Thursday federal headline – November 5, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive and In Depth radio shows.

  • House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) says VA isn’t the only department where it’s too difficult to fire bad employees. Speaking at an event at the Brookings Institution, he said he wants it to be easier to discipline individuals who aren’t doing their jobs and said there are issues throughout the federal government. He used testimony from senior VA officials Monday night regarding a misuse of benefits by a group of employees to support his argument. (Brookings Institution)
  • The government has only implemented about 32 percent of the recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office for improving the acquisition and operations of IT. GAO says over the last six years it made about 800 recommendations to the government to improve IT acquisition. GAO also finds none of the agencies’ chief information officers have made public plans for implementing the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act. The deadline to do so was Oct. 30. (GAO)
  • The former director of operations of a DoD contracting company in Washington, D.C. has pleaded guilty to receiving almost $200,000 in kickbacks for steering U.S. government subcontracts to a British company. Robert Gannon admitted to receiving payments for series of purchase orders his company awarded in 2009, with a value of nearly $6 million. He will find out his sentence in late January. (Justice Department)
  • A group of congressmen have sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter asking why the department is sending cease-and-desist letters to non-profit veterans groups for using official military seal. The groups were using the seals on banners and flyers during commemoration events. DoD is updating their policy to make it easier for the groups to use the emblems more easily, but congressmen want immediate relief for those affected with Veterans Day right around the corner. (Rep. Zoe Lofgren)
  • Most federal agencies earned low grades from lawmakers when it comes to carrying it out. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IT subcommittee released scorecards Wednesday documenting federal agencies’ progress implementing data. The highest grades went to the Commerce Department and GSA, which received ‘Bs.’ (Federal News Radio)
  • OPM has hired a new senior cybersecurity expert to address the agency’s issues following its massive data breach. Clifton Triplett will serve as senior cyber and information adviser to acting OPM Director Beth Cobert to help carry out OPM’s IT infrastructure plan. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department’s automated, near-real-time information sharing system is up and running. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said his department got the system running Oct. 31. It lets agencies share cyber threat indicator information with DHS. Johnson says DHS is adding more agencies and private sector companies who will share and receive information through its system. (Federal News Radio)