Tuesday federal headlines – October 6, 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.

  • If confirmed by the Senate, Michael Missal could be the first inspector general of the Veterans Affairs Department in nearly two years. President Barack Obama has tapped Missal, a corporate lawyer, for the post. Missal is a partner at the D.C. office of K&L Gates. He’s also worked for government as a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and as an assistant to the Senate Ethics Committee during its investigation of former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.). He would come into the IG’s office at a difficult time. Agency whistleblowers recently told Congress that they would not recommend that others seek help from the IG. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Defense Department is asking Congress to shift $23 million in additional funds to protect its federal workers compromised by the Office of Personnel Management hacks. The money will go toward a suite of credit monitoring services for the workers. DoD shifted $132 million for the same services back in July. DoD said the $23 million in funds will be taken from cost savings realized from the decline in gas prices. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general reopened its investigation into allegations at the Secret Service. The IG said some Secret Service agents improperly accessed an agency database to find an old job application for now House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz. The DHS IG said it will add an addendum to its original report, because Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy changed his recollection of what happened. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said he’s confident in Clancy. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Energy Department and the General Services Administration are looking for green building innovations. GSA and Energy are releasing a request for information for industry and others to provide potential new technologies to improve the economic and environmental performance of federal and commercial buildings. The five technology areas are: energy management, window attachments, fans and blowers, renewable energy, and water conservation and reuse.
    GSA and Energy will match selected technologies with federally owned buildings or commercial buildings  to pilot how they work. The technologies will be  through evaluated by third-party experts. The goal of the project is  to help spur deployment of high impact technologies, and to inform public and private sector investment decisions. (FBO)
  • Four senators are taking aim at reducing fraud across the government.
    Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) , Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015. The bill would require agencies to conduct regular fraud risk assessments and develop strategies to combat fraud within their programs. The lawmakers want agencies to implement new financial controls in order to identify and prevent fraud, and to share anti-fraud best practices with each other. The bill focuses getting agencies to follow a new framework developed by the Government Accountability Office.
  • It is now easier for veterans to enroll in the Veterans Choice program. The initiative helps veterans receive healthcare from non-VA facilities. Under the expansion veterans who enrolled in healthcare after August 1, 2014 are eligible for the program. A bill signed into law July 31 expanded the program. The VA said  it will implement other changes to the program over several phases. (Veterans Affairs)

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