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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addressed the results of a recent internal survey that showed 35 percent of employees faced sexual or gender-based harassment. In a video to go along with the announcement, Zinke said he fired four senior leaders in the department for inappropriate behavior and more may be coming. (Department of the Interior)
Just 6 percent of the federal workforce received special pay authority between fiscal 2014 and 2016, according to the Government Accountability Office. Agencies can use seven different authorities to recruit and retain talent. But GAO said agencies need more guidance from the Office of Personnel Management about how to use them. (Federal News Radio)
The Defense Department published new housing allowance rates for 2018. More of military members’ housing costs will come out of their own paychecks. The new rates will take effect on Jan. 1. The rates will continue DoD’s trend of asking military members to share more of their own rent and utility costs. The calculations reflected the costs in each housing market, but this year’s edition will require members to contribute four percent of their base pay toward those costs. Despite that shift, the department said the average housing allowance will still go up by about $10 per month next year. (Department of Defense)
The Justice Department is hiring. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced two new violent crime task forces operating out of Pittsburgh and Charlotte, N.C. Project Safe Neighborhoods will include 40 newly hired violent crime prosecutors to be spread throughout the country. (Department of Justice)
DoJ will also work with the State Department to better protect intellectual property. In an effort to fight against counterfeit and pirated goods being made around the world, State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and DoJ’s Criminal Division will be placing five specialists in selected regions to provide training and technical assistance to foreign law enforcement. (Department of Justice)
A White House cyber expert heads to the private sector. Ross Nodurft will join One World Identity, an independent consulting and research company. Nodurft joined the Office of Management and Budget in 2015, and most recently was the chief of the cyber and national security team. Before that, Nodurft worked in the Senate as a staff member for the Small Business Committee and as a senior policy advisor for Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Josh Moses is expected to take over as the new chief of the cyber team.
The General Services Administration wants to hear from e-commerce experts as it moves into the first phase of a congressionally-mandated initiative to make buying some products easier. Known as the Amazon provision, Congress directed GSA in the defense authorization bill to set up more than one online portal. GSA will seek feedback at a town hall in January on initial ideas, the program’s design and buying practices. GSA also wants to know what requirements may hinder the program. The agency is tasked with developing an implementation plan and schedule within 90 days. (Government Publishing Office)
The agency that safeguards nuclear weapons dropped a big piece of property onto the private sector. It isn’t radioactive, but it is old, contaminated and unneeded. The General Services Administration transferred ownership of 300 acres in South Kansas City to a private developer. The Bannister Federal Complex was mostly occupied by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which moved out in 2014. The property is now in the hands of Chicago-based CenterPoint Properties, which has plans to redevelop it. (National Nuclear Security Administration)
Treasury dot gov received it’s first of many upgrades to come. The Treasury Department’s new website features more content and enhanced visual effects. Over the coming months, it will migrate the remaining content from it’s old site to the new one in an effort to improve navigation and functionality. (Department of the Treasury)