US Attorney in Virginia to head DOJ’s National Security Division

  • The Justice Department’s National Security sector is geting a new leader. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente was appointed at Acting Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division. Boente served as acting Attorney General during the transition after President Donald Trump dismissed then AG Sally Yates. He then became acting deputy attorney general once Jeff Sessions was sworn in to the top position. Boente’s resume includes convicting former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on federal corruption charges, a conviction which was later overturned. (Department of Justice)
  • The first politically appointed chief information officer was named. Richard Staropoli is returning to government to be the CIO of the Homeland Security Department. President Donald Trump appointed Staropoli last Friday to replace Luke McCormack, who left government in January. Staropoli comes to DHS after spending the last seven years as managing director and chief information security officer at Fortress Investment Group. He also spent 25 years in the Secret Service as a special agent where he served as team leader for the hostage rescue unit, the Counter Assault Team and as the chief of polygraph operations. (White House)
  • Congress reached a deal on funding the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Republicans and Democrats forged a hard-won agreement Sunday night for the over $1 trillion spending bill. The bill is expected to be voted on later this week. Right now the government is being funded by a short-term continuing resolution that runs out Friday. (Federal News Radio)
  • The federal government’s 200,000 plus building portfolio is getting a little bit lighter. The General Services Administration announced it has transferred the title of the Cotton Annex site to the highest bidder at an auction in February. Located blocks from Capitol Hill, the annex went for $30 million. GSA’s real property management is on the 2017 Government Accountability Office’s high-risk list. (General Services Administration)
  • A Georgia congressman wants the IRS to stop using private debt collectors to track down delinquent taxpayers. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) introduced the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2017. The bill proposes repealing a 2015 provision that allows the IRS to contract with private collectors. The accounts taken up by the collectors are chosen by criteria like age and lack of resources by the agency. (House Ways and Means Committee)
  • The White House’s Office of American Innovation is putting its weight behind the IT modernization effort in Congress. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said OAI offered comments during the development of his Modernizing Government Technology Act. Hurd introduced an updated version of the MGT. One of OAI’s changes was to move the centralized IT modernization fund to GSA’s Technology Transformation Service. (Federal News Radio)
  • Improving interoperability and health data for clinicians are two of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s top priorities for health IT this year. In his first public speech since his confirmation, Price said his agency will try to reduce the burdens doctors feel with health IT. He’s told HHS employees to focus on patients, people and partnerships. (Health Datapalooza)
  • The Veterans Affairs Department has a new partnership with the Energy Department. Energy is helping VA build a series of rich data sets using genetic information veterans have given to the Million Veterans Program. VA says it will use Energy’s computational skills to build a new genomic data platform. VA hopes these data sets will inform future studies on the veteran population. (Health Datapalooza)
  • The Secretary of State proposed a reduction in staffing. Just as Congress lurches toward a spending plan for 2017. Rex Tillerson is looking to align the department with the Trump administration’s plan for 2018. He proposed trimming the workforce by 2,300. That’s 3 percent. To get there, State would hire fewer diplomats. Tillerson also considered consolidating State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He promised a listening mission to hear from employees. (Federal News Radio)

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