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The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission plan to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate consumer protection efforts after the Restoring Internet Freedom Order is adopted. Both agencies will take different roles to hold internet service providers accountable under the order, which is expected to be adopted tomorrow. (Federal Trade Commission)
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is suspending investments in the G fund to keep the government from going above the debt limit. He said skipped investments will be restored once the limit is raised again, something that may not happen until March unless Congress decides to act before then. (Federal News Radio)
The Veterans Affairs Department has 172 human resources offices and 200 learning management systems, and yet no two VA offices hires employees the same way. Peter Shelby, VA’s assistant secretary for Human Resources and Administration, is consolidating and centralizing HR activities. He said he also wants to create centers of excellence to handle common HR services for the agency.
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin told Congress the Veterans Choice Program will run out of funding within the next month. VA is supposed to give a 30-day notice when it believes the Choice Program funding will run dry. Senate VA Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is pushing the Senate to pass his community care legislation before the year ends. Twenty-six veterans groups wrote to the Senate last week urging the body to schedule a vote and clear the bill. (Senate Veterans Affairs Committee)
A second major IT bill crossed the finish line. The Modernizing Government Technology or MGT Act became law yesterday when the president signed the 2018 Defense authorization bill. Now the hard part begins for agencies as they have to figure out how to implement working capital funds and find money to put in that bank for future IT modernization efforts. The bill’s primary author in the Senate, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), said this landmark legislation will give agencies tools to get from under legacy systems. (Sen. Jerry Moran)
President Donald Trump objected to legislation that attempts to force his administration to submit a national policy on cyber defense. The provision is part of the massive National Defense Authorization Act the president signed yesterday. In it, Congress stipulated that it would partially withhold funding from the White House Communications Agency until and unless the administration writes and submits a detailed policy on cyberspace, cybersecurity, and cyber warfare, something some lawmakers, including Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) have been clamoring for for years. In a statement, Trump called the funding restriction “unprecedented and dangerous.” (White House)
Thirty-three senior executives received reassignment memos from the Interior Department back in June. Ten of them involved geographic reassignments, which six accepted. It’s the first time Interior is making this information public after former reassigned senior executive Joel Clement sued the department for not complying with his Freedom of Information Act requests. (Federal News Radio)
While other agencies are trying to restore electricity and internet service to Puerto Rico, the Environmental Protection Agency is working on something more basic. EPA teamed up with several nonprofits to get drinking water supplies running again. The agency estimates 76,000 residents in small towns and villages aren’t connected to the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority. Instead, they use local wells. The organizations are providing generators and solar panels to power pumps, while helping to build more resilient long-term water systems. (Environmental Protection Agency)
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue challenged his employees to be the best agency in government. USDA’s reorganization effort focuses on improving customer service and giving employees the tools to help people. Perdue said the agency will need to have the best people to change the culture. (National Press Club)