blanket prohibition on the use of any equipment that’s made by a telecom company that’s owned or controlled by any foreign government.(SASC)
  • The Strategic Capabilities Office might have new life in the 2019 Senate defense authorization bill. The office, which uses quick acquisition to deliver modified weapons warfighters, was set to be killed off by the House version of the bill. The Senate bill forbids nixing the office unless the Pentagon comes up with a plan to replace it. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Trump administration is seeking more user-friendly data from agencies. It was one of 14 priorities laid out in the President’s Management Agenda. Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent said agencies need to hire more data scientists to keep up with the surge in government data. The White House has tapped the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration to reform other agencies’ data habits. Kent says the administration will update Performance.gov next week with more details about the President’s Management Agenda. (Federal News Radio)
  • Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert said modernizing the federal workforce will need to be a priority if the White House wants to successfully implement the President’s Management Agenda.  Weichert said she has seen examples where the outdated federal personnel system has stymied agencies from making innovative advancements in technology. Weichert said the administration values the current workforce. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission has promoted a five-year veteran to serve as its chief financial officer. Caryn Kauffman has served in an acting capacity since last year. She previously served as Deputy Chief Financial Officer since 2013. She first joined the SEC in 2011 as the Chief Accounting Officer. Before joining government,  Kauffman spent 12 years as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. (Securities and Exchange Commission)