Senate approves bill to take on government card fraud

In today's Federal Newscast, a new piece of legislation to root out waste, fraud, and abuse with government credit cards gets through the Senate.

  • The Senate approved legislation cracking down on misuse of government purchase and travel cards. The bipartisan bill directs federal agencies to share information on fraud schemes. Also, the General Services Administration has to review its existing database on card purchases and help agencies scan their data for potential waste and abuse. (Sen. Tom Carper)
  • The Internal Revenue Service is setting customer service goals. Freer phone lines, more self-assistance, and increased access for tax professionals are just a few areas the tax administration will be focusing its efforts. Officials said they will also engage more with industry to try to speed up delivery of IT security tools. (Federal News Radio)
  • Turnover in the chief information officer role for the military services is continuing this summer. The latest CIO to head out the door is Rob Foster from the Department of the Navy. A Navy spokeswoman confirmed to Federal News Radio that Foster’s last day is Aug. 19. He will be joining the National Credit Union Administration as its deputy CIO. The Army and Air Force also recently named new CIOs. Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford took over as CIO/G6 for the Army. Lt. Gen. Bradford Shwedo became the Air Force CIO in June. (Federal News Radio)
  • Contractors working with the Navy will get more time to transition to new access cards for gaining entry on bases. Former acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley ordered a review of the Defense Biometric Identification System. Contractors were supposed to transition to the system by Aug. 15. They now have until the review is finished. (Federal News Radio)
  • More than 1,000 senior enlisted supervisors with the Navy could be shipped out soon. The military branch announced a new policy to create more efficient manning levels at sea. The Navy said there are currently 25 ratings overmanned ashore and that more than 1,100 supervisors will be able to be transferred to operational units in the next several months. (Navy)
  • Speaking of military bases, recreational drone operators would be wise to steer clear of them. The Pentagon said it has provided guidance to the services and their installations about the use of unmanned aircraft systems flying over or near military bases. It could get you in trouble with the law and severely damage your drone, as Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the bases do retain the right of self defense. Davis said this new guidance gives defense leaders the ability to take action to stop any threats posed. (Department of Defense)
  • Four Democratic House members expressed concern about what they called the secrecy of the White House’s Regulatory Reform Task Forces. They wrote to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Neomi Rao alleging the task forces have operated in private, without public input. The lawmakers said some agencies have refused to release basic information about their activity or maintain a record of their meetings as required by the Federal Records Act. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • The Senate confirmed former chief privacy officer for Lockheed Martin, Jim Byrne, as general counsel for the Veterans Affairs Department. Also, former Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack returned to the firm Ernst and Young as an executive director. (Lockheed Martin) (Ernst and Young)
  •  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke revised policy on protection of a bird found in western states. Zinke told Interior agencies to implement a new plan for managing conservation of the sage grouse. It eases rules for mineral leases on federal lands where the species lives. And it gives states more responsibility for managing their sage grouse populations. Zinke’s plan developed by a multi-agency task force replaces a more restrictive plan from the Obama administration. (Department of the Interior)

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