10:29 AM, Jul 15, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
In the midst of revelations about a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency awarded a $4.3 million two-month contract extension to Northrop Grumman for the OPM's Data Warehouse Program (DWP). According to the award documents, the follow-on contract includes "electronic official personnel folder (eOPF) proprietary software, software maintenance and development services, and conforming scanning services." Services to be provided by Northrop Grumman will support 100 federal agencies with up to two million "electronic official personnel folders", including scanned human resources documents.
According to the OPM, the Data Warehouse Program includes, among other things:
- Standardized collection of federal employee data
- Centralized focus on data quality and integration to one system
- Consistent, timely, and secure source for other programs requiring integrated federal employee data, such as the Retirement Systems Modernization program.
- Standard data interfaces for the collection of human resources (HR), payroll, and training data
- Processes to integrate data from the various sources to provide a comprehensive view of a federal employee's career
- Individual employee lookup tool to view history across the employee's Federal career
- Secure systems environment that meets Federal data standards and certification requirements
Although the original contract came about through a competitive bidding process, this two-month follow-on extension was a "Limited Sources" award due to the difficulties of implementing an alternative system to Northrop Grumman's proprietary system. OPM also states that along with the contractor, the agency is designing and deploying system enhancements including a "much anticipated self-service password feature" that the agency's inspector general had recommended to allow secure access to the system through internet browsers.
Beyond these initial reasons, OPM also asserts that changing to a new contractor at this time could actually result in violations of the law by OPM since the transition would result in a "sustained inability" to carry out mandated tasks. The agency also warned of "increased risk to the integrity of the eOPF [electronic official personnel folder]" from the "learning curve" a new vendor would experience bringing a new system online.
The OPM's description of the data breaches does not make clear if the Data Warehouse Program was compromised by the attacks. Emails to OPM and Northrop Grumman requesting comment and further information have so far gone unanswered.
10:04 AM, Apr 17, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The system of federal and state "exchanges" or "marketplaces" that offer health insurance through the Affordable Care Act lean heavily on "navigators" to guide consumers in their choices.
3:38 PM, Mar 17, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Federal agencies set a new record for improper payments last year, shelling out $125 billion in questionable benefits after years of declines.
9:07 AM, Mar 17, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
When President Obama attended the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia last November, the entire delegation required over 5,000 room nights at five different hotels over the cours
The presidential candidates could learn from Indiana’s governor.4:39 PM, Feb 28, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Lost in much of the reporting about CPAC is that almost all of the likely presidential candidates—really, all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul—seemed to place themselves at the Reaganite hawkish-internationalist end of the foreign policy spectrum. The much-heralded return of Republican isolationism or anti-interventionism wasn’t much in evidence, except during Rand Paul's half hour on the stage.
1:23 PM, Feb 24, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A bipartisan group of mmore than eighty influential national security experts, from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Michèle Flournoy to Bill Kristol, have written a letter to congressional leadership to urge increased defense spending.
9:05 AM, Feb 13, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Vice President Biden spent about a day and a half in Belgium in early February to meet with various European leaders, but his entourage, security team and other delegation members required up to 209 rooms for up to three weeks surrounding the visit.
9:04 AM, Feb 11, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
In January, the State Department signed contracts for an estimated $1,690,000 million for hotels for President Obama's trip to India. Two of the contracts were for the New Delhi stay, and another two were for Agra, the location of the Taj Mahal. That latter leg of the trip was cancelled when President Obama decided to leave early to pay his respects to the recently deceased king of Saudi Arabia. The president stayed in New Delhi for two nights.
7:33 AM, Feb 3, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is working on a solution to a problem faced by a growing number of Americans as the population ages and relies more on prescription drugs: "What is this pill?" Much in the way a Google image search looks for similar images in Google's vast caches, the NIH's National Library of Medicine (NLM) desires a tool to match users' smart phone photos of mystery pills with hi-res images in the NLM's existing RxIMAGE database
9:10 AM, Jan 20, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Under President Obama, $7.5 trillion has been added to the national debt. The number is being highlighted by the Republican National Committee ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address, which will be delivered tonight from Washington.
12:01 PM, Dec 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
When President Obama visited Brisbane, Australia in November for the G-20 summit, the large U.S. delegation required multiple hotels and thousands of "room nights" for the length of the stay, though the president himself spent only one night in his hotel.
5:28 PM, Dec 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In one final ignominious act of parliamentary genius, outgoing Senate majority leader Harry Reid rolled Republican troublemaker Ted Cruz of Texas over the weekend, robbing the GOP of a chance to stop Democrats in the lame-duck session.