Pentagon’s $11 billion health records deal to be awarded by month’s end

All signs point to the Defense Department awarding its multi-billion Defense Healthcare Management System (DHMS) contract by the end of July.

The Pentagon’s public notice for the contract, which was first released almost 18 months ago, was closed for discussion July 14, one month after DOD’s Office of Inspector General announced it would be looking into DHMS’s acquisition strategy. Bloomberg also reported a DOD spokeswoman confirmed an award would be made by July 31.

The Defense Healthcare Management System  (DHMS) was chartered by the Secretary of Defense in 2013 to improve the health care of active duty military, Veterans, and their beneficiaries by modernizing electronic health care records and establishing seamless medical data sharing between the DoD, the VA, and the private sector.  DHMS is administratively attached to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), with a direct reporting relationship to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD AT&L).
The Defense Healthcare Management System (DHMS) was chartered by the Secretary of Defense in 2013 to improve the health care of active duty military, Veterans, and their beneficiaries by modernizing electronic health care records and establishing seamless medical data sharing between the DoD, the VA, and the private sector. DHMS is administratively attached to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), with a direct reporting relationship to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD AT&L).

The 10-year contract is one of the largest in recent memory for DOD and is expected to have a total lifecycle value of $11 billion.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/emerging-tech-blog/2015/07/pentagons-11-billion-health-records-deal-be-awarded-months-end/118078

For more information about DHMS, visit: http://www.health.mil/dhms 

DHS audit: School district awarded $50 million in disaster funds without competition

A Homeland Security Department (DHS) audit found that a northeast Kansas school district awarded $50 million in federal disaster funds to rebuild facilities following a 2008 tornado without using a full and open competitive process.

DHS logoHowever, the DHS inspector general said it deferred to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision that the costs were “fair and reasonable for the work performed” under government regulations that allow for exceptions, according to the June 24 report released publicly last week.

Still, IG said the agency had better options and should remind Kansas of its responsibilities to make sure grant recipients are aware of federal regulations and monitor such activities to ensure compliance. It also said the state, which administered the funds, should also inform the Chapman, Kan., school district that it must comply with procurement requirements otherwise future FEMA reimbursements could be at risk.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercehomelandsecurity.com/story/kansas-school-district-awarded-50m-disaster-funds-without-open-competition/2015-07-10

DoD fails to comply with rules to curb contractor estimate deficiencies

The Defense Department’s contracting component hasn’t observed new rules meant to address deficiencies in the way contractors estimate prices for DoD, says a June 29 DoD inspector general report.

DOD IGContractor estimating systems encompass the policies, procedures and practices used by the contractor for generating estimates of costs and other data that are included in proposals submitted to the government.

And it’s important that those systems are accurate, the report says.

“Contractor business systems and related internal controls, including the estimating system, are the first line of defense against waste, fraud, and abuse,” GAO says.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/dod-fails-comply-rules-curb-contractor-estimate-deficiencies/2015-07-01

No more charging strippers to Uncle Sam’s plastic

Federal employees who want to gamble or frequent strip clubs for an evening of fun will have to use their own credit cards to pay for it.

PcardAn amendment included in the House-passed fiscal 2016 Defense spending bill prohibits Defense civilian workers and military personnel from using government charge cards for expenses related to “gaming, or for entertainment that includes topless or nude entertainers or participants.”

The language specifically prohibits gaming, rather than any expenses at a casino, so lodging and meals, for example, would be exempt.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., sponsored the amendment, which was adopted on voice vote. The House on Thursday passed the fiscal 2016 Defense spending bill. The full Senate has not yet considered its fiscal 2016 Defense appropriations legislation.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/management/2015/06/no-more-charging-strippers-uncle-sams-plastic/115174

See related story at: Senators Want GSA to Catch Feds Who Use Plastic at Strip Clubs

Weather Service paid retired exec half a million to consult

In a maneuver some would call “writing your own ticket,” a top National Weather Service executive announced his retirement and then set himself up to perform the same work as a consultant, raising his pay by $43,000, according to the Commerce Department inspector general.

National Weather Service NOAABefore his contract was terminated in 2012, the official also collected a $50,000 housing allowance and allegedly pressed for the agency to hire a relative, according to a summary of the investigation. The total cost to the government: $471,875.34.

The Commerce IG did not name the “senior official,” but The Washington Post recently identified him as former deputy chief financial officer P. Donald Jiron. His lawyer, Matthew Kaiser, said, “Mr. Jiron has not done anything wrong” because he acted “at the direction of and with the approval of his supervisor at all times.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2015/06/weather-service-paid-retired-exec-half-million-consult/114718