Audit finds deficiencies with DHS data security

  • After an audit from the firm KPMG, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general said the agency’s CIO and acting CFO need to work to improve DHS’ financial management systems and IT security programs. KPMG found problems with both leaders’ respective offices’ ability to ensure data they collected was not compromised. (Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General)
  • The Census Bureau waits for President Donald Trump to fill key leadership positions. Members of the Senate warned him in a letter that current bureau Director John Thompson’s departure will leave a leadership vacuum at the agency just as critical preparations begin for the 2020 census. The bureau is also in need of a presidentially-appointed deputy director. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee)
  • Meanwhile, leadership roles at the Small Business Administration are being filled. SBA Administrator Linda McMahon announced new members of her executive team. Christopher Pinkerton will serve as general counsel, and Patricia Gibson will be the associate administrator for the Office of Communications and Public Liaison. (PRNewswire)
  • The EPA has revised its approach to setting annual renewable fuel volumes. For only the second time since Congress established the Renewable Fuel Standards law, the EPA will reduce the amount the bio-fuel industry is required to supply, to be mixed in with regular refined fuel. Regular ethanol will stay the same levels. But next-generation cellulosic biofuels would fall. Meanwhile, the EPA has launched a technical analysis to see whether new sources of biofuel qualify for the program. (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Looking for places to cut, the Senate Armed Services Committee is considering the basic housing allowance for a second year in the row. This year’s Senate defense authorization bill cuts back the amount of housing allowance dual military couples receive. The cut could mean hundreds of dollars less a month for dual military couples. (Federal News Radio)
  • Some recommendations from the Veterans Affairs Commission on Care are beginning to show up in new pieces of legislation. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced a bill to establish a chief information officer position specific to the Veterans Health Administration. That was one of the main recommendations from the Commission on Care. Another bill from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) suggests the VA secretary implement some of the organizational and managerial changes to VHA the commission suggested. (Federal News Radio)
  • Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) is sponsoring a bill that requires the government to only buy domestically made American flags for federal use. The bill is getting bipartisan support with more than 30 cosponsors signing on since the bill dropped in late June. The bill sits in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and is waiting for review. (
  • An Army sergeant is charged with destruction of government property related to a Youtube video (Warning: contains adult language) showing three Humvees plummeting to the ground during a 2016 training operation in Germany. Stars and Stripes reports the charges against Sgt. John Skipper suggest authorities believe an equipment malfunction was not the reason the vehicles slipped from their parachute harnesses. (Stars and Stripes)
  • The Air Force says all of its personnel are safe after an explosion and fire at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Officials at the base near Pensacola ordered evacuations and a brief lockdown of the entire installation following a Wednesday morning explosion at a climate laboratory there. Early concerns surrounded the presence of a potentially dangerous gas — methyl chloride — but by noon, officials said the gas had dissipated and lifted a shelter-in-place order. The lab uses the refrigerant as part of its work to simulate different climate conditions around the world, including to subject weapons systems to cold-weather testing. (Federal News Radio)


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