Wednesday federal headlines – November 18, 2015

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

NASA received its fifth consecutive clean audit option. NASA’s financial statements were found to fairly represent the agency’s financial position and operations results. NASA’s chief financial officer said the audit determination reflects the agency’s strong commitment to excellence. NASA is also consistently ranked the best agency to work for in government. During fiscal 2015, NASA conducted its first...

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

  • NASA received its fifth consecutive clean audit option. NASA’s financial statements were found to fairly represent the agency’s financial position and operations results. NASA’s chief financial officer said the audit determination reflects the agency’s strong commitment to excellence. NASA is also consistently ranked the best agency to work for in government. During fiscal 2015, NASA conducted its first flight test of the Orion spacecraft, which is designed to take humans on deep space missions. DHS also received a clean audit opinion for the third year in a row. (NASA)
  • All agencies earned passing grades on this year’s Federal Plain Language Report Card. The Center for Plain Language said agencies are beginning to write more clearly. But the organization and design of their public documents still need some work. The Social Security Administration earned the highest grade for the second straight year, an “A+.” The Interior and Education departments made the most improvements this year. But Defense and State have the most work to do. (Federal News Radio)
  • Some chief financial officers said they have more responsibilities than ever before. Recent laws, like the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act and Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, make their roles within their agencies more complicated. National Science Foundation CFO Martha Rubenstein said FITARA is “muddying the waters” of what her responsibilities are. Some CFOs said they still have many of the same challenges that they did 25 years ago, when Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act. (Federal News Radio)
  • House Armed Services Committee members are learning new information about the cyber attack that impacted more than 22 million federal employees, but Tuesday’s classified briefing didn’t include information from three key agencies. Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the committee chairman and ranking member, respectively, said the Office of Management and Budget, the Homeland Security Department and the Office of Personnel Management decided not to testify. The three agencies declined to appear when they found out the meeting would be on the record and transcribed. Thornberry and Smith said they were frustrated by what they called a last minute-decision by three critical agencies. The committee did hear receive a briefing from the Defense Department and and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A joint comment from OMB, DHS and OPM said they have given more than a dozen briefings since May. (Federal News Radio)
  • Forty-two Secret Service agents will be suspended for up to 12 days for reading and sharing a congressman’s job application. Some in Congress used a hearing yesterday to accuse the agency of being too lenient on its staff. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy said the punishment is in line with other agencies. But he said he is limited by civil service rules. When asked, he said he would like the ability to mete out tougher discipline more quickly. The agents read Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s (R-Utah) 12-year-old application for a Secret Service job after a hearing in which Clancy appeared before Chaffetz’s committee. (Federal News Radio)