The Reforming Federal Procurement of Information Technology, or RFP-IT, Act was introduced July 30. The legislation proposes to enhance competition for government IT contracts, promote innovation, and strengthen accountability by creating a new government office.
In 2004, the Homeland Security Department reported to 88 different committees and subcommittees of Congress. The 9/11 Commission urged Congress to consolidate oversight to make it less fragmented—but now, a decade later, the department reports to 92 committees and subcommittees.
The head of the House subcommittee on military readiness said the Defense Department needs train soldiers for a broader set of missions during tough fiscal times, at a Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion last week. "People have extraordinary experience, but in a very narrow range of operation. I can guarantee you that the challenges they face in the future will not be exactly like what they have faced in Iraq and Afghanistan. So the question is how do you make sure you train to develop that capability?" said Rep. Robert Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on readiness at the event.
A review of a bureau's information systems within the Treasury Department found a "signficant deficiency" in security measures over financial reporting, a Government Accountability Office report released July 18.
Under an appropriations bill passed by the House last week, executives at the Internal Revenue Service would be ineligible for performance awards in 2015. The bill (H.R.5016), passed by the House July 16, sets out fiscal 2015 appropriations for the IRS and general government services. The bonuses provision was added as an amendment by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) and approved in a 282-138 vote. The amendment would affects IRS career management officials in the Senior Executive Service.
The Defense Department's decreased war budget request comes as a result of the war in Afghanistan winding down, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told a House panel. The DoD requested $58.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations funding for fiscal 2015--about $26.7 billion less than the fiscal 2014 enacted level. And it comes in at about $100 billion less than the OCO request from fiscal 2011.
The House passed a fiscal 2015 appropriations bill Wednesday that slashes funding for the Internal Revenue Service, but opens the way for President Obama to implement a pay bump for federal workers.
A Senate committee approved Postal Service reform bill would cost about $19 billion, but eventually save the USPS $36 billion over the next ten years, a Congressional Budget Office estimate says. The USPS net budgetary savings would come in at about $17 billion over the period of 2015-2024, the CBO says.
President Obama came out strongly against the House's fiscal 2015 Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers appropriations bill, saying some amendments boost the coal industry while others gut clean water protections.
The Interior Department will dole out $43.38 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to all 50 states and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects, Secretary Sally Jewell announced July 8.