The Defense Department wants to close loopholes in current rules that are meant to protect servicemembers and their families from predatory lenders. In 2006, Congress passed a law that caps interest rates on loans for active duty troops and their families. The DoD then determined which lenders the law applied to.
The Defense Department isn't making the investment it should be in technology, but plans to fix that with the third iteration of its Better Buying Power initiative, said DoD Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall at a Sept. 19 Center for Strategic and International Studies event.
After the Government Accountability Office designated Defense Department support infrastructure a high-risk area for efficiency, the DoD consolidated 80 percent of installation support operations, but faced some challenges, a Sept. 19 Government Accountability Office report says. In 2005, the DoD recommended to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission combining 26 installations into 12 joint bases to generate efficiencies and cost savings, initially estimated to be $2.3 billion, the report says.
The Defense Department unveiled the third iteration of its Better Buying Power initiative, which is meant to cut acquisition costs for the DoD. Better Buying Power, which was launched in 2010, provides a set of best practices to improve acquisition through cost control and the elimination of unproductive processes and bureaucracy.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations is launching a new emergency health mission to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as well as a "20-fold increase" in international assistance.
In one year alone, hackers working for the Chinese government penetrated computer networks of U.S. Transportation Command contractors at least 20 times, the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed Sept. 17 after a year-long investigation.
A former civilian Defense Department employee pled guilty last week to collecting more than $2.2 million in fraudulent federal healthcare claims, a Sept. 8 Justice Department statement says. Jonathan Hargett, who was living in Germany, was indicted in October 2013 and extradited in July for trial, the statement says. Hargett will be sentenced Nov. 18 and faces a likely prison term of 46 to 57 months and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000.
An internal watchdog found that delays in the Commerce Department's effort to migrate its export license processing and referral functions to a new IT platform could cost several million dollars as it continues to use its old system.
The Energy Department has set aside $8 million to set up microgrids-- contained grids that are usually connected to the more traditional electric grid but can also disconnect to operate autonomously and help alleviate grid disturbances – in Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee and Washington. Each received about $1.2 million.
While the Defense Department has improved its real estate inventory data, it still lacks complete and accurate information in how some of those assets are being used, preventing officials from identifying opportunities to consolidate unused of underused facilities, congressional investigators said.