Elizabeth Newell Jochum

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Senate follows House in taking up small business contracting bill

November 7, 2007 Legislation aimed at expanding contracting opportunities for small businesses by updating and expanding existing programs passed the Senate Small Business Committee Wednesday. Similar legislation passed the House last week. The Small Business Contracting Revitalization Act (S. 2300) was drafted by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Olympia Snow, R-Maine, the chairman...

Most agencies see downgrades in e-gov progress ratings

November 5, 2007 The majority of federal agencies have not met a deadline for developing data breach notification policies, causing all but five of them to see downgrades in e-government progress in the latest President's Management Agenda score card issued by the Bush administration. A May 22 Office of Management and Budget directive...

Panel sets course for Army contracting overhaul

November 2, 2007 A special commission charged with reviewing Army expeditionary contracting has determined that extensive reform is urgently needed to ensure that future in-theater contracts are effective, efficient and transparent. The commission, led by Jacques Gansler, former undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, released its report Thursday after briefing Defense...

The Closer

November 1, 2007 Prakash Khatri is pushing to patch an immigration leak he fears terrorists will sneak through. Every year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the United States apply for green cards, documents granting them lawful permanent residency based on family connections or employment. Tens of thousands are denied, often months or...

House leads push to strengthen small business contracting

October 31, 2007 The House passed legislation Tuesday to improve contracting opportunities for small businesses, as part of a larger movement to implement a long-standing women's procurement program and update programs for other small businesses. The Small Business Contracting Program Improvements Act (H.R. 3867) aims to beef up existing programs which, according to...

GAO sees progress, ongoing problems in DHS cargo program

October 26, 2007 The Homeland Security Department must improve acquisitions management to avoid cost overruns and scheduling delays in updating and expanding its cargo processing system, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. Over the past four years, GAO has issued a series of recommendations on DHS' Automated Commercial Environment, a program...

Performance-based contracts found to be risky for industry

October 24, 2007 A research firm has concluded that performance-based acquisition -- touted by the Bush administration as its preferred contracting model -- may prove too risky and expensive for many potential vendors. The Reston, Va.-based firm INPUT released a report this week noting that vendors who want to do business with the...

Report: Contracting workforce needs more training

October 23, 2007 A recent survey of the skills of the federal acquisition workforce shows that while contracting officials generally are operating at expected levels, they could benefit from additional training to bridge competency gaps. The survey by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Federal Acquisition...

Senate backs provision to curb premium class travel abuse

October 18, 2007 A provision passed by the Senate this week aims to curb air travel abuse by federal employees recently exposed in a Government Accountability Office report. The amendment, tacked on to the fiscal 2008 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill (H.R. 3093), would prohibit federal employees from using funds from the...

Lawmakers express concern over DHS reliance on contractors

October 17, 2007 The Homeland Security Department must take steps to ensure that contractors in management support roles do not perform inherently governmental functions or influence government decisions, the Government Accountability Office has concluded. In a report released Wednesday (GAO-07-990), the watchdog agency said that while it is necessary for DHS to use...

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