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Pressure builds on the Agriculture Department to give more information about moving two of its offices. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) wants the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture to hold a joint hearing to examine the legality of USDA’s proposal to move the Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture out of the nation’s capital by the end of 2019. Norton also calls on appropriators to include a provision in the upcoming spending bill to prohibit USDA from carrying out the move. (Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton)
Hurricane Florence could prompt the Federal Emergency Management Agency to activate the Surge Capacity Force, a volunteer corps of federal employees from across government to support FEMA’s response. Jeff Byard, FEMA’s assistant administrator for response and recovery, said the agency stands “ready and poised” to activate it after a successful use in 2017. (Federal News Radio)
Military bases in the path of Hurricane Florence are beginning to evacuate and move equipment to other areas. Bases in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia release active duty, reserve and civilian personnel. Naval ships will sail out to the Atlantic Ocean to avoid the storm, while aircraft are being located inland. (Federal News Radio)
The Marine Corps’ largest East Coast base has decided not to evacuate its personnel ahead of Hurricane Florence. The decision by officials at Camp Lejeune came Tuesday afternoon, despite the fact that the installation is directly in the hurricane’s projected path and that some local governments in the area have already issued mandatory evacuation orders. The base commander said he is confident that Lejeune’s structures can withstand the storm, and that the installation can produce its own power and water if needed. (Federal News Radio)
Congress’ latest budget appropriations agreement leaves a few unanswered questions for the Veterans Affairs Department’s new community care program. Conferees decided on nearly $2 billion to fund VA’s new requirements under the MISSION Act. Republicans and the Trump administration said they can fund the rest of the program through cuts to other federal and veterans programs. But Democrats said Congress should adjust the budget caps to pay for the program. Lawmakers have not settled on a solution past 2019. (Federal News Radio)
Looking for work? The Census Bureau is hiring. The agency launched its job website for the 2020 population count and streamlined the online application to take about half an hour. Census expects with a lower unemployment rate now, it will have a tougher time finding temporary workers than in 2010. (U.S. Census Bureau)
The Transportation Security Administration reports progress is keeping screening lines short during a record-breaking summer. TSA Administrator David Pekoske credited better technology and cooperation from airports. The agency screened more than 250 million passengers during the Memorial Day to Labor Day season, and that 97 percent without pre-clearance status waited less than 20 minutes in line. The agency added 1,600 officers to checkpoints. In the week before Labor Day, screeners found 67 loaded guns in carry-ons. (Transportation Security Administration)
The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council said agencies face organizational, resource, and technical challenges when implementing identity and credential systems. Users find they still lack proper funding and expertise to solve identity management issues. Agencies claim jurisdictional challenges make current policy confusing. ACT-IAC interviewed agency and industry identity credential access management users about their current challenges.
Artificial intelligence is providing the intelligence community a better way to sift through the mounds of data they collect. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence launches a new umbrella concept to spread the use emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning across the intelligence community. The goal of AIM, or augmenting intelligence using machines, is to automate routine functions so collectors and analysts can spend more time understanding the data. ODNI is collecting current AI and machine learning projects from other IC agencies, including the NSA and the NGA, and bringing them under the AIM umbrella so others can take advantage of the capabilities.