Beth Angerman, executive director of the General Services Administration’s Unified Shared Services Management (USSM) office, told an audience at a conference yesterday that 30 federal agencies are “in the process of moving toward shared solutions.” GSA recently launched USSM to help foster and enable shared services across federal agencies. “I say we could always be doing more, but my mighty office of seven keeps quite busy,” Angerman said. “Not everybody likes the idea of doing shared services, and usually it’s because agencies don’t want to do things in a standardized way. But it’s becoming an important tool for agency heads.”
Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and David Perdue (R-GA) have introduced a bill that would increase the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) responsibility for helping state and local governments fight against cyberattacks. The bill would require the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center to coordinate cybersecurity efforts with state and local entities, and advise state and local officials on the best technology for continuous monitoring and mitigation.
Lesley Field, acting administrator for federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget, said category management has led the government to move away from an “every agency for itself” mentality, and has saved taxpayers $2 billion since 2012. Field spoke about the open question of whether the new administration would continue to pursue President Barack Obama’s category management policies. “The bottom line is that what we have been doing with category management is just good business,” Field said. “It’s a common sense solution to meet common needs.”
The First Responder Network Authority—created to establish a nationwide broadband public safety network—is still resolving the bid protest that forced it to miss its contract award deadline of Nov. 1, 2016. FirstNet President TJ Kennedy told an event for defense professionals that once the protest is settled, FirstNet will make the award, and start the first year of significant spending of the $6.5 billion in government funding.
Hawaii has announced it will allow state and local agencies to use the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule 70 for buying IT services. The goal is to help use the collective buying power of the federal government and the state to lower costs and streamline purchasing. According to Government Technology, state procurement administrator Sarah Allen said “Hawaii agencies collaborated to find a way to use GSA Schedule 70, which covers general purpose commercial IT services. Procedures are now in place, Allen noted, to ensure the GSA schedule works in the state’s best interest and yields ‘fair and reasonable’ prices.”
Jeffrey Harrington and Michael Mayer, the owners of several defense contracting firms, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and file false claims, and to making false statements on their federal income tax returns. According to the Department of Justice, “The defendants admitted obtaining money from the United States by making false representations and false claims to the Department of Defense for payment on items defendants knew had not been sold to the Navy, but which had been substituted with other, unauthorized products.” The release states the companies made millions in fraudulent sales.