House lawmakers and Veterans Affairs’ IT officials continue to spar over the data security of millions of veterans. In the latest episode, VA Committee lawmakers say the agency suffered another nation state cyber attack. But IT officials say they have seen no evidence of such an attack. Federal News Radio’s Executive editor Jason Miller joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with details on this ongoing cybersecurity drama.
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) said the Veterans Affairs Department fell victim to another breach by a nation state in September 2014, putting veterans’ data at risk. But VA CIO Steph Warren said internal and external reviews found no evidence of a breach.
President Barack Obama nominated two people for key administration posts at the Veterans Affairs Department.
The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Monday accused the inspector general and other officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs of withholding reports from his panel, despite pledges to be transparent.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general reviewed a recent Veterans Affairs IG report and concluded the actions of a former VA acquisitions official “did not violate applicable law.”
Veterans Affairs’ Warriors to Workforce program seems to work. It was one of the 124 programs recently honored by Harvard University’s Ash Center with a Bright Ideas award. The VA program is designed to help wounded veterans transition into a new career. David Sella, the program manager of the Warriors to Workforce program, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more on the program.
Ever since the Veterans Affairs scheduling scandal broke, Congress has been heckling the department to fire more people. Robespierre might have resorted to the guillotine to secure the French Revolution. But is simply rolling heads the best strategy for getting the performance you want from your staff? John Palguta is vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with why firing is just one small piece of the performance puzzle.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald seems to be closing the deal several secretaries of Defense and at least one postmaster general couldn’t, says Federal News Radio’s Francis Rose in a new commentary.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has a similar problem to the Defense Department: too many underutilized facilities in its inventory and a lot of dilapidated structures it can’t afford to tear down. As Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, VA is asking Congress for its own version of a BRAC.
The State Department hopes to tap into veterans’ overseas experiences with a new program. The Veterans Innovation Partnership launched last month. The goal is to apply service members’ skills to foreign policy and international affairs. Drew O’Brien is the Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the State Department. He joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain more about the program.
All morning we’ve been talking about acquisition, and how to improve and modernize it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that acquisitions aren’t just for their own sake; they support programs. So good program management is part of the mix of success. Paul Gregory, the vice chancellor of the Program Management School at the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive from the ACT-IAC Acquisition Excellence Conference with more on that perspective.
The House on Monday approved a bill allowing the Veterans Affairs secretary to force senior executives to repay bonuses if the employees engaged in misconduct.
The Veterans Affairs Department is attacking its appeals backlog much in the same way it took on its disability claims backlog. VA is using a combination of technology and old-fashioned process improvements to deal with an appeals backlog that has grown by 15 percent over the last two years. Federal News Radio’s executive editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more details on VA’s plans to decrease the appeals backlog.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized anew Tuesday for erroneously claiming he served in the military’s special forces, and veterans groups and lawmakers appeared ready to accept his expression of regret.