The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
In today’s Top Federal Headlines, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) wants to know why the Internal Revenue Service is not using Homeland Security’s program designed to detect intrusions.
The IRS faces questions over what one senator says is a refusal to follow a cybersecurity law. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked IRS officials why they’re not using the Homeland Security’s EINSTEIN system for network intrusion detection. Agencies are required to have EINSTEIN in place by Dec. 18. (Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs)
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said he’s working on a list of suggestions for the next administration to reform the Homeland Security Department. He said it will cover a range of topics from the department’s IT and cybersecurity. It will include all 22 components. The report will likely come out in November or December. (Federal News Radio)
The six-month wait for the new federal cyber czar is finally over. The White House named retired Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill as the first federal chief information security officer, and Grant Schneider as the first acting deputy CISO. Touhill comes to the new role from the Homeland Security Department. He has been the deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at DHS since 2014. Schneider has been on detail to the Office of Management and Budget since 2014 after serving seven years as the chief information officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency. (Federal News Radio)
Two hackers who broke into the online accounts of CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have been arrested. The Justice Department said Andrew Boggs, and Justin Liverman, were charged with using social engineering hacking techniques to access the accounts of senior U.S. government officials, their families, and several U.S. government computer systems. Boggs and Liverman will have their initial appearances at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia next week. (Department of Justice)
The director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency said he’s facing a shortage of intelligence analysts. Speaking at the 2016 Intelligence and National Security Summit, Robert Cardillo said he shares Defense-wide fears that he won’t be able to fill job positions with top recruits. Some intelligence agencies have turned to contractors for jobs federal employees are unavailable to do. (Federal News Radio)
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said he’s planning another west-coast trip to continue strengthening relations between DoD and the nation’s tech industry. This time, he’ll be traveling to Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas at the beginning of next week. He’ll be meeting with tech firms as well as officials from the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental opened last year. (Department of Defense)
A month after the Government Accountability Office found major faults with a $17.5 billion IT service contract, the Defense Department submits a revised version. The revamped request for proposals for the ENCORE III contract will still use lowest price technically acceptable as the criteria for picking the 40 vendors who’ll be allowed to compete for task orders over the next ten years. The new RFP responds to a successful pre-award bid protest by doing away with a scheme that would have automatically disqualified vendors whose bids DoD deemed too low — an approach GAO said was irrational for an LPTA contract. In the new version, DoD also requires vendors to propose prices for cost-reimbursable labor. (Federal News Radio)
The Military Health System said it’s delaying the release of the new electronic health record system for further review and possible modifications. MHS GENESIS will replace DoD’s legacy systems to concentrate dental and health records. It was slated to start at some hospitals and clinics by early December, but that date will likely move back by a few months. (Military Health System)
The FAA weighs in on the smartphone wars. The agency strongly advises not using or charging fire-prone Samsung Galaxy Note 7s while aboard aircraft. It also urges travelers not to pack them in checked luggage. Somewhat overshadowed by news of the new Apple iPhones is the fact that Samsung is recalling the Galaxy Note 7 and giving customers replacements. Samsung received 35 reports of the smartphone burning because of short-circuiting batteries. (Federal Aviation Administration)