FCW Insider: March 2

The latest news and analysis from FCW's reporters and editors.

J. David Cox, longtime national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, resigned while under suspension for allegations of misconduct resigned late Friday while under suspension for allegations of misconduct. Lia Russell has the story.

New allegations emerged over the weekend that Cox sexually abused and harassed a driver assigned to him by a private car service over a period of years. The driver is the adult son of an AFGE member, who filed charges internally with the union in early February. Lia reports.

NASA's Solutions for Enterprisewide Procurement, a large federal contract vehicle focused on IT, joined large commercial suppliers in voicing concern over COVID-19's impact on IT supply chains and warned of possible delays in orders. Mark Rockwell has more.

The president's proposed budget seeks to double current U.S. investments in AI and quantum computing at the Department of Energy and the National Labs, but the administration has also been criticized by some in Congress for seeking drastic cuts in other research areas. Derek B. Johnson explains.

Quick Hits

*** Key decisions made by Ken Cuccinelli as acting head of the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service have been voided by a federal district court judge because Cuccinelli's appointment did not comply with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The decision came in a lawsuit challenging several USCIS actions including a change in the timing and structure of "credible-fear" hearings afforded to asylum-seekers.

The situation with Cuccinelli is complex. He was appointed to a newly created senior executive service position nominally intended to be a top deputy to the USCIS leader under the order of succession. But Cuccinelli has only served as head of the agency – as well as acting deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security. His lack of service as a subordinate – despite arguments to the contrary from the government – was dispositive in the case.

"Labels -- without any substance -- cannot satisfy the FVRA's default rule under any plausible reading of the statute," District Court Judge Randolph D. Moss said in his ruling.

*** Dale Cabaniss, director of the Office of Personnel Management, put out a call for nominations for the 2020 Presidential Rank Awards that honor career civil servants and career professionals. "The PRA is an opportunity to recognize and reward your highest performers. These leaders address some of the most difficult organizational challenges, while developing a strong and diverse workforce for the 21st century," Cabaniss stated in a memo to agency heads and the inspector general community.