White House issues cyber response policy [developing]

The FBI issued a release lauding the new policy.

Cyber Division Assistant Director James Trainor noted the directive “codifies the essential role that the FBI plays in cyber incident response, recognizing its unique expertise, resources and capabilities.”

And, moving forward, “as the Bureau continues evolving to keep pace with the cyber threat, the authorities contained in PPD-41 will allow us to help shape the nation’s strategy for addressing nationally-significant cyber incidents,” he added.

See more about the FBI’s role below and see the full news release here.

Continue reading: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/cybersecurity/2016/07/26/cyber-response-coordination/87568906/

GSA needs to keep a sharper eye on reseller prices

A wide variety of pricing for the same IT on different multiple-award schedules and reseller contracts that don’t generate enough sales present the General Services Administration with a significant problem, according to a report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

The OIG evaluated how IT schedule resellers affect pricing, employees’ procurement workload and the enforcement of contract clauses.

In the report, released July 22, the OIG told GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) that it must address issues in three areas to make MAS contracting vehicles work more effectively and efficiently.

Continue reading: https://fcw.com/articles/2016/07/25/gsa-resellers.aspx?s=fcwdaily_260716

Army Assessments of Contractors’ Past Performance Fall Short

Officials at five Army components failed to fully comply with rules for evaluating contractors’ past performance when awarding those firms work, the Defense Department inspector general reported on Monday.

The IG reviewed a sampling of contracts valued at $1.5 billion in operations support, services, information technology and ship repair at the National Guard Bureau; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Engineering Support Center in Huntsville, Ala.; and the Army Contracting Commands at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Redstone Arsenal and Warren, Mich.

Generally speaking, the IG found sloppy work on the part of Army contracting officials: Of 56 performance assessment reports reviewed at the five components, 21 were not prepared within the required timeframe of 120 days and 52 did not include sufficient written narrative to justify the ratings or even ratings for all evaluation factors or descriptions of the contract purposes.

Continue reading: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2016/07/army-assessments-contractors-past-performance-fall-short/130200/?oref=govexec_today_nl

WPS Health Solutions: Military and Veterans Health will partner with Humana

Madison – WPS Military and Veterans Health is taking on additional contract work for TRICARE, which is the federal health and benefits insurance for active-duty military personnel, retirees and their families.

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded Humana Government Business the TRICARE 2017 contract for the East Region, and WPS MVH is partnering as a subcontractor. The contract provides five, one-year options exercisable by the Department of Defense.

WPS MVH will provide information technology support, claims processing, and customer service functions. WPS MVH is one of the business units of WPS Health Solutions, based in Madison.

Continue reading: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=375100

DISA Secures $9.7 million from DOD Rapid Innovation Fund Program

In a time of budgetary constraints, DISA has acquired $9.7 million from the DOD Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) to fund innovative technologies in support of the American warfighter.

The DISA Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) Program is a research and development project and process in support of critical defense acquisitions programs.  The DISA RIF team reports to the DISA Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and partners with the DOD Chief Information Office (CIO) and their Cyber Directorate.  DISA RIF receives cyber security topics from within the agency and those topics are reviewed to see which ones fit best into the DOD RIF Program.

“The team works with OSD Office of Small Business Programs to acquire funding for small businesses for innovative projects specifically in cyber security,” said Erin Maultsby, a CTO electronics engineer and the DISA RIF coordinator and portfolio manager.  “RIF is about getting small business capabilities faster into the hands of those who need them.”

Continue reading: http://disa.mil/NewsandEvents/News/2016/DOD-RIF-Program

DoD’s stress reliever: A new forecasting tool to ease fourth quarter buying spree

Agencies are just about three weeks into the federal fourth quarter procurement spending spree and, like the weather, the buying is heating up. Contractors know taking vacations in August and September are all but verboten because of the wave of solicitations coming out.

Bloomberg Government says on average the government spends about 32 percent of their contracting budget during July, August and September.

The Defense Department, which usually leads the way when it comes to year-end spending, is trying to improve the process on both ends of the equation.

Continue reading: http://federalnewsradio.com/reporters-notebook-jason-miller/2016/07/dods-stress-reliever-new-forecasting-tool-ease-fourth-quarter-buying-spree/

How DOD’s Third Offset Strategy Benefits NASA

A new report highlights how NASA’s relationship with the Defense Department has kept the space agency primarily unscathed by sequestration, and its spending is on pace to rise again in fiscal 2016 following an 8 percent bump the prior year.

While most headlines are devoted to its space launch program, it’s actually NASA’s Applied Research and Exploratory Development that drives increased spending among NASA’s top five product and service categories. That category accounted for almost half of NASA’s spending from fiscal 2012-2015, according to analysis firm Govini.

Continue reading: http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2016/07/how-dods-third-offset-strategy-benefits-nasa/130080/?oref=govexec_today_nl

FEMP debuts new eTraining on Sustainable Acquisition for Federal Agencies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) presents a new eTraining course, Sustainable Acquisition for Federal Agencies.

This course has been developed in partnership with the Dept. of Energy’s Office of Sustainability Support to provide staff involved in specifying and purchasing with a thorough introduction to compliance requirements, processes, and tools for procuring sustainable products and services. Learners receive specific guidance in how to meet executive order and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirements and will understand how sustainable acquisition benefits their agency, community, and the environment.

In addition, the course discusses DOE’s GreenBuy Award program, GSA’s Green Procurement Compilation tool, and guidance to meet Executive Order requirements.

Continue reading: http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/336047996/femp-debuts-new-etraining-on-sustainable-acquisition-for-federal-agencies

Director of innovative DoD office lobbies for make or break acquisition

The director of one of the Defense Department’s fastest rising offices is advocating for more of a make or break kind of acquisition for some weapons programs.

DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office has had a “meteoric” rise within the department, said the office’s director William Roper. In just four years SCO has grown from an experimental shop to an office that is slated to receive $900 million in 2017.

Roper said during a July 13 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the office’s success came from the business culture fostered by how it’s funded.

Continue reading: http://federalnewsradio.com/acquisition/2016/07/director-innovative-dod-office-lobbies-make-break-acquisition/

IMPORTANT UPDATE: GSA Rollout of the Formatted Product Tool (FPT) Continues with Solicitation Refresh and Mass Modification for Schedule 73

The General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is planning to implement the Formatted Product Tool (FPT) across the GSA Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program, beginning with select Schedules in July 2016.  FPT implementation for Schedule 73 is tentatively planned for late August 2016.

Why is FAS implementing this change? Thousands of suppliers offer millions of items through the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). These items have part numbers, descriptions, and price points that are then made available to the customer on GSA Advantage!  However, decades of growth in the MAS Program and dramatic increases in the number and variety of items available through MAS is driving changes to how these items are represented and priced.

Continue reading: https://interact.gsa.gov/document/important-update-gsa-rollout-formatted-product-tool-fpt-continues-solicitation-refresh-0