Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustments
The Small Business Administration has issued an interim final rule amending its regulations to adjust for inflation the amount of certain civil monetary penalties that are within the jurisdiction of the agency. These adjustments comply with the requirement in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, to make annual adjustments to the penalties. This rule is effective February 9, 2017. Comments are due on, or before, April 10, 2017. 82 Fed. Reg. 9967.


“VA ‘Confident We’re Going to Commercial’ for EHR, Scheduling Fixes .” Federal News Radio, February 7, 2017. Retrieved from
The Government Accountability Office said millions of dollars and years of faulty pilots and heated congressional hearings have failed to produce more modern, interoperable IT systems at the Veterans Affairs Department (“VA”). VA’s focus is on five major IT systems and nearly all of them have experienced delays, cost overruns, and changes in planning, and those moving parts have been difficult to track. But VA insists that the past 18 months have been instrumental in turning that perception around. “We lacked a coherent strategy,” Rob Thomas, VA’s acting assistant secretary and chief information officer, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee during a February 7, 2017 hearing. “We lacked the right processes and procedures. For the past 18 months, we have been going through an incredible transformation. … That transformation is happening. Now we need to get on with it, which is what we aim to do.”

“Senate Panel Unanimously Approves VA Secretary Nominee .”  The Hill, February 7, 2017. Retrieved from
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously approved David Shulkin to be the next VA secretary. The committee voted to send Shulkin to the full Senate for what is expected to be an easy confirmation vote, given that he has received praise from Republicans, Democrats, and veterans alike. Shulkin, who has been the VA’s undersecretary of health since 2015, flatly pledged not to privatize the VA, while promising change despite being an Obama administration holdover.

“GSA Seeks Proposals for Huge Governmentwide Charge Card Contract.”  Government Executive, February 3, 2017. Retrieved from
The General Services Administration (“GSA”) is seeking proposals for a massive new contract it will award this summer for its governmentwide charge card payment program. The GSA recently issued a request for proposals (“RFP”) for its SmartPay 3 (“SP3”), the next iteration of a nearly 20-year-old program that provides the government with purchase, travel, fleet, and integrated payment solutions. The contract runs through November 28, 2021, with a potential extension to 2031. The current contract for GSA SmartPay 2 expires on November 29, 2018. GSA SmartPay is the world’s largest commercial payment program, providing services to 560 federal agencies and other organizations while supporting more than three million accounts. The estimate total value for the SP3 contract is $700 billion, according to the RFP.