The Defense Department hasn't been able to effectively assess whether military personnel covered under certain types of Tricare health coverage have access to care, an April 28 Government Accountability Office report says. The DoD provides health coverage to active duty and retired military personnel through several types of Tricare programs. Those who choose Tricare Prime must enroll, but those who don't enroll can obtain care under TRICARE Standard, Extra or Reserve Select.
The suicide rate among active military servicemembers rose to 22.7 per 100,000 individuals in 2012. That's up from 18 suicides per 100,000 active servicemembers in 2011 and 17.5 in 2010.
The number of federal security clearances issued and renewed dropped about 9 percent since 2011, an April 17 Office of the Director of National Intelligence report says. Security clearance approvals decreased in fiscal 2013 to about 777,000 from nearly 800,000 in fiscal 2012 and about 850,000 in fiscal 2011, the report (pdf) says.
"The sequester cuts are tied to no long-term plan, and, though it's a truism in the marketplace, we are concerned about enough competition with fewer entities around to fund innovation," said DoD Deputy Assistant Secretary Elana Broitman during an April 23 panel discussion.
The White House launched a website April 23 that aims to connect veterans and service members with employers. The Veterans Employment Center will provide public- and private-sector employers looking to hire veterans, service members and their spouses a database of resumes to search from.
The Army will involuntarily separate about 2,000 captains and majors in an effort to reduce the size of the force, an Army spokesman said. The separations will be used to meet goals set out by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in his fiscal 2015 budget proposal should it be made law.
When contractor employees accused of misconduct are fired or quit before DoD makes judgement, the system that records the adjudication still shows them as eligible for security clearance, a DoD inspector general report says.
The Air Force thinks it's paying more for its goods and services than it should and wants to put pressure on its contractors to reduce costs in their supply chain. Previously, when the Air Force negotiated contracts, much of it went to prime contractors, but now 60 to 70 percent of that is subcontracted, said the Air Force's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting Wendy Masiello.
Overall funding for the Defense Department's science and technology budget would see about a $500 million reduction in the president's fiscal 2015 budget request, with grants and missile defense bearing the brunt of the cut, says a DoD official.
About 40 percent of all contracts awarded by the Defense Department in fiscal 2013 were through noncompetitive contracts, says an April 16 Government Accountability Office report. With those contracts, the DoD tends to bundle them under a class justifcation rather than justifying why there was no competition for each contract, the report says.