GPO looks for another Census vendor after first choice goes bankrupt

To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe on PodcastOne or Apple Podcasts. The best listening experience on desktop can be found using Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

  • The Government Publishing Office took another stab at finding a vendor to print and mail 2020 census forms. GPO’s first pick for the $61 million contract, Cenveo, declared bankruptcy in February. By March 2020, the vendor must send census questionnaires to 138 million addresses, and up to five follow-up mailings. GPO will take bids for the single award contract through Sept. 10. Census officials earlier this month said they expect to award the contact by November. (FedBizOpps)
  • The president’s pick to run the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy said he supports the president’s spending plan even though it would zero out the agency’s budget. Senators are wondering whether Lane Genatowski plans to help shut the agency down. Genatowski said he plans to help the agency invest in projects deemed too risky for the private sector. Both the House and Senate have passed spending bills that would raise ARPA-E’s budget in fiscal 2019. (Federal News Radio)
  • President Donald Trump nominated Vice Adm. Craig Faller as the new commander of U.S. Southern Command. Faller, the senior military assistant to the secretary of defense, has held that position since the beginning of 2017. Faller will take the place of current SOUTHCOM commander Adm. Kurt Tidd. (Department of Defense)
  • Carlen Capenos is named the new director of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Office of Small Business. Capenos spent 22 years working in contracting and with small businesses. She has been an employee with DISA since 2015 and served as the chief of the acquisition resources branch. (Defense Information Systems Agency)
  • The Pentagon said it has a fix for the travel system its employees hate. The Defense Travel System has been approved for an overhaul, but it’s not exactly clear when the benefits will appear. On Thursday, DoD awarded an other transaction agreement to SAP to construct a replacement for DTS. But the company and its partners have two years before they’ll have to deliver a prototype. The transaction also raises questions about DoD’s use of OTAs. Each of the business entities involved in the agreement are well-established government partners; OTAs are supposed to be focused on nontraditional vendors. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Agriculture Department initiates the 30-day notice to Congress about its plans to move two bureaus outside of the Washington, D.C. metro area. USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky told Economic Research Service employees during a town hall meeting earlier this week, the agency does not need congressional approval to relocate. USDA also released a notice inviting other cities to propose a relocation plan for ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (Federal News Radio)
  • One agency will likely fall short in meeting OMB’s deadline to move to an e-invoicing platform. The Environmental Protection Agency will miss OMB’s requirement to implement an e-invoicing system by the end of fiscal 2018. And that may be putting more than $1 billion a year at risk. The EPA inspector general finds in a new report the agency isn’t taking advantage of prompt payment discounts, is not avoiding interest penalties and is not performing critical oversight duties. Auditors make one recommendation for the EPA CFO to make a plan to implement an e-invoicing system. (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board’s take on the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 is here. MSPB said many of the challenges agency managers have with hiring and firing tie back to problems with implementing provisions in the law. MSPB also compared the top 10 occupations in 1977 with the most popular federal jobs in 2016. Clerks, secretaries, and clerk-typists were the three most popular federal positions in the 1970s, while program specialists, IT specialists and nurses made the top in 2016. (Merit Systems Protection Board)
  • The Food and Drug Administration has officially launched its long-awaited hiring pilot. FDA cut unnecessary steps and people out of its hiring process. It used to take the agency as many as 550 days to fill some positions. It said it hopes it can fill most positions in 80-to-140 days under the new hiring process. FDA is also using a new alternative personnel system to make two new leadership hires in recent months. (Federal News Radio)
  • Two new faces appear in the top leadership of the government’s largest employee union. At their Las Vegas annual convention, delegates re-elected David Cox as national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. He will serve his third, three-year term. The new national secretary-treasurer is Everett Kelley, who was VP for District 5. Jeremy Lannan was elected national vice president for women and fair practices. The union said nearly 1,600 delegates have attended the convention, which ended Friday. (American Federation of Government Employees)