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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the FBI and ATF to take a look at issues with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. He wants them to work with the Defense Department to resolve any problems with the military’s reporting of convictions, and see if any agencies are neglecting to accurately report information to the system. (Department of Justice)
Federal retirees still can’t donate to the Combined Federal Campaign. They were supposed to be able to donate for the first time this year. But the CFC’s online donation portal isn’t ready yet. The Office of Personnel Management said it’s still waiting for the proper clearance to collect information from retirees. Annuitants won’t be able to donate to the campaign until OPM gets approval, and activates the donation function for retirees on the CFC donation site. The campaign ends Jan. 12. (Federal News Radio)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has introduced a bill to let veterans choose between a Department of Veterans Affairs or a private-sector doctor without getting pre-authorization from the VA. The bill would essentially create a veterans health insurance program to let veterans use their VA benefits either in or outside of the department’s system. In the meantime, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is voting this week on new legislation that would redesign the current VA Choice Program. (Rep. Doug Lamborn)
With the possibility of a government shutdown, the National Treasury Employees Union hopes Congress can work something out. NTEU National President Tony Reardon has called on legislators to make sure government services stay open as the Dec. 8 budget deadline draws near. Reardon said the new spending bill should be a resolution that addresses funding for the rest of fiscal 2018.
The Census Bureau wants to know how to sort its research information so that it’s readily available. It issued a sources-sought notice, looking to learn more about how industry handles research libraries, as well as access to phone and written advisory services for executive-level users and subject matter experts. (FedBizOpps)
High-priority IT projects could be falling through the cracks at the Office of Management and Budget. A new study from the Government Accountability Office claims OMB is not meeting program reporting requirements for its most important IT projects. The report said OMB misinterpreted a congressional directive involving similar reporting requirements for the U.S. Digital Service. Some of the high-priority IT programs include the 2020 Census, Healthcare.gov, and electronic health records and scheduling appointments at the VA. (Government Accountability Office)
Uniforms worn by Homeland Security Department employees and its component agencies appear to be mostly foreign made. Fifty-eight percent of DHS uniform items come from other countries. The Government Accountability Office pointed out that the 2009 Kissell Amendment requires DHS procure uniforms from U.S. manufacturers. However, the amendment affects only a limited amount of procurements. (Government Accountability Office)
A bizarre legal fight has broken out over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Donald Trump has appointed White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting chief of the CFPB following the resignation of Richard Cordray. Cordray had named Leandra English as interim director last week. Now English, citing the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the bureau, has sued the Trump administration. She wants a restraining order to block Mulvaney. The Justice Department cited the Federal Vacancies Reform Act in support of the White House. (Federal News Radio)
The next two years could be more successful for the United States’ effort in Afghanistan. The top general in charge of the war said he thinks he can help Afghan troops drive back the Taliban to control 80 percent of the country within the next 24 months. The Afghan government currently controls about 66 percent of the country. The U.S. has been involved in Afghanistan for 16 years now. President Trump recently added about 3,000 troops to the Afghanistan war, bringing up the total number to about 14,000.