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Federal agencies may have a tough time holding on to their program managers come 2017.
A new Government Accountability Office report ranked program management as the occupational category with the highest percentage of employees eligible to retire by 2017. For mid-sized agencies like the General Services Administration, Housing and Urban Development Department and Office of Personnel Management, 56 percent of employees involved in program management will be eligible to retire in the next three years, the report found.
At larger agencies that number is nearly 44 percent.
As more employees become eligible to retire, GAO noted that occupations like program management may face significantly higher turnover rates than others. For mid-sized agencies, here are the occupations with the highest percentage of employees eligible to retire by 2017:
1. Program Management
3. General business and industry
4. Misc. clerk and assistant
5. General arts and information
6. General engineering
7. Misc. administration and program
8. Financial administration and program
9. Human resource management
10. Information technology management
For large agencies, custodial work and air traffic control topped the list of occupations with the highest number of employees who are approaching retirement. Read page 21 of the GAO report for more details.
Four companies have been awarded work under the Department of Homeland Security’s $6 billion cybersecurity contract.
Winners include Knowledge Consulting Group, Northrop Grumman, Technica and HP. The RFQ was for continuous monitoring tools, not services. The goal was to increase or extend software licenses that agencies already have in place, at a discounted price.
Read more here.
The military services have been directed to include funding for the Joint Information Environment in their 2015 budgets, according to a Pentagon official.
Defense Department Chief Information Officer Teri Takai said she is working with DoD acquisition officials to figure out how JIE funding should be characterized in the services’ budgets, and how to manage JIE implementation plans and ensure future programs align with JIE engineering specifications, the American Forces Press Service reported earlier this month.
DoD would not provide more details on the budget guidance issued by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “The direction by the Secretary of Defense was given in the department’s formal guidance, which remains classified,” DoD spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said in a statement.
JIE is a massive restructuring of DoD information technology, which will include consolidating and standardizing disparate networks and systems and providing more enterprise IT services. Read more here.
NASA has once again extended the deadline for bids on its $20 billion Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V contract, the agency announced Friday.
The due date for bid proposals has been extended several times and is now set for Dec. 10, according to a notice on fbo.gov. The 16-day government shutdown in October played a role in earlier delays, the agency said.
In a Q&A document also released Friday, one vendor requested an extension to the due date following amendments to the RFP earlier this month. NASA is giving vendors an additional week from its most recent Dec. 3 deadline.
The SEWP V contract will provide agencies with desktops, laptops, servers and other information technology equipment.
Tags: SEWP V
The Defense Department is rolling out training for end users and systems administrators on how to operate its new mobile-device management software.
Enterprise mobile security firm PaRaBaL is designing, building and delivering the training for all of DoD, said CEO Peter Coddington. “On this contract, our task is to make sure that all the DISA or DoD employees that will use the solution are fully versed and trained,” he said.
The small-business firm is a subcontractor to Bethesda, Md., technology company DMI, which was awarded a potential $16 million, three-year contract in June for mobile application store services and an MDM solution to centrally manage DoD smartphones and tablet computers.
Coddington couldn’t say how many users have been or will be trained other than noting, “we are well along in the process.” A performance work statement on fbo.gov, said the MDM software will be designed to support at least 162,500 devices, with the potential of 262,500 mobile devices by the end of the contract.
For DoD components that use DISA’s mobile services, users will learn how to activate the management solution on their devices and how to safely operate devices according to security guidelines, said Coddington, who declined to provide further details on the contract. Systems administrators will learn how to use the MDM solution.
The four-year-old company is also working with one of the military services to test software code used for developing mobile apps.
The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday released the first request for quote under its $6 billion continuous monitoring contract, according to industry sources.
The RFQ is for cyber tools and equipment, not services. The goal is to increase or extend software licenses that agencies already have in place, at a discounted price, said James Yeager, director of federal civilian sales at McAfee. As of last month, 12 of the 17 vendors on the contract included McAfee products as part of their tool set available to agencies.
The RFQ will provide tools for 33 departments and agencies and range in value between $37.5 million and $60 million, Yeager said. One or multiple vendors will be selected based on lowest-price, technically acceptable bids.
Contractors have until Friday to submit questions about the RFQ. Responses are due Nov. 22, unless DHS is flooded with questions and opts to extend the deadline, Yeager said. An award is expected within 60 days.
“This task order is not where departments or agencies say ‘I have something, I don’t like it and I want to use something else,’” Yeager said. ”There’s not an option to say, ‘I don’t have anything that meets this requirement, let me tell you want I want.’”
