State Dept. alerts employees about security breach of email system

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  • The State Department alerted its employees about a breach of its unclassified email system. In a memo, the agency said the breach potentially exposed the personally identifiable information of about 1 percent of its employees. This comes days before a bipartisan team of senators wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about cybersecurity concerns at the agency. (POLITICO)
  • The Defense Department is becoming more proactive in its attempt to deter attacks in cyberspace. A new cyber strategy says the Pentagon will take more initiative in halting or disrupting malicious cyber activity at its source. That includes activity that falls below the level of armed conflict. (Department of Defense)
  • The State Department has not come forward with details on a case of employee retaliation yet. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said the agency ignored Democrats’ requests for documents and interviews with Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook. An agency whistleblower claimed Hook targeted career civil servants he felt didn’t support President Donald Trump’s agenda. Cummings asks committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to subpoena Hook. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • A win for transparency on Capitol Hill. Rep. Mike Quigley’s (D-Ill.) desire to make Congressional Research Service reports publicly available comes to fruition with the launch of a new website. The co-chairman of the Transparency Caucus said the Library of Congress initially will publish a limited number of CRS reports, and will have all them up by spring 2019. (Rep. Mike Quigley)
  • The Secret Service again wants to waive the premium pay cap for overtime for its employees. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said the request to waive the pay cap raises more questions about the scope of the agency’s mission. Both chairmen said they want more information on Trump’s use of Secret Service details and how it compares with his predecessors. Trump already raised the overtime limit for 2017 and 2018. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • The White House launched a new governmentwide awards program. The Office of Management and Budget wants to recognize individuals and teams of employees who go above and beyond in delivering mission results. OMB kicked off the Gear Awards program to drive a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. The administration will honor employees every May across three broad areas: mission results, customer service and accountable stewardship. OMB said agency leaders and the CXO councils, however, can highlight individuals and teams with an Gear Award as often as they’d like. (Performance.gov)
  • The Air Force is using Cessna planes to supplement the training of drone pilots. The civilian planes give drone pilots a better understanding of airspace and communication. The Air Force is now using its first batch of drone pilots who were not manned pilots first. It hopes to create new training and a new community for the drone pilots. (Federal News Radio)
  • There appears to be another delay in the recompetition of the Navy’s $3.5billion  NGEN contract. After several previous delays, the Navy had told vendors the final RFP for both portions of the NGEN contract would be out by the end of July. It did release one portion, for end user hardware, this week. But a day later, officials issued another draft RFP for service management, integration and transport — the largest of the two contracts by far. Navy officials said the latest draft reflects last-minute changes that were suggested by multiple layers of government review. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Thrift Savings Plan wants to add more stock to some participants’ investments in the Lifecycle funds. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has a 15-year plan to increase the proportion of their participants’ investments in the L-funds, in stock. The agency also wants to increase the share of international stock in the TSP’s international funds, from 30 percent to 35 percent. The TSP said the goal is to leave participants with more equity by the time they reach retirement. (Federal News Radio)