Congressional inquiry into VF Solutions as Border Patrol's uniform vendor

In April, Congressman Stevan Pearce from New Mexico sent a letter to CBP asking for answers from them regarding VF Solutions being given yet another uniform contract. In his letter, he cited the uniform survey that started earlier this year with Local 2366 and then went on to ask questions about body cameras.

Below you will find Congressman Pearce's letter to CBP (PDF) along with CBP's response to his inquiry (PDF). Not surprisingly, CBP didn't address many of the congressman's concerns, and instead said that the "decision to award to VF Solutions was based on the technical merits of the proposal, cost, and past performance" and that, "overall, based on adequate competition, the prices were determined to be fair and reasonable in accordance with the [Federal Acquisition Regulations] FAR."

CBP said that Border Patrol agents were involved in the procurement of the contract, but they ignored the survey results cited in the congressman's letter.

NBPC greatly appreciates Congressman Pearce taking the time to look into this issue and we will continue to address VF Solutions' various shortcomings.

Links:
Congressman Pearce's letter to CBP (PDF)
CBP's response to Congressman Pearce (PDF)

Round two of Del Rio Sector's Voluntary Swap Program pilot

Earlier this month, Chief Karisch sent out two emails announcing the second round of Del Rio Sector's Voluntary Swap Program pilot, set to open up Sunday, May 31, 2015, at midnight, and run through June 27, 2015, at 11:59 pm. To be clear, the webpage will open up overnight on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

To find the VSP website, connect to CBPnet Secure while on an agency computer. Click "USBP" in the menu at the top, go over to the "Sectors" option in the menu on the left, and then choose "Del Rio." You will find a button that says "VSP (Voluntary Swap Program)" on the left.

Note: there are still older pages from the DRT VSP's last round (Fall 2014) still on CBPnet Secure, so make sure the page you register on has information for the Spring 2015 VSP.

After the first round of DRT's VSP, 64 Border Patrol agents were able to move to new stations within Del Rio Sector. We hope to see a similar number this round, so be sure to register.

This is not the national swap program, which is currently being developed by NBPC. Updates on that will be posted when available.

Questions about the program should be referred to the DRTVSP email account on Outlook.

PORAC representatives to attend June membership meeting

Representatives from PORAC's Legal Defense Fund will be at the membership meeting at 7:00 pm on June 11th at the Holiday Inn Express in Uvalde.

PORAC is an organization run by cops, for cops, that paid out approximately $75 million in benefits to represent law enforcement officers nationwide over the past five years.

They will give a brief presentation and answer any questions members may have regarding their coverage.

Scholarships available for Fall 2015 semester

Every semester, the Local 2366 Scholarship Committee awards a scholarship to the spouses of dues-paying members, children of dues-paying member, or a dues-paying member of the Local 2366. The scholarship is available for students pursuing undergraduate studies within a two or four-year academic institution. There is a single $1,000 scholarship per semester. The funds will be disbursed in a single lump-sum check payable to any accredited two or four-year college or university in the United States.

The deadline for applications for the Fall 2015 semester has been extended until July 1, 2015.

Click here to learn about the requirements (PDF).

The application is available, here (PDF).

H.R. 2252 signed into law

H.R. 2252 has been signed into law by the President (POTUS).

This law will restore FLSA for BPAs until January 2016, when the BPAPRA should be fully implemented. We are hopeful that immediate restoration of FLSA will allow for payment to be made within the current paychecks, but we'll have to see if it works out right away.

Second round of Del Rio Sector's Voluntary Swap Program announced

The registration period for the second round of Del Rio Sector's (DRT) Voluntary Swap Program (VSP) pilot will open on May 31, 2015, at 12:00 am and will be open until June 27, 2015, at 11:59 pm.

DRT emailed the announcement to all employees this afternoon, including a cover memo and a list of frequently asked questions. The link to the registration website will be provided closer to May 31st.

Please note that this is the intra-sector swap for Del Rio Sector employees only. The national swap program will be announced when it has been created.

FLSA waiver approved for December 2014 to April 2015

Over the weekend, Deputy Commissioner McAleenan emailed BP sectors and notified them that DHS had approved the waiver for FLSA payments from December 18, 2014, through April 18, 2015. That means that Border Patrol agents will not have to pay back any FLSA that was earned during that time frame.

The Senate amendment is still going through the typical process. If the amendment passes, it will grant us FLSA coverage through the rest of the calendar year, effectively making the waivers a moot issue. We'll post more information as we get it.

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