The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The White House issued guidance to regulatory agencies on how to carry out one of the administration’s first executive orders. The guidance came from Dominic Mancini, acting administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. It reiterates that agencies revoke two rules for every one they introduce the rest of this fiscal year. It covers what are known as significant regulations, those that are costly to industry. Cost calculations under Circular A-4 may include reporting and record-keeping burdens. (The White House)
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) wants the Trump administration to look at his version of the 2017 defense authorization bill for tips on where to spend more military funds. The House version of the bill authorized $15 billion more than the final version. The bill left behind extra planes and ships. Trump said he would deliver a defense budget supplemental to Congress by March. (Federal News Radio)
In the court-martial of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, prosecutors and defense attorneys are sparring over whether comments by President Donald Trump have denied the alleged Army deserter a right to a fair trial. In new court filings leading up to his April trial, defense lawyers argued the case should be dismissed under the principle of undue command influence, now that Trump is the commander-in-chief. They pointed to 40 separate remarks the President made on the campaign trail – including calling Bergdahl a traitor and saying he should be thrown from an airplane. But prosecutors said there was no undue influence because Trump was not the President at the time he made those comments, and that he was using terms like “treason” and “traitor” in a colloquial way. Bergdahl is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, and faces up to life in prison if convicted. (Federal News Radio)
The Transportation Security Administration needs to improve how it screens employees, according to a new report from the majority staff of the House Homeland Security Committee. Among the report’s recommendations, TSA should consider strategic, random screenings instead of trying to vet a large group of employees. (House Homeland Security Committee)
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants the Homeland Security Department to agree to a public hearing on the roll-out of President Donald Trump’s new immigration and border security executive orders. She said a closed briefing with DHS officials had few details to offer, and what information she did learn, wasn’t classified. (Federal News Radio)
For the 18th straight year, cybersecurity is a material weakness for the Veterans Affairs Department. The VA inspector general released the fiscal 2015 and 2016 audits of the agency’s financial statements. Auditors said while VA has improved some aspects of its cybersecurity, the IG made 26 recommendations in other areas like configuration management, monitoring system logs and employee background investigations. (Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General)
The first open source cloud platform received cybersecurity approval. The General Services Administration’s Cloud.gov platform received its cybersecurity authorization at the moderate level in less than six months. This makes the platform-as-a-service from GSA’s 18-F the second cloud offering to go through the faster but still rigorous approach to FedRAMP called FedRAMP Accelerated. GSA launched this updated approach to cloud security in March. Cloud.gov is the first open source platform to earn a FedRAMP authorization. It is now available for other agencies on a fee-for-service basis to host and update websites and applications. (General Services Administration)
Former head of acquisitions for the Army Heidi Shyu is now chairman of the board of directors for defense technology firm Roboteam. C4ISR and Networks reports David Mihelcic, chief technology officer for the Defense Information Systems Agency, will retire this month. Also, Defense Commissary Agency Director and CEO Joseph Jeu said he’s stepping down in June.
Close to 450 former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency shared their concerns about President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the EPA. A letter sent to members of the Senate shared their doubts that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is qualified for the job. The letter was organized by the Environmental Integrity Project. (Environmental Integrity Project)