The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive.
Peter Neffenger promised a House committee he’ll crack down on undeserved bonuses, and demand more accountability from senior leaders. TSA has been plagued with high attrition by airport screening officers. That’s led to instances of three-hour lines. Neffenger said he’s slowed the staff departures, but the agency still has 6,000 ewer officers than a few years ago. Last year TSA hired 373 but lost 4,600. (The Hill)
Working in a law enforcement agency may be one of the best federal jobs. A new report from the Partnership of Public Service and Deloitte found employee satisfaction was higher in law enforcement than governmentwide employees. The FBI was the highest scoring one among the 12 agencies analyzed. (Partnership for Public Service)
The VA is having trouble with improper payments. The agency’s Office of Inspector General found two of its programs were over the 10 percent gross improper payment rate limit required by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act. Additionally, 8 of its programs did not meet reduction targets. VA estimated it made $5 billion worth of improper payments in 2015. (Veterans Affairs)
A VA bill advances in the Senate with unanimous approval from the Veterans Affairs committee. The bill would increase whistleblower protections and move medical officials into Title 38 positions. In the House, Veterans Affairs committee chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said he’s ready to work on the bill once it’s passed by the full Senate.
The General Services Administration plans to run a pilot to see how best to protect the government against grey market technology products. Grey market technology products are intended for sale in foreign countries, and enter the United States without the permission of the trademark owner. GSA issued a request for information this week asking for vendors to provide insight into how the pilot could work. GSA seeks an approach for contractors to validate the authenticity of commercial IT products and software. Responses to the RFI are due by May 31.
The Senate Armed Services Committee approved its version of the 2017 Defense Authorization and it would bring major changes to Defense acquisitions personnel. Bloomberg reports the bill would eliminate the position of undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Responsibilities would be divided between two undersecretaries for research and engineering, and management and support. (Bloomberg)
A $103 million annual grant program to help the Justice Department fight opiate abuse passed the House. However, some government officials have said it’s not enough. Democrats and White House officials claim the amount is inadequate to battle the issue. President Barack Obama requested $1.1 billion in his budget he submitted to Congress. (ABC News)
In its drawdown, the Army is cutting high-ranking soldiers. It told Congress it cut nearly 500 experienced people in the second half of 2015. Soldiers with at least 20 years of experience were most likely to be separated. Colonels, lieutenant colonels and upper echelons of the enlisted made up the bulk of the cuts. The Army must cut 450,000 troops by 2018. (Federal News Radio)
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation officials worry tens of thousands of files accidentally downloaded from its network could fall into the wrong hands. CIO Larry Gross said uncertainty stems from a lack of digital rights management. He says his staff is working to get DRM in place quickly. The agency reported five incidents in which former employees saved sensitive data onto their personal storage devices. (Federal News Radio)