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News in brief: Aug. 26

Aug. 25, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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MSPB to tackle furlough appeals after Labor Day

An overextended Merit Systems Protection Board will begin adjudicating furlough appeals after Labor Day, according to an agency announcement Aug. 21.

But MSPB has made progress in processing the appeals, with 16,571 cases docketed. The agency has received more than 30,000 furlough appeals – 98 percent of which are related to the Defense Department – along with 5,000 appeals on other matters, MSPB said.

The agency was forced to suspend processing of appeals earlier in August because of the vast numbers being filed.

The agency said it would look to consolidate claims and cases wherever possible, but it cannot do that until all appeals have been docketed.

“In short, MSPB hopes to consolidate and adjudicate as many similar claims as possible, and this cannot be done until the docketing process is near completion,” the MSPB said.

Boehner to seek short-term CR

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said on a conference call Thursday that he will move a short-term spending bill through the House to maintain current budget levels and keep sequestration intact, according to the Washington Post.

A house aide confirmed to Federal Times that Boehner intends to introduce a short-term continuing resolution at fiscal 2013 levels but has made no decisions on how long it might be or whether it will address defunding Obamacare.

The current continuing resolution runs through the end of fiscal 2013: Sept. 30. Congress has yet to agree on any of the dozen spending bills needed to keep federal agencies open.

DoD hires IBM exec to lead cyber programs

The Defense Department last week named former IBM executive Daniel Prieto III its new director of cybersecurity and technology.

In the newly created position, Prieto will take the reins of several existing initiatives, including managing DoD’s information sharing program with the private sector, DoD Spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said. Prieto will manage the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Security/Information Assurance (DIB CS/IA) program and its optional DIB Enhanced Cybersecurity Services component called DECS.

Prieto will be tasked with improving and growing the voluntary information sharing program, aimed at protecting unclassified DoD information residing on defense companies’ networks, Pickart said. The number of industry participants in the program has grown from 34 in May 2012 to more than 90 companies.

At IBM, Prieto served as vice president of the company’s Global Business Services, Public Sector in Washington.

DISA to spend $239M on equipment

The Defense Information Systems Agency expects to spend $239 million through 2015 on equipment to maintain the military’s massive information network.

This includes spending for the current fiscal year, which DISA estimates at $97.6 million, according to a justification and approval document on FedBizOpps.gov.

DISA said the document is for acquiring both major and minor equipment to efficiently manage and maintain the Defense Information Systems Network. Equipment will include provider edge and core routers, optical networking equipment, fiber, network equipment, storage devices, security tools and other in formation technology products, according to DISA. Contracts and orders for the equipment will be firm-fixed price.

The justification and approval document limits competition to products on the approved products list, which currently includes more than 6,000 items from various manufacturers.

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