Wednesday federal headlines – April 6, 2016

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

The Homeland Security Department is trying again to improve its security operations center by going out with a second solicitation. DHS is asking vendors to bid on this $395 million, seven-year contract to provide management, maintenance and continued development services. DHS currently operates its security operations center, but wants a vendor to transition to a new model....

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

  • The Homeland Security Department is trying again to improve its security operations center by going out with a second solicitation. DHS is asking vendors to bid on this $395 million, seven-year contract to provide management, maintenance and continued development services. DHS currently operates its security operations center, but wants a vendor to transition to a new model. The vendor will provide a host of cyber services including network monitoring and security event analysis, email security monitoring and analysis, computer security incident response and management, and more. (FBO)
  • An interagency effort nails a big-time fraud. Three schemers were caught in a $600 million Social Security fraud investigation. The FBI worked with IRS Criminal Investigations and Social Security’s inspector general to obtain a long list of conspiracy and wire fraud charges. The alleged thieves, a retired administrative law judge, a lawyer and a psychiatrist. The Justice Department said they ran a racket to get thousands of disability payments. They face a judge tomorrow. (Justice Department)
  • At least five agencies are reviewing whether to withhold funds from the state of North Carolina after the state enacted a law which critics say legalizes discrimination against members of the LGBT community. The Washington Post reports the Departments of Education, Transportation, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services are conducting assessments. (White House)
  • Some high-ranking officials announce their departures from government work. Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld will be retiring at the end of April, Stuart Delery, the acting Associate Attorney General at the Justice Department will be leaving his job next week, and Military Times reports Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs has submitted his resignation effective May 1. (Military Times)
  • Federal employees and retirees face more insurance premium increases. Many of those enrolled in the federal long-term care insurance program can expect significant increases in their premiums later this year. OPM awarded incumbent provider John Hancock Life and Health Insurance Company a contract yesterday to run the federal long-term care insurance program. OPM said it’s unsure how much the premiums will go up, but it’s likely to be sizable. OPM said it will have more details about the premium increases in the coming weeks. (Federal News Radio)
  • The main IRS building will be closed the rest of the week as repairs are made from the transformer fire there Monday. Employees are being encouraged to come pick up laptops and other necessities. Employees able to telework may do so without approval from their managers, everyone else will receive excused absences. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Obama administration says access to data and government transparency has built a “culture of evidence,” but watchdogs feel there is still room for improvement. U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said the government must address four management areas if it wants to improve accountability. Those areas range from money management to adaptability to building a workforce that supports the national cybersecurity effort. Dave Mader, controller at the Office of Management and Budget, said that as the presidential transition begins to later this year, it’s important to build upon what’s already working rather than starting from scratch. (Federal News Radio)
  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter unveils a list of reforms he’d like to see in the coming year. Carter says the reforms will help bring the Defense Department into the future. The list includes an expanded role for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, broadening what is considered joint duty for officers and reducing paperwork for acquisitions. Carter also wants to move three-stars generals into some positions currently head by four star generals and admirals. (Federal News Radio)