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What’s Next for Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces?

The Washington Post looks at the status of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, which was recently halted by a federal judge in Texas, who upheld a request for a temporary injunction. The article notes that while the rule’s implementation is pending, the government is considering what it should do next. Jason Surbey, a Labor Department spokesman, said after the judge’s decision: “We are confident that the rule and guidance are legally sound and the Department of Justice is considering options for next steps.” The article notes that the Congressional Progressive Caucus is urging the administration to find other means to achieving the rule’s goal.

DHS Takes Aim at Backlog of Small Contracts

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa said DHS’s Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL) is working on creating a more efficient way to close out small-dollar contracts that tend to linger after the work ha been competed. Correa said smaller contracts are often de-prioritized and forgotten about, with a backlog of some 350,000 contracts. The PIL developed quicker procedures to close out the contracts in a simplified manner. “I’m talking about contracts that are typically small dollar value, generally firm fixed price, no activity over the last 12-to-24 months, final goods and services have been delivered so we know they are probably ready for close out,” Correa said in an interview with Federal News Radio. “What we are doing is a streamlined approach trying to close them in one fell swoop.”

Obama Administration Prioritizing IT Consolidation

Defense One reports that the Obama administration is drafting plans to urge the next president to centralize information technology services, to reduce vulnerability to and the risk of another large data breach. Cybersecurity officials are preparing an “options paper” that, among other recommendations, outlines consolidating IT services for smaller agencies. According to the article, “All the consolidation recommendations would build on existing shared IT services programs and governmentwide security systems such as DHS’s Einstein and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation programs.”

NASPO Awards States for Innovations

The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) recently awarded their annual George Cronin Awards for innovation and efficiency in state procurement. Tennessee, Wisconsin and Massachusetts all won awards, with Tennessee taking top honors for its innovative approach to awarding radio contracts. According to NASPO, Tennessee “consolidated multiple contracts into a single, innovative contract that allows for technology evolution without contract amendment, and balances user needs while ensuring highly competitive pricing.”

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