Lawmakers ask if other political appointees using private email accounts

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Two House lawmakers want updates on agencies’ policies and directives about the use of email. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent letters to agency leaders after it was revealed White House senior officials used personal email accounts to conduct government business. They want to know...

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  • Two House lawmakers want updates on agencies’ policies and directives about the use of email. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent letters to agency leaders after it was revealed White House senior officials used personal email accounts to conduct government business. They want to know if any other executive branch appointees have used their personal email for official duties. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

 

  • Federal employee compensation was 80 percent higher than the average private sector wages and benefits in 2016. That’s according to the Cato Institute. It’s the latest study comparing federal employee pay and benefits to the private sector. Cato used Bureau of Economic Analysis data to compare average federal civilian wages with private-sector employees. Cato said Congress should consider cutting the defined benefit retirement pension and privatizing more federal jobs. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new site for service members. The site focuses on the FTC’s Military Task Force and the resources it offers to military members and their families. FTC said more than 100,000 service members, veterans, and military retirees, filed consumer complaints in 2016. (Federal Trade Commission)

 

  • The Defense Department said it will do whatever Puerto Rico needs to help it recover from Hurricane Maria, amid criticisms that the response so far has been woefully inadequate. The Pentagon said Monday that as part of the relief efforts, the Army is sending eight helicopters from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, two Navy ships are conducting medical evacuations and Air Force experts are helping the Federal Aviation Administration repair air traffic control facilities. But in a statement, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said the scale of the response was a “disgrace,” considering that 3.5 million Americans are without power and other utilities. At a minimum, he said, the government needs to appoint a three-star general to lead DoD’s assistance mission. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • Some more numbers on what the military is doing in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria tore through the region. The USS Kearsarge amphibious ready group conducted eight medical evacuations, 123 airlifts and delivered more than 22,000 pounds of food. Marine and Navy teams are also helping to clear roads and airfields.

 

  • The Education Department is going to invest heavily in STEM education. Within 30 days of Congress passing final appropriations, the Education Department will identify at least $200 million to promote science, technology, engineering and math education. President Donald Trump issued a memo Monday directing Education to identify the grant programs to which the STEM priority will apply. The secretary also will estimate the total amount of the grant funds that will support high-quality STEM education. The goals of the focused grant funding are both for helping students as well as for recruiting and training teachers. (White House)

 

  • A data breach at Deloitte could potentially impact federal agencies. The Guardian reports hackers were able to infiltrate the major accounting firm’s email system. The system contains sensitive information from many corporations as well as U.S. government agencies, though Deloitte is not revealing which ones. (The Guardian)

 

  • Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton faces the Senate Banking Committee today, and could face tough cybersecurity questions. Clayton will detail the chain of events leading to his disclosure last week of a 2016 breach of the SEC’s Edgar system. That’s where public companies upload financial information. He’ll promise to hire more cybersecurity staff. But Clayton will testify, he’s not confident investors have enough information yet, to fully understand what he’ll call substantial risks caused by the breach. (Senate Banking Committee)

 

  • A federal agent along with two Colombian nationals is charged with conspiracy and corruption. According to the Justice Department, Special Agent Christopher Ciccione with Homeland Security Investigations accepted $20,000 along with gifts and prostitutes in exchange for ensuring the dismissal of an indictment against one of the Colombian individuals, who DoJ said is a cocaine trafficker. (Department of Justice)

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