CBP and ICE’s unauthorized security detail

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Executives with Customs and Border Protection, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, created internal security details without proper authorization. A report from the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general found CBP and ICE have been providing agency leaders with security, even though they were never given the legal authority to do so. The review was sparked by whistleblower complaints. The...

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To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe on PodcastOne or iTunes.

  • Executives with Customs and Border Protection, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, created internal security details without proper authorization. A report from the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general found CBP and ICE have been providing agency leaders with security, even though they were never given the legal authority to do so. The review was sparked by whistleblower complaints. The IG said providing the manpower and logistics for the illegal security cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General)

 

  • One House lawmaker wants the Office of Personnel Management to keep a closer eye on agencies using early buyout or retirement offers. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) plans to bring it up with acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan. His letter is still circulating the House to generate more interest. The Small Business Administration’s past troubles with VERA-VSIP sparked Luetkemeyer’s interest in the topic. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity seeks input on federal elections. The commission asks for comments on election laws, policies, and processes, as well as any vulnerabilities in the voting system. It also wants to know what laws and policies are making elections better. Comments are due by Dec. 21. (Federal Register)

 

  • Agencies have to do more work to prepare for the transition to the new telecommunications contract. They may be no better prepared to transition to the new telecommunications contract called Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions than they were for the current 10-year-old Networx contract. The Government Accountability Office reports the General Services Administration didn’t fully explain all 33 lessons learned from the Networx transition. That effort took 33 months longer and cost $66 million more than expected. GAO also finds among the four agencies it reviewed, incomplete asset inventories and only partial transition plans. (Government Accountability Office)

 

  • The Navy’s $3.5 billion NGEN contract with HP is about to get a little larger. The service announced late last week that it intends to issue a sole source contract, extending its existing agreement with HP to operate the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet for an additional 23 months. The notice came just after the service said it had decided to delay the planned recompetition for the NGEN contract until the end of 2018 in order to allow more time for talks with prospective vendors. Navy officials are planning a media briefing for later this week to offer more details on the massive IT contract. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • Navy sailors will get protected sleep hours starting in December in an effort to cut back on collisions. Ships will be required to work in circadian rhythms that give sailors predictable schedules. The Navy said the new schedules are better for sailors’ health and keep them more alert. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s use of chartered jets is now being reviewed by HHS’ inspector general. The IG said it’s seeing if Price’s use of private planes violated government travel regulations. Price said he will stop traveling that way in the meantime, but maintains the flights he booked were necessary for official business. (Associated Press)

 

  • The process of relocating an employee has gotten smoother for the Veterans Affairs Department. A new report from the Government Accountability Office reviewed the agency’s use of an Appraised Value Offer, which is when a relocation management company buys a relocating employees house if it can’t sell it in time. GAO said the idea has seen success, but VA doesn’t know if it’s helping retention. (Government Accountability Office)

 

  • Three agencies put their heads together to help the U.S. Virgin Islands get drinking water. Hurricane damage rendered the island’s public water systems inoperable. Now the EPA, citing a provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act, gives FEMA and the Defense Department authority to install and operate a temporary water treatment plant. Walter Mugdan, EPA’s Region Two acting deputy administrator, said the agency bypassed local authorities because storm damage has made it nearly impossible to communicate with them. (Environmental Protection Agency)