Federal judge’s ruling allows Mulvaney to take over CFPB

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  • A victory for the Trump administration, as a federal judge has ruled against Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Deputy Director Leandra English. English had filed a restraining order against the Trump administration to stop the president from appointing Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as CFPB’s new director. Both Mulvaney and English had claimed to be the rightful acting director, each citing different federal laws. (Associated Press)

 

  • The chances of a government shutdown could be on the rise. President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) traded insults over Twitter, which led to Democratic leaders canceling a meeting with Trump. Pelosi said they will work with Republican colleagues on the hill. However, Trump tweeted he “doesn’t see a deal.” (Federal News Radio)

 

  • Federal auditors have urged improvement of a tax fraud program. The Government Accountability Office recommended the IRS increase state outreach for the public-private pilot, which shares information about fraudulent activity. GAO also said the tax agency needs to set better standards to determine the pilot’s effectiveness. (Government Accountability Office)

 

  • A few thousand Thrift Savings Plan participants make the same mistake toward the end of every year. They contribute too much, too early, and max out their annual contribution limit before receiving a matching contribution from their agencies at the end of the year. The TSP agency is looking for a way to help participants avoid the mistake. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • Agencies may have to wait a bit longer to use a new IT services contract. Four unsuccessful bidders lodged protests with the Government Accountability Office over not being included on the Alliant 2 IT services governmentwide acquisition contract. Capgemini, Harris IT Services, Compuline and the Centech Group submitted complaints to GAO in the last week after being left off of the General Services Administration’s $50 billion vehicle. GSA awarded 61 large businesses a spot on the IT services contract on Nov. 17. It received more than 170 bids. GAO has until early March to make a decision on the protests. (Government Accountability Office)

 

  • A federal judge told the Pentagon that military services must accept new transgender recruits starting Jan. 1. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly clarified her earlier ruling that partially blocked President Donald Trump’s transgender policy. In that ruling, she said the administration had provided no solid evidence for why a ban should be implemented. (Think Progress)

 

  • A private cybersecurity company said it’s found a trove of classified defense information online. The firm, Upguard, said some of the data was marked top secret, others marked “NOFORN,” meaning it couldn’t be shared, even with the U.S.’s closest allies. It appears to have been produced and maintained by the Army’s Intelligence and National Security Command, and was found on a publicly-accessible cloud service. The firm said it notified the Army about the breach two months ago and was told the problem had been fixed, but it’s unknown whether any foreign adversaries downloaded the data while it was still in the cloud. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • What is the future of electronic warfare? A group being formed by the Air Force plans to study the subject. The branch is setting up an enterprise capability collaboration team to look into electronic warfare from 2030 and beyond. The Air Force already has a collaborative team focused on air superiority and multidomain command and control. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Steve Wilson said the team is long overdue.

 

  • Air Force officials admit the service neglected to report dozens of service members charged with or convicted of crimes to the federal gun background-check database. The Washington Post reports the branch’s failure to report the arrest of mass shooter Devin Kelley to the FBI was not an isolated incident. A review is being done by the Pentagon and Justice Department. (Washington Post)

 

  • The Veterans Affairs and Defense departments celebrated the 10-year anniversary of a program both agencies created to help transition 188,000 service members back into civilian life. Both departments created the Integrated Disability Evaluation System to streamline the disability evaluation process for wounded, sick and injured military members. It once took service members 500 days to navigate separate VA and DOD systems. Now, average processing times are down 40 percent. (Department of Veterans Affairs)

 

  • The National Academy of Public Administration said the Maritime Administration, or MARAD, should craft a mission statement, streamline business operations, and become more transparent. In its just-completed review, NAPA said MARAD struggles with its commercial shipping related work. And problems at its Merchant Marine Academy mean it’s not producing enough credential mariners. The NAPA team has 27 recommendations for the Maritime Administration to improve. (National Academy of Public Administration)

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