Monday federal headlines – October 12, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive and In Depth radio shows. Our headlines are updated twice per day — once in the morning and once in the afternoon — with the latest news affecting federal employees and contractors.

  • The Veterans Affairs Department’s customer experience office is getting some much needed and welcome help. Darren Blue, the General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service director of the National Capital Region, is joining VA as its deputy chief customer experience officer. Blue managed a quarter of all federal real estate and brought in half of all PBS’ revenue as regional commissioner. Blue is also a veteran, having served in the Army for nine years, including an overseas tour during combat operations in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. (Federal News Radio)
  • Some cyber forces commissioned by the Defense Department’s cyber strategy are participating in operations. The commander of Cyber National Mission Forces said some of his teams were partaking in operations, but declined to comment further. Cyber mission forces play a homeland defense role and also have the potential for offensive cyber capabilities. DoD plans to have all 133 cyber teams ready and operational by 2018. (Federal News Radio)
  • Forty percent of the 92 agency priority goals the Office of Management and Budget released for 2016 and 2017 are new. Many agencies added new goals on cybersecurity and customer service. The Office of Personnel Management wants 95 percent of its assets to be visible on the continuous diagnostics and mitigation dashboard by the end of fiscal 2017. The Justice Department wants to resolve 90 percent of its security and criminal cyber cases by that same year. (Federal News Radio)
  • DoD has notified the University of Phoenix that it is being placed on probation and is not allowed to recruit on military bases or have access to federal education funding for service members. This came after allegations surfaced that the university sponsored various events at military installations without approval and distributed challenge coins that had military logos on them. The for-profit university is also being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. (Military Times)
  • A bill to let agencies hire new employees more easily took a key step in the House on Friday. The Competitive Service Act received approval from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The bill would let agencies share assessments of job applicants. Currently agencies are unable to share this information. The full Senate passed a similar bill in September. The House’s version moves to the full body for a vote.
  • The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed the Federal Intern Protection Act. The bill aims to protect the unpaid interns within the federal government from workplace harassment and discrimination. This extends the same protections to interns who are provided to federal employees.