Welcome to MeriTalk News Briefs, where we bring you all the day’s action that didn’t quite make the headlines. No need to shout about ‘em, but we do feel that they merit talk.

More Unions Band Together to Sue Trump on EOs

Thirteen Federal employee unions on June 13 filed a collective lawsuit against President Trump claiming that he exceeded his authority with three recently-signed executive orders (EO) regarding the Federal workforce. The lawsuit states that the President’s EOs “conflict with or seek to impermissibly rewrite portions of” the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, established under Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction to prevent the enforcement of the EOs. The lawsuit follows similar suits filed by the American Federation of Government Employees and National Treasury Employees Union, but provides different arguments. A group of House Republicans on June 11 wrote the President to urge him to rescind the EOs.

CSRA Wins High-Performance Computing Contract with NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on June 14 awarded a 10-year, $553 million contract to CSRA to provide systems integration, software and support for NOAA’s High Performance Computing and Communications Program, used to generate climate and weather forecasts. “NOAA conducts research and gathers data on Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, space, and sun; and applies this knowledge in the form of science and services that touch the lives of all Americans,” NOAA said in the request for proposal. “The ability to predict changes in Earth’s environment depends primarily on a diverse set of environmental models which require considerable computational resources,” NOAA said.  CSRA will provide labor, materials, high-performance computing components–equipment, software, facilities support–and the technical expertise to maintain the supercomputing infrastructure.

DHS S&T New Blockchain Contract

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) on June 15 awarded $192,380 to Austin, Texas-based start-up Factom to beta test its blockchain technology used to secure Internet of Things (IoT) data. “Factom’s project combines blockchain technology with critical infrastructure–such as sensors and cameras–to protect the integrity and authenticity of data collected by these devices. The capabilities developed by this project integrate with existing IoT devices and does not require the creation of blockchain-specific technology,” DHS S&T said in a statement. The technology will be tested in the field with DHS’ Customs and Border Protection to determine whether the technology can operate in the conditions under which U.S. Border Patrol agents operate.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.