FCW Insider: December 1, 2021

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

Biden taps former USAF buyer to lead DOD acquisition

The White House has nominated former Air Force acquisition chief William LaPlante to be the Pentagon's top buyer.

Senate inches closer to FedRAMP legislation

Senators expressed concerns over potential conflicts of interest, high costs and inconsistent review processes during a roundtable meeting with federal officials and IT experts overseeing the General Service Administration’s cloud security authorization program.

SATCOM shift to Space Force stalled under CR

The U.S. Space Force’s plans to absorb all of the military's satellite communications, including nearly 700 uniformed personnel from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, is delayed along with the rest of the military’s appropriation as Congress preps for a second continuing resolution in fiscal year 2022.

ICYMI: CISA mulls plan to safeguard federal civilian email

According to contracting documents, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is looking to take a leading role in identifying and defending against threats against federal civilian executive branch email systems and networks.

Quick Hits

*** A district court judge blocked the federal government from enforcing its COVID-19 mandate for federal contractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee in a ruling issued on Tuesday. The ruling from Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove states that President Joe Biden exceeded his authority when he ordered federal contracts to be modified to require vaccinations for contract employees.

“While the statute grants to the president great discretion, it strains credulity that Congress intended the [Federal Property and Administrative Services Act], a procurement statute, to be the basis for promulgating a public health measure such as mandatory vaccination,” Van Tatenhove wrote in his order.

*** A report from the Government Accountability Office released on Tuesday dives into policies for locality pay, percentage rate increases to the pay of feds in the General Schedule based on their location. The report suggests alternative methods not currently in use that could be applied to determine locality pay. Congress asked for the report in the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

*** The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is scheduled to mark up a bill from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) to “rebuild” the Office of Personnel Management along with a bill, first offered in the Senate, to fund digital services teams for cities and states and another measure designed to support improvements to federal agency customer service.