Lawmakers say existing solutions lull data breach victims into false sense of security

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  • Three Democrats on the House Energy and Finance Committee have written to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asking it to come up with better protections for victims of cyber attacks.  Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Jan Schakowski (D-Ill.) said in their letter that current solutions lull consumers into a false sense of security. Following the 2015 breach at the Office Of Personnel Management that exposed the personal information of 21 million federal employees, the government offered victims 18 months of free credit monitoring.  The lawmakers said such services only existed for a finite amount of time, while Social Security number and other sensitive personal information gathered in a breach can be used indefinitely. (House Committee on Energy and Commerce)
  • The Government Accountability Office has recommended the Department of Defense (DoD) reassess its leadership positions responsible for the acquisition of services. GAO said while DoD established the new leadership roles in response to a 2016 GAO instruction, officials in new positions considered their new roles as secondary, did not fulfill certain responsibilities and had little effect on how DoD manages services. In fiscal 2016, DoD spent about $150 billion on service contracts — about half of its total contract spending — covering services such as program management, engineering and IT support. (GAO)
  • The Navy has awarded a $2.8 billion contract to overhaul the refueling complex for the newly-launched USS George Washington nuclear aircraft carrier. The award to Huntington Ingalls Industries, America’s largest military shipbuilder,  was non-competitive.  The Navy said it was the only private shipyard capable of refueling and overhauling nuclear powered carriers.  (U.S. Navy)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has awarded four contracts for prototypes of the southern border wall ordered by President Trump. The 18-to-30 feet tall concrete  prototypes will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for achieving the president’s goal of deterring illegal crossings along the U.S. border with Mexico. CPB expects the prototypes to be erected this fall. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
  • The General Services Administration (GSA) said it is moving to the next phase of its Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) program after success in a trial period.  It said the program will now be voluntary for contractors on the Multiple Award Schedules and/or Special Item Numbers (SINs) included in the pilot program. The TDR rule is designed to allow GSA to collect transactional-level data on purchases made through a GSA contract vehicle.  It gives the government information to craft smarter buying strategies, make smarter purchasing decisions and enhances competition. (General Services Administration)
  • A jury has convicted a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee  of bank fraud and making false statements for the purpose of obtaining loans and credit. The jury found Darryl Williams of Tallahassee, Fla. repeatedly lied about his employment with the federal government, his pay grade, his salary and his job title. He falsely claimed he was making more than $115,000 annually, when, in fact, he never received more than $60,000. The trial evidence demonstrated Williams applied for more than $140,000 worth of loans between late 2010 and late 2016, and that his false representations and fake documents were used in granting these applications. Williams was not employed by the federal government when he submitted several of the applications. (Department of Justice)

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