All of the large civilian agencies have signed on to use the contract, which was awarded in August, John Streufert, director of DHS’ Federal Network Resilience division, said at a conference last month. The General Services Administration awarded the blanket purchase agreement on behalf of DHS.
“Our objective is to form up and choose those tools of best value and begin deploying them across some 120 of the largest dot-gov organizations,” Streufert said. He noted that the first proposals would be for commodities, but he expects task orders for services will follow soon after.
Subsequent task orders under the contract are expected in the first half of 2014, Yeager said.
While last month’s 16-day government shutdown delayed work, Streufert doesn’t expect it will impact the overall schedule of the five-year program. And it appears there isn’t too much concern about the program’s viability under the current continuing resolution.
DHS has already spent some of the program’s $185 million fiscal 2013 funds to develop the procurement, Streufert said in a separate interview.
Some agencies are looking to get a more competitive price for existing scanning tools, procure more software licenses or replace tools that didn’t function well in their IT environments, Streufert said.
NASA has extended the deadline for bids on its $20 billion Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V contract, following last month’s government shutdown.
The agency has extended the due date to Nov. 15, according to an online notice. Originally, companies had until Oct. 14 to bid.
NASA said the 16-day shutdown delayed its response to industry’s questions as well as changes to the solicitation.
The contract will provide agencies with desktops, laptops, servers and other information technology equipment.
At least one federal conference is being postponed this week because of a potential government shutdown.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is postponing its Cloud Computing and Mobility Forum this week “because we could not guarantee NIST’s facility would be open on the first day of the meeting, Oct. 1,” according to an agency spokeswoman. “The meeting has not been rescheduled.”
More than 500 people had registered for the conference, including about 130 federal employees. Many federal employees would be forced to stay home without pay if Congress doesn’t strike a budget deal by midnight.
Just at DoD, some 400,000 employees — or about half of the civilian workforce — will be sent home on unpaid furloughs if a partial shutdown begins Tuesday, Comptroller Robert Hale said late last week. During a Sept. 27 news briefing, Hale said a shutdown would halt travel and training plans for activities not deemed excepted.
“As of today, no other conferences have been postponed,” according to NIST. “Some scheduled conferences could be affected by a shutdown, depending on the duration of the shutdown and how much lead time each conference requires.”
The Air Force on Monday awarded IBM an $11.8 million contract to integrate its military personnel and pay processes into one system.
As part of the Air Force Integrated Personnel and Pay System Program (AF-IPPS), IBM will design “an enterprise resource planning-based solution to meet all personnel and pay requirements,” according to a Defense Department announcement. Work is expected to be completed by December 2014.
The new personnel and pay system will replace the Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) and the Defense Joint Military Pay System (DJMS) for the Air Force, according to a December 2012 Mitre report. The new system will play a key role in helping the Air Force meet its audit goals.
The system will serve about 507,000 service members and “thousands of military leaders of different ranks, specialties, and career fields,” according to the administration’s IT Dashboard, which tracks the status of large technology projects. The Air Force expects the system will reduce annual payroll errors by 75 percent, and allow airmen to be compensated in a timely manner at least 98.5 percent of the time.
The Mitre report also notes the new system will have a self-service capability for airmen to update personal information and access their pay records anytime. However, the system is expected to have more than 100 user interfaces and connections to external systems, which could create technical, cost and schedule challenges, the report said.
The Marine Corps is testing new capabilities it hopes will cut mobile computing costs in half.
The service is working with Verizon, Sprint and AT&T on a small beta program to test the feasibility of wireless carriers managing the security of mobile devices, based on Marine Corps policies and standards. The devices will be managed using a dual persona solution, which will allow the carriers to manage government data and applications but not personal use of the phone by military and civilian users.
“If the beta goes well and we prove the technical requirements that need to be employed, then we will move into the pilot,” said Rob Anderson, chief of Command, Control, Communications and Computers- Vision & Strategy Division at Marine Corps Headquarters.
The pilot will include about 500 users in the northern Virginia area, but the Marine Corps hasn’t determined if the pilot will use personal or government devices. If successful, the pilot will be expanded across the military service and serve as the foundation for a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps is also testing how capabilities offered by the wireless carriers stack up to a mobile device management solution offered by the Defense Information Systems Agency. DISA is testing a mobile device management (MDM) solution provided by Good Technologies.
“We want to compare both pilots,” said Anderson, who spoke at a mobile computing summit Tuesday. He said the Marine Corps will compare the cost of DISA managing mobile devices versus the wireless carriers and consider user feedback from both pilots.
“We are keeping all options open,” he said. “Whatever the most cost efficient is, [that's] the way we will go. Money is going to drive this train.”