Efforts throughout government to cut the cost of federal data centers continue to grind along, with the General Services Administration and the Defense Information Systems Agency recently announcing separate progress. The Homeland Security Department also published a Sept. 30 request for information that said the department plans to transition from a data center model where it pays for data centers by the square foot to an "as-a-service" model where it pays for use.
The Senate confirmed Beth Cobert Oct. 16 as the new deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.
The Office of Management and Budget notified (.pdf) federal workers should return to work Thursday and begin the process of reopening offices. The bill (H.R. 2775) overwhelmingly passed the Senate 81-18 and the House. Every Democrat in both chambers voted for the bill. Just 87 Republican House members supported the bill.
Beth Cobert promised to encourage agencies to consolidate data centers and speed up the federal permitting process in her hearing as deputy secretary for management of the Office of Management and Budget before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Recent years of House Republican brinksmanship over federal government funding finally came to an impasse following Congress's late night Sept. 30 failure to approve a continuing resolution for the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The federal government is shut down – barring essential functions necessary for the protection of national security, life and property, and functions funded by money with another source than one year appropriations bills.
More than one employee in 10 will be furloughed from the Homeland Security Department should Congress fail to approve a funding measure by midnight Monday--and some offices within DHS will see nearly all staff prevented from coming to work. The reasons for the variance are due to the different funding mechanisms and missions of DHS components.
As federal workers prepare to be furloughed during a possible government shutdown, the prospects for congressional approval of a continuing resolution look increasingly imperiled. House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that House Republicans will not accept a spending bill from the Senate stripped of a provision that defunds the Affordable Care Act, Roll Call reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency needs more congressional authority to collect data on its efforts to ensure unpolluted water, an Aug. 21 EPA inspector general report says. Currently, the EPA office of water doesn't have statutory authority to collect data from water utilities, which means the agency doesn't know how effective its efforts are in assisting in protection against terrorism and natural disasters, the report (.pdf) says.
Establishing a governance model for the latest Office of Management and Budget attempt to move federal financial managed systems onto a shared systems model remains an unfinished priority, officials said during a Sept. 25 panel.
The new guidance, issued as Appendix D to Circular No. A-123, will eliminate what an OMB memo (.pdf) calls the "lengthy and resource-intensive" test and certification process for financial system software. Agencies will also no longer need to meet all financial management system requirements through one technology product.