Monday Federal Headlines – January 11, 2016

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

Chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) said the full committee will start working on the 2017 defense authorization bill three weeks early. Wittman said the committee is beginning early in an attempt to speed up the appropriations process. The defense authorization act creates policy for the Defense Department and sets funding recommendations.

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

  • Chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) said the full committee will start working on the 2017 defense authorization bill three weeks early. Wittman said the committee is beginning early in an attempt to speed up the appropriations process. The defense authorization act creates policy for the Defense Department and sets funding recommendations.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has released its timetable for enforcing REAL ID Act standards. Starting Jan. 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state still not compliant with the REAL ID Act will need to show an alternative form of identification for domestic air travel. DHS’s website provides a list of non-compliant states. (DHS)
  • The Government Accountability Office said the agency helped save the government $74.7 billion in fiscal 2015 with its recommendations. A post on the agency’s blog, the Performance and Accountability Report, said it’s averaged 1,800 recommendations a year with an average implementation rate of 80 between 2010 and 2015. GAO said closing on its 4,800 recommendations that remain open could result in even more savings. (GAO)
  • A former contracting official assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty in February to claims he accepted bribes for steering contracts and also not reporting the money he received on his tax returns. The Justice Department said James Addas illegally helped a Jordanian company secure at least 15 contracts with a value of over $28 million. (Justice Department)
  • Navy officials say the lack of facilities sustainment funding is affecting personnel services. Officials tell lawmakers gym hours and daycare services have been compromised to fund critical facilities. The officials said Navy is funding its facilities sustainment accounts 10 percent below the Defense Department requirement. The officials also said the funding levels will be reduced by 2.5 percent every year. (Federal News Radio)
  • The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will introduce three bills this week that would let agencies fire poor performing senior executives faster. Tim Walberg will likely introduce the Senior Executives Service Accountability Act. It would also extend the probationary period from one to two years. Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz will introduce two other bills targeting S-E-S accountability. One would put senior executives on a 14-day limit for administrative leave. (Federal News Radio)
  •  Government contractors face new delays when it comes to security clearances. The problems are budget-related. The Defense Security Service said it had to stop the processing of almost all background investigations for government contractors on Dec. 8 because the continuing resolution that had funded the government up to that point had run dry. It took another month before DSS got its full appropriation, and in the meantime, a backlog of 10,000 cases had built up. The agency says it will take six months before it digs itself out of that new backlog of industry clearance requests. (Federal News Radio)