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Federal Government
GAO: Multiple Challenges in Building and Maintaining Biodefense and Biosurveillance PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 15 April 2016 05:48

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - As concerns heighten over the possibility of bioterrorism or an infectious disease outbreak, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report that concludes there are multiple challenges to maintaining a defense with myriad levels of government and private sector players.

"The biodefense enterprise is fragmented and does not have strategic oversight to promote efficiency and accountability. Specifically, the biodefense enterprise lacks institutionalized leadership enterprise-wide to provide strategic oversight and coordination," reads the highlight of the report posted to the GAO website.

"In 2011, GAO reported, there are more than two dozen presidentially appointed individuals with biodefense responsibilities and numerous federal agencies with mission responsibilities for supporting biodefense activities, but no individual or entity with responsibility for overseeing the entire biodefense enterprise."

The full report can be found at gao.gov.

 
Joint Statement From Justice Department and FTC On Competition in Defense Industry PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 06:04

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Two key federal agencies have reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring competition in the defense industry.

A joint statement from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) looks at plans for monitoring mergers and acquisitiosn in the industry.

It reads:

“The Department of Justice is committed to preserving competition for current and future defense procurement,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “In light of recent speculation about possible future consolidation, we thought it timely to reinforce that message.  Working with our colleagues at the Department of Defense, our mission in reviewing proposed defense industry consolidation is to ensure that our military continues to receive the most effective and innovative products at competitive prices in both the short- and long-term thereby protecting  our national security, American soldiers, sailors, marines and air crews, and our nation’s taxpayers.”

“Competition is the essential ingredient that leads to high-quality products at lower prices,” said Chairwoman Edith Ramirez of the Federal Trade Commission.  “This is especially critical when it comes to America’s defense industry, which provides the weapons and equipment that our men and women in uniform rely on every day.”  

In the joint statement, the federal antitrust agencies emphasize that the particular aspects of the defense industry, such as high barriers to entry, the importance of investment in research and development and the need for surge capacity, can be central to reviewing defense industry mergers and acquisitions.  The joint statement also states that defense industry mergers should not adversely affect short or long-term innovation and must maintain a sufficient number of competitors, including both prime and subcontractors, to ensure that competition for current, planned and future procurement remains robust.

The antitrust agencies will continue their close working relationship with the Department of Defense as established by the Defense Science Board Task Force on Antitrust Aspects of Defense Industry Consolidation and are committed to the long-standing practice of giving the Department of Defense's assessment substantial weight in areas where it has special expertise and information, such as national security."

The statement can be found at justice.gov.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 06:05
 
President Obama Lauds California Expansion of Paid Family Leave PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 05:45

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - President Obama released the following statement after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that mandates an increase in paid time off.

The law allows for 60 percent of wages to be paid, up to $1,100 per week. Those making less than $20,000 per year will be paid 70% of their pay.

"I applaud the California State Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown for expanding paid family leave in their state today," said the president's statement. "This action means more hardworking Californians will have the peace of mind to know that they can take care of a new child or a sick family member.  This is great news for California.  Yet millions of Americans still don’t have access to any form of paid leave.  Congress needs to catch up to California – and to countries all over the world – by acting to guarantee paid family leave to all Americans.  As long as I am President, I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that working Americans have access to this basic security."

 
President Obama Appoints Two To Intelligence Advisory Board PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 11 April 2016 05:49

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - President Obama announced he is appointing Stephen Preston and Ambassador Wendy Sherman to the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.

“I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to serve our country.  They bring their years of experience and expertise to this Administration, and I look forward to working with them," said the president in a post to the whitehouse.gov. site.

Biographies:

Stephen W. Preston is a Partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale) and Chair of the firm’s Defense, National Security and Government Contracts Practice, positions he has held since 2015.  Mr. Preston served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2013 to 2015 and as General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2013.  Previously, Mr. Preston was a Partner at WilmerHale from 2001 to 2009, where he was Co-Chair of the Defense, National Security and Government Contracts Practice.  Mr. Preston served as General Counsel of the Department of the Navy from 1998 to 2000, Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice from 1995 to 1998, and Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 1993 to 1995.  He first joined WilmerHale in 1986 and was a Partner from 1991 to 1993.  Mr. Preston received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.


Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman is Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group, a position she has held since January 2016.  She is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and served as a Fall 2015 Resident Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.  Ambassador Sherman served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2011 to 2015 and was Acting Deputy Secretary of State from November 2014 to January 2015.  She previously served as Vice Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group.  Before becoming a founding member of The Albright Group in 2001, she served as Counselor for the State Department from 1997 to 2001 and served as Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State and Policy Coordinator on North Korea.  Prior to her confirmation as Counselor, Ambassador Sherman was President and CEO of the Fannie Mae Foundation.  From 1993 to 1996, she was Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under Secretary of State Warren Christopher.  In 2008, Ambassador Sherman was appointed by Congressional leaders to serve on the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism.  She is a recipient of the National Security Medal and was a member of the Defense Policy Board of the Department of Defense.  Ambassador Sherman attended Smith College and received a B.A. from Boston University and an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland.

 
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