Severe cybersecurity issues found at Army medical facilities

  • A report issued by the Defense Department inspector general has found 350 known security vulnerabilities at three Army hospitals and clinics, adding Defense Heath Agency and Army officials failed to effectively protect electronic patient health information. The problems were severe enough that the inspector general said the Army should consider disciplinary action against the chief information officers at the three facilities in Maryland, Colorado and Texas, but officials declined to do so. Specifically, the report found the CIOs did not enforce the use of Common Access Cards or comply with the requirement to use two-factor authentications in accessing electronic health records. (DoD IG)
  • Senators, the Veterans Affairs Department and veteran’s organizations have started lining up behind one of two proposals to revamp veterans’ health care. One bill sponsored by Senate VA Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) would give veterans the choice of receiving all of their health care from a community. An alternative proposal from committee member Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) would authorize community care for veterans who meet certain requirements, but puts the VA as the primary care provider, with the private sector filling the gaps. (Federal News Radio)
  • The General Services Administration said it is seeking industry help in identifying ways to incorporate automation to improve the FedRAMP security authorization process across the federal government. One key component in GSA’s request for information is to better understand existing commercially available products to streamline the authority to operate (ATO) process. GSA said its goal is to reduce the time it takes to authorize an information system and reduce risk. (FedRAMP)
  • President Donald Trump’s nominee for Navy secretary has cleared the first hurdle to winning Senate confirmation. Richard Spencer had smooth sailing through the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, where he stressed the Navy’s need to adapt to 21st-century challenges. Spencer said he supports a new base realignment and closure round, and wants to give sailors more lead time for permanent changes of station. (Federal News Radio)
  • The House of Representatives has passed the Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), would strengthen protections for federal employees. It would also require agencies to track and report whether findings of discrimination within an agency resulted in any disciplinary action. It would also prohibit agencies from issuing non-disclosure agreements designed to prevent federal employees from disclosing waste, fraud and abuse to Congress, the Office of Special Counsel or an inspector general. (House Oversight Committee)
  • The House Appropriations Committee has restored much of President Trump’s proposed cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency. In releasing its appropriations bill on Tuesday, the Committee would fund EPA at $7.5 billion for fiscal year 2018. That’s roughly $500 million less than last year’s funding, but nearly $2 billion more than what the administration proposed in its budget. (House Appropriations Committee)
  • Two years after suffering a massive data breach, the Office of Personnel Management is still failing to sufficiently vet many of its information systems. An audit by the inspector general said OPM is past due on re-authorizing many of its IT systems, and for those it has re-authorized, the IG report found OPM did so in a haphazard and shoddy way. (NextGov)
  • The Senate has confirmed Neomi Rao as the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The office is tasked with reviewing executive branch regulations and Rao expected to play a leading role in implementing President Trump’s agenda for reforming government rules and regulations. She was the founder of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University, Rao won bipartisan support for her confirmation, including a group of eight former administrators who held the office before her. (Washington Examiner)

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