Thursday federal headlines – October 8, 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 Senior Executives Association will get a new leader. President Carol Bonosaro, a familiar voice to listeners of Federal News Radio, is retiring after 29 years at the group’s helm. In an announcement, she said she has mixed feelings. She said she has had an incredible journey, met talented career executives, but now it’s time to “smell the roses.” She is moving to Florida to be with her daughter, but she will become president emeritus of the group. SEA isn’t saying who will replace Bonosaro. The group has selected the new president, but says it will make the announcement public in the near future. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Senate passed the 2016 defense authorization bill by a vote of 70-27. The bill was passed by the House last week. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill over the way it uses contingency funds to pay for base budget items. Congress will need two-thirds of each house to override the veto. Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he disapproves of the veto threat. (Federal News Radio)
  • The VA’s chief veterans experience officer said he needs congressional help to follow recommendations set out in a recent study. The study outlined ways the department can change the Veterans Health Administration to better serve its customers. Director Bob McDonald asked Congress not to cut $1.4 billion dollars from its proposed fiscal 2016 budget. He asked that Congress cut out some of the red tape the VHA has to go through to provide for veterans. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department is moving forward with its plans to reorganize the National Protection and Programs Directorate. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson told the House Homeland Security Committee that he’s approved the preliminary plans, the same day the House passed a bill that requires Congressional review and approval for any DHS reorganization. NPPD Under Secretary Suzanne Spaulding said reorganizing will help the directorate become more proactive about cybersecurity, rather than reactive. She expects the directorate will release another implementation plan for the reconfiguration by the end of the year. (Federal News Radio)
  • 93 percent of roughly 3,000 employees at the Postal Service did not comply with the agency’s phishing email policies. The USPS inspector general sent fake phishing emails to test the agency’s information security awareness training; 25 percent of employees the IG tested clicked on the fake email, and 90 percent of them didn’t tell the agency they had clicked on the email. The IG said the Postal Service should require all employees with network access, take annual information security awareness training. USPS suffered a major cyber attack from a phishing scam back in November 2014. (USPS OIG)