Legal defense fund launched for former SBA CIO.
A fundraising page has been set up in support of a former SBA IT leader who is appealing his dismissal from the agency. Keith Bluestein, who was hired in June 2020 as SBA’s chief information officer, was put on temporary leave in late January 2022 and officially fired this summer. According to Bluestein’s LinkedIn page, he officially left the agency in June and began working as a principal at Deep Water Point. Bluestein is appealing his dismissal with the Merit System Protection Board, an independent panel that rules on federal personnel issues—including claims of inappropriate termination—according to a fundraiser set up on GiveSendGo asking for donations to assist with legal fees. As of Aug. 1, the fund had raised over $25,000, with a goal of $75,000.
US Digital Service calls for outdated organ transplant system’s shakeup.
In a move that will hopefully save hundreds of thousands of lives, the U.S. Digital Service recommended the $248 million contract for an organ transplant system be bid separately from one for policy management because the current holder has denied nearly 100 federal requests to audit source code. USDS identified three alternatives to the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing’s Organ Procurement Transplant Network (UNOS) — which mostly operates from a local data center, rather than in the cloud, hindering efficiency and automation, according to a report. UNOS has denied federal government requests to audit code despite its system crashing for a total of 17 days since 1999, according to the report. On average 22 of the approximately 106,000 people waiting for kidneys, livers and hearts die daily with several doctors telling The Post that UNOS is at least partly to blame for refusing to coordinate organ transport, in addition to its system requiring manual data entry, reprioritizing certain patients due to a programming error and sometimes taking a year to reflect updates.
Congress approves bill to provide more care to vet, grow VA workforce.
A measure to expand benefits offered to veterans who became sick after exposure to burn pits while on active duty is set to become law after the Senate approved the bill on Tuesday, which will also authorize sweeping new authorities to hire and keep employees to handle the resulting uptick in usage of the government health care system. The bill also authorizes leases for 31 new medical facilities at VA to help accommodate the expected surge in patients, which is expected to cost nearly $1 billion. The bill will authorize the department to buy out the contract of health care professionals to recruit them to VA, so long as they make a four-year commitment to the department. VA will have $40 million per year for the buyouts. VA’s health care employees will be eligible for pay boosts worth 50% of their base salaries, up from the current cap of 30%.