Tuesday federal headlines – November 17, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive.

The Justice Department and FBI’s cybersecurity programs need some work. At Justice, 64 percent of privileged and unprivileged users are now using strong authentication. That’s after DoJ had one of the worst overall compliance records out of all other agencies. Justice’s inspector general said finding and hiring the right cyber experts is one of the department’s biggest challenges....

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The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive.

  • The Justice Department and FBI’s cybersecurity programs need some work. At Justice, 64 percent of privileged and unprivileged users are now using strong authentication. That’s after DoJ had one of the worst overall compliance records out of all other agencies. Justice’s inspector general said finding and hiring the right cyber experts is one of the department’s biggest challenges. The FBI didn’t hire 52 of the 134 computer scientists it was authorized to, and five of its 56 field offices don’t have a computer scientist assigned to their Cyber Task Forces. (Justice Department OIG)
  • The Defense Department is bolstering its information sharing with France in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. A statement from the Pentagon said Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released new instructions. The instructions make it easier for U.S. military personnel to share operational planning information and intelligence with the French. Paris was rocked by terror attacks that killed more than 120 people. (DoD)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general said Washington, D.C.’s VA medical center had wait times exceeding a year for patients needing home health aide services. In a new report, it found managers did not comply with parts of national and local policy regarding quality of care. They recommended facilities develop action plans to address the care needs for patients on wait lists for home health services. (Veterans Affairs)
  • The Food and Drug Administration wants to have a bigger role in regulating laboratory-developed tests. Up until now, the agency said it has largely left the LDT industry alone. But in a new report, it said many labs are only implementing the bare minimum regulatory requirements, resulting in false positive and negative test results. (FDA)
  • The House passed a bill to help commercial space flight take off. The bill intends to speed development of U.S. commercial space flight and resource exploration by cutting red tape around the industry. It now awaits the President’s final approval. (GovTrack)
  • USDA is first out of the gate with its IT reform plan. The Agriculture Department is the first agency to release its plan to meet the common baseline of authorities under the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act. USDA’s self-assessment found it needs to strengthen its governance system to ensure that the CIO works with all key stakeholders and reports directly to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary. One major change will come in the 2017 budget planning. USDA offices will collect IT specific budget information and the CIO will review the plans.