Coast Guard commandant voices support for transgender members

In today's Federal Newscast, while President Trump has tweeted that the military will no longer allow transgender people to serve in the military, Coast Guard C...

  • Head of the Coast Guard Commandant Adm.Paul Zukunft voiced his support for transgender members in the service. Speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event, Zukunft said after President Trump tweeted the military would no longer accept transgender troops, he reached out to all 13 Coast Guard members who have come out to reaffirm his commitment to them. (Center for Strategic and International Studies)
  • George Nesterczuk, President Donald Trump’s nominee for director of the Office of Personnel Management, withdrew his name from consideration. Multiple sources confirmed to Federal News Radio that Nesterczuk said in a letter he doesn’t want to be a distraction to the administration accomplishing its goals. Kathleen McGettigan will continue to be the acting OPM director. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Veterans Affairs Department fired the former director of its Washington, D.C. Medical Center. Brian Hawkins was demoted in April after an inspector general report found the hospital was putting veterans at “unnecessary risk.” The agency decided to part ways with him after a new report said Hawkins shared sensitive personnel information with his wife through a private email account. (Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General)
  • A prominent veterans group filed suit against the Defense Department, saying it was putting sensitive information about service members and veterans at risk. At issue is a public website run by the Pentagon’s Defense Manpower Data Center. It’s primarily designed for banks who need to verify the military service of their customers and determine whether they’re eligible for special protections. But Vietnam Veterans of America said the database goes too far by disclosing details like the exact dates of someone’s military service and the branch they served in to anyone who has that person’s Social Security number and date of birth. The group is asking a federal judge to order DoD to make changes. (Vietnam Veterans of America)
  • The Homeland Security Department is facing challenges in hiring thousands to carry out the Trump administration’s goals. It’s a long road ahead for the Homeland Security Department as it tries to hire 10,000 new immigration officers and 5,000 border patrol agents to meet the requirements of the President’s border security executive order. The DHS Inspector General said the department also needs to fill 9,600 new technical and operational support positions. But DHS doesn’t have enough human resources staff to do all of this. It has one HR position for every 148 DHS employees. The agency is planning to detail HR professionals from other agencies to help temporarily. (Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General)
  • New legislation in the Senate looks to make sure the connected devices agencies are buying are secure. The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 would require vendors selling to agencies provide IoT devices that are patchable, do not include hard-coded passwords that can’t be changed, and are free of known security vulnerabilities. (Sen. Mark Warner)
  • A much-anticipated governmentwide procurement reached the finish line. The General Services Administration awarded 10 companies a spot on the $50 billion next generation telecommunications contract called Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS). Almost two years after GSA issued the request for proposals for EIS, the agency opened the door to more than just the big four voice, video and data providers. Along with the incumbents under the current Networx contract — AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon and Level-3 — GSA brought in Harris, BT-Federal, MicroTech Telecommunications, Granite Telecommunications, Core Telecom Systems and MetTel to increase the competitive landscape. Agencies have three years to transition to EIS from Networx. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Agriculture Department highlighted breakthroughs in research and development. USDA’s latest annual technology transfer report includes 244 new inventions and 109 patent applications. Some examples, a fluorescent light that scans for salmonella, and remote sensors for testing bridge stability. (Federal News Radio)
  • A warning for Thrift Savings Plan participants, the Securities and Exchange Commission said the Federal Employee Benefit Counselors, advertising itself as a consulting company to help federal employees make decisions about their retirement, is a scam to get TSP participants to roll over funds from their accounts to a privately issued variable annuity. The SEC said the company is acting as if it’s affiliated with the government and the TSP. (Securities and Exchange Commission)

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