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President Trump Issues Executive Order to Implement Regulatory Reform Agenda

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order requiring all agencies, within 60 days, to designate an official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO). The RRO would then oversee implementation of the president’s regulatory reform policies, including the recent executive order requiring agencies to offset the number and cost of new regulations by repealing other regulations on the books. Each agency will have to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations for their repeal, replacement or modification.

President Trump Readies Budget that Will Boost Defense, Cut from Others

President Trump will propose a new budget that will increase defense spending by 10%, or $54 billion, while cutting the same amount from other agencies, according to the Washington Post. The budget will have a national security focus, and will greatly reduce foreign aid, according to the report, though specifics have not yet been named. One anonymous official in the Office of Management and Budget told the Post that most agencies would see “substantial reductions” in their budgets.

DHS Takes First Step to Building Border Wall

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a notice that it will release a formal solicitation on March 6 “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.” The solicitation will be the first step toward fulfilling President Donald Trump’s campaign promise of building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. DHS will seek a concept paper of prototypes by March 10, and then a select group of offerors will be invited to submit according to a formal request for proposal, planned for release on March 24.

Michigan Bill Would Create “Bid Scorecards” for Bid Evaluations

Michigan State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) has introduced a bill to revamp the way the state considers contract bids of $100,000 or more. Colbeck’s bill would implement a bid scorecard system that “tallies contract bids based on technical and critical performance requirements, cost evaluation, and labor evaluation.” Among other considerations, points would be awarded for having employees who are residents of the state, for being owned by a veteran or by a “qualified disabled veteran.” The bill is currently in committee.

GSA’s New Deal with HP Could Save $50 Million

The General Services Administration (GSA) has negotiated a deal with Hewlett Packard that could save the government $50 million Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software’s products, according to FedScoop. The new governmentwide enterprise software agreement will make some products up to 39% cheaper than commercial prices, said GSA. The agreement saves money by leveraging the greater buying power of the government and reduce duplication, according to the story, and offer important categories to help agencies stay in compliance with current policies regarding data center consolidation, software and portfolio management, and agile software development.

OPM’s Background Check Contract Awaiting Protest Resolution

The Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) was kickstarted five months ago to improve how the agency administered security clearances, after it was revealed that a previous contractor had faked background checks. OPM awarded Primus Solutions a $117 million contract on January 23 to provide investigative support services, but the contract is currently in limbo after two companies filed protests, alleging the NBIB’s evaluation was flawed.

Air Force Master Sergeant Sentenced to 23 Months in Prison

U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Cody Boone Covert was sentenced last week to 23 months in prison and ordered to pay $126,300 in restitution for conspiracy to commit theft of honest services and wire fraud, and bribery by a public official. Covert was tasked with procuring specialized equipment for an aircraft, and cut a deal with a manufacturer to split 45% of the proceeds if that company won the contract. Covert pled guilty last year.

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