Friday federal headlines – January 8, 2016

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

 The Air Force plans to cut about a thousand civilian positions across the country. The cuts will happen between now and early April, according to an announcement the Air Force released on Wednesday. They’ll involve 48 separate installations, but they’re not likely to lead to the firings of many individual workers. The Air Force said  it’s using its reduction...

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

  •  The Air Force plans to cut about a thousand civilian positions across the country. The cuts will happen between now and early April, according to an announcement the Air Force released on Wednesday. They’ll involve 48 separate installations, but they’re not likely to lead to the firings of many individual workers. The Air Force said  it’s using its reduction in force authority to place as many employees as possible into other civilian jobs – but some of them may be forced to take a reduction in pay grade.
  • President Barack Obama will submit his final budget to Congress on Feb. 9. Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan announced the plan on Twitter yesterday. OMB and agencies have been finalizing the spending requests over the last month. The White House instructed agencies in May to cut 5 percent from its discretionary request. But the bi-partisan two-year budget deal helped relieve some pressure on agency discretionary budgets. (Twitter)
  • Two new reports from the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General says the DEA hired a TSA employee and two Amtrak employees as informants. The problem with that is one it’s against their policy to do so and two, they paid for information the employees were already obligated to tell law enforcement about. The report says the agency wasted over $850,000 paying two Amtrak employees for information over the course of 20 years. (Justice OIG 1/Justice OIG 2)
  • GSA wants to make another change to the Federal Travel Regulation. A proposed rule would update the definition of incidental expenses to include ATM fees to help project travel costs better, and would aslo clarify the policy for laundry, cleaning, and pressing of clothing. Interested parties have 60 days to comment. (Federal Register)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission is bringing user analytics to its website. The SEC hired Accenture under a $18 million contract to provide content management user training, and operations and maintenance for the site. Accenture will also implement document management software, improve the SEC’s social media integration and make the site more mobile friendly. The SEC has been modernizing its website over the four years, including taking it to the cloud in 2012. The SEC receives more than 562 million page views every month. (Accenture)
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence names the leaders of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. Tonya Ugoretz will be the director of the center. Mo Bland will serve as deputy director. The center will combine what the intelligence community knows about malware with knowledge from the rest of the world to crack down on cyber attacks. National Intelligence Director James Clapper said he is confident in the team and its ability to work seamlessly with the intelligence community. (DNI)
  • The Small Business Administration has a June 30 deadline to address 30 IT security problems. House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said he wants monthly updates on SBA’s progress in meeting those goals. The agency addressed seven out of 69 management challenges from the Government Accountability Office as of December. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said she’ll do her best. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Education Department is another Office of Personnel Management data breach waiting to happen says a key lawmaker. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said  almost half of all Americans are in jeopardy of having their information compromised if the department is hacked. Chaffetz says the United States is not doing enough to protect the data centers that house social security numbers and bank account information used by citizens to apply for student loans. (Federal News Radio)
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz thinks your agency is too fat and underperforming. Speaking to a Brookings Institute audience, the chairman of the House oversight committee says agencies need to jettison some missions and cut themselves down by at least 5 percent. Chaffetz said there’s always someone doing something stupid somewhere. Yet half get bonuses every year. Chaffetz adds, getting rid of non-performers would raise everyone’s morale.