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Eight members of Congress want the Government Accountability Office to look into the Interior Department’s decision to reassign 33 senior executives. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), along with Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-S.D.) were among the members who signed the letter. The Interior Inspector General is already reviewing the reassignments. (Sen. Maria Cantwell)
A lawsuit involving the Trump Hotel has gotten the go ahead to move forward. The lawsuit claims payments from foreign governments to the hotel benefit President Donald Trump’s family business, and violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Maryland and D.C. filed the lawsuit, claiming the Trump Hotel puts local hotels at an unfair disadvantage. The Trump Organization, the defendant in the case, asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. (Federal News Radio)
Some employees at the Environmental Protection Agency have to find a new office. EPA offices in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. suffered a water leak, forcing staff to be relocated. The General Services Administration said it brought in a water remediation contractor to remove the water that same day. GSA said the work will continue until the affected area is available for use once again.
The Chief Information Officers Council is seeking to give agencies a new sandbox to play in. The Small Business Administration is testing a platform that would allow agencies to pilot new technologies and methodologies. The CIO Council’s Innovation Committee provided the funding for SBA to create this innovation sandbox. The platform is an infrastructure-as-a-service capability that lets agencies perform statistical experiments in a secure, cloud-based environment. SBA said the sandbox enables cross-agency collaboration to test hypotheses and share the findings, data and experiences. Based on the pilot, the CIO Council will decide if a governmentwide sandbox is feasible, as well as identify best practices for others to create their own sandbox. (CIO Council)
The American Federation of Government Employees said it won’t back down until the Education Department agreed to return to the negotiating table over a new collective bargaining agreement for its employees. AFGE Education leadership said employees are receiving inconsistent messages since the department decided to implement new terms. The agency’s document doesn’t include more than 36 previously-agreed to articles on telework, performance management and filing a grievance. AFGE Council 252 President Claudette Young said some Education employees are being told not to telework, while some are allowed to continue. (Federal News Radio)
The Army is getting rid of multiple-choice questions in all of its education classes. Questions will now focus on writing. The service is making the change so soldiers can earn college credits for their work and to make them more adept leaders. The service is also making credentialing classes more accessible to soldiers. (Federal News Radio)
President Donald Trump nominated James Anderson as assistant secretary of Defense for strategy, plans and capabilities. Anderson is currently the vice president of academic affairs at the Marine Corps University. He previously served as the director of Middle East policy in the office of the secretary of defense. (White House)
The firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin means continued uncertainty on many fronts. If confirmed to replace Shulkin, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson faces a long agenda he will not have set. Jackson would need to deal with the controversial Choice program for outside care, VA’s ungainly facilities inventory and a multi-billion dollar project to replace its decades-old electronic health record. Plus VA has 40,000 job openings it’s been unable to fill. Some veterans service organizations question Jackson’s qualifications. (Federal News Radio)
A former FBI agent is charged with sharing secret documents to the media. Former agent Terry Albury faces two counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information. The Justice Department claims Albury shared details on how the FBI assesses confidential informants to a reporter sometime between February 2016 and January 2017. (Federal News Radio)