Monday federal headlines – January 25, 2016

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

  • Federal employees accused of misconduct or poor performance could have other options beyond administrative leave. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced the Administrative Leave Act. The bill creates new administrative leave categories specifically for federal employees accused of misconduct or poor performance and going through an investigation. It sets up a multi-step process for agencies and their employees. And it requires agencies to consider other options before putting an employee on leave. (Sen. Chuck Grassley)
  • The Office of Management and Budget wants to crack down on agency spending for smartphones and other mobile devices and their associated services. A draft policy obtained by Federal News Radio details OMB’s plans to consolidate oversight and spending on wireless devices and services. Agencies would be required to develop an inventory of existing mobile devices and services. Agencies also would be banned from creating any new contracts for these devices or services. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Marine Corps is still planning out how it’s going to transition to Windows 10 by 2017. A Marine official said the Marines are planning on meeting the deadline, but still have not figured out all the details. The Defense Department mandated all DoD information systems upgrade to Windows 10 by Jan. 1 2017. The Marine official said Windows 10 will offer some security advantages. (Federal News Radio)
  • A new agency will take the lead on the federal security clearance process. The Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management are standing up the National Background Investigations Bureau. The Defense Department will design, build, operate and secure new agency’s IT systems. The NBIB will have its own director. This person will report to OPM and will be appointed by the president. No word yet on a specific timeline for standing up the agency or appointing a director. (Federal News Radio)
  • The FBI moves a step closer to getting everyone under one roof. More now from Tom Temin in today’s management report. After appropriating $390 million in fiscal 2016 for a new FBI headquarters, Congress now has to decide whether to go through with the rest of the money. In its 2017 request, the Obama administration has included another $1.4 billion for an FBI building. The measure has the support of Maryland’s delegation. There’s a good chance the FBI is headed to Prince George’s County. D.C. structure. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Defense Department will handle the IT part of a new governmentwide project to improve the background investigation process. The Defense Information Systems Agency will build the system with guidance from DOD’s chief information officer. Officials said it will include encryption of data at rest and in transit — unlike the OPM system which gave up the records of more than 22 million Americans to foreign hackers. Also, DoD said it’s trying to minimize the number of records that are directly connected to the public internet. But there’s still no timeline for when the new system will be up and running.
  • The new security clearance process will get a technology boost. President Barack Obama will request $95 million more in his 2017 budget to improve the technology behind the security clearance process. The White House announced the increase as one of the steps to strengthen background investigations. The money would go to the Defense Department, which is being charged with designing, building and securing the new IT systems. The DoD chief information officer will lead that effort, and the Defense Information Systems Agency will be charged with its operations.





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