New program lets young military truck drivers put skills to use in the private sector

In today's Federal Newscast, the Department of Transportation is letting a “limited number” of young veterans and military reservists who’ve obtained the ...

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  • The Transportation Department launched a pilot program to let military truck drivers put their skills to use in the private sector. DoT said it would let a “limited number” of young veterans and military reservists who’ve obtained the military equivalent of a commercial drivers license operate commercial trucks on domestic highways. The program is specific to 18-to-20 year olds who’ve been credentialed as truck drivers by one of the military services. Ordinarily, the department requires drivers to be 21 before they’re allowed to drive commercial vehicles across state lines. Over the next three years, DoT will compare the pilot program’s drivers’ safety records against other commercial drivers before deciding whether to expand it.  (Department of Transportation)
  • Administration officials have been busy presenting ideas for civil service modernization to the Office of Personnel Management director, chief human capital officers and Office of Management and Budget. The most recent update on says the administration also spent the second quarter of 2018 researching alternative personnel and performance management systems. OPM is also developing a new hiring tool for managers. Senior leaders signed off on the prototype and are testing it with hiring managers. (Federal News Radio)
  • The average wait time for an initial top secret security clearance took an average of 408 days by the second quarter of 2018. Secret clearances took an average of 203 days. Periodic re-investigations took 315 days, according to a new update on the Trump administration’s security clearance and credentialing initiative. The National Background Investigations Bureau did add more investigators to its workforce over the past fiscal year. (
  • Nearly 200 political positions remain vacant within the Trump administration. There are currently 13 agencies without permanent inspectors general. The Project On Government Oversight reports the Interior Department hasn’t has a permanent IG in more than nine years. The Senate has over 146 pending nominations it needs to process. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Internal Revenue Service is looking at artificial intelligence to help detect hackers and insider threats. The IRS already uses uses AI tools to help track tax refund fraud. Now the agency wants a cloud-based platform that allows it find potential threats in near-real time, based on information from its IT systems and the internet of things. The IRS put out a request for information on June 27. The agency looks to use AI to help detect more sophisticated cyber threats that conventional cybersecurity tools can’t track. (FedBizOpps)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) questioned the Small Business Administration about its vetting procedures. In letters to SBA and the Veterans Affairs Department, McCaskill raised concerns about the level of fraud found with small business loans. This comes after SBA awarded $350 million in government contracts to three men who fraudulently claimed to be service-disabled veterans and disadvantaged business-owners. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee)
  • The Defense Department released its long-awaited strategy for the war in Afghanistan. The Pentagon defined its strategy as sustaining ongoing Afghan security forces operations, supporting a durable political settlement in the country and making sure it’s sustainable over time. Major initiatives include promoting Afghan self-sufficiency in security, politics and economy. (Department of Defense)
  • The Navy’s Space and Warfare Systems Command awards a $100 million contract to Advanced Technology International. ATI will act as a consortium to draw in companies to rapidly create information warfare tools. Companies will work with the government through other transaction authority agreements. (Navy Space and Warfare Systems Command)

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