Report offers a roadmap for White House leadership on innovation

  • The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has proposed a detailed set of recommendations for the White House to boost faith in the legitimacy of government by improving its effectiveness. The Washington think tank issued its latest report calling for the appointment of a chief innovation officer at the White House and suggests President Donald Trump create an Innovation Ideas Panel where industry can present problems and solutions to a small panel of federal officials.  The report also directed the White House to explicitly require innovation in the federal procurement process. (ITIF)
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has finalized a rule proposed last year but opposed by the current White House. The rule bars financial services firms from requiring customers to settle complaints by arbitration. It also means they can file class action lawsuits with all of the expenses involved. Some members of Congress have urged the White House to remove CFPB director Richard Cordray. (CFPB)
  • The Government Accountability Office has issued a report saying the Department of  Veteran Affairs approval rates for Gulf War Illness claims were about three times lower than for all other disabilities.  By its own estimates, Gulf War Illness affects about 44 percent of veterans who served in the first Gulf War. The new report, which covers the years 2010-2015 offered several possible factors for its findings, including the complexity of the medical conditions that make up Gulf War Illness claims, and the fact that only 10 percent of VA’s medical examiners have been trained to recognize those conditions.  (GAO)
  • Yesterday, we reported the VA has fired 525 workers in the first six months of 2017.  Today we learned that’s about half the rate of previous years. For example, it fired more than 2,500 employees in fiscal 2016.  Federal employee groups and experts report they’re confused by VA’s recent decision to post this information online. VA Secretary David Shulkin said the decision to post weekly reports about its disciplinary actions to the public is another step toward improving transparency and accountability. (Federal News Radio)
  • A former VA nurse has been sentenced to 38 months in prison for obtaining controlled substances by deception. Nathan Baum, a licensed practical nurse who worked in the hospice ward of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany, New York, pleaded guilty to improperly accessing syringes that contained oxycodone hydrochloride, a potent opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. (DoJ)
  • Federal officials are reportedly scrapping plans to move FBI headquarters to a suburban location. GSA officials were expected to announce the decision today.  The FBI building project has been under discussion for years, with three potential sites in Prince George’s and Fairfax counties vying for the project involving about 11,000 jobs. The plan had been slowed in recent months by a GSA demand that Congress fully fund the $2.5 billion project. President Trump did not include funding for the project in his 2018 budget.  (Federal News Radio)
  • Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) said he wants Congress to create a position to coordinate the government’s response when cyber attacks target federal workers. He said the new position would coordinate actions relating to the release of social security numbers, personal financial data, addresses and other information. The idea is part of an amendment Brown wants to add to the 2018 defense authorization bill. (Federal News Radio)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it is launching a new mobile app for prospective agents and officers to help them track their progress through the hiring process. Called CBP Jobs, the app offers frontline applicants updates about the status of their application and provides important notifications about upcoming appointments and next steps. (US CBP)
  • A top Treasury Department official under two Republican presidents has been nominated by President Trump to take a key position on the Federal Reserve Board. The selection of Randal Quarles marked President Trump’s first effort to reshape the nation’s central bank, an institution he criticized during the campaign for its low-interest rate policies and efforts aimed at cracking down on risky banking practices.  (Federal News Radio)

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