President Trump wants at least some barriers at southern border before ending shutdown

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  • Shutdown update: President Trump said parts of the federal government will remain closed until Democrats agree to put up more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he’s willing to call the wall something else as long as he gets a physical barrier. Around 800,000 government workers are affected by this shutdown, with many on the job without pay. (Associated Press)
  • If the shutdown goes into January, it could force the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to exempt more employees. The agency’s current shutdown guidance only lasts until the end of 2018. Under that plan, about 88 percent of the agency’s workforce is furloughed. But beyond that, the IRS Human Capital Officer will have to reassess which agency functions are exempt. Mick Mulvaney,  the Office of Management and Budget director, and upcoming acting White House Chief of Staff, told Fox News Sunday the shutdown could “very well” extend into the new year. (Federal News Network)
  • Governmentwide progress in moving email to the cloud continues to tick up.  Thirteen agencies have moved at least 95 percent of their email to the cloud, and all but two of the 24 CFO Act agencies are on their way. The Office of Management and Budget released the latest update to the cross-agency priority goals showing a total of 66 percent of all federal civilian agency email is in the cloud. Two agencies, the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration, haven’t started to move their email to the cloud. (General Services Administration)
  • USDA has hired Ernst & Young to assist with the relocation efforts of two bureaus and has released detailed criteria it will use to choose those new sites. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said E&Y will provide real estate advice and support the department’s selection process. The criteria for the new site focuses on five areas including quality of life, costs and logistics. USDA received 136 expressions of interest to house the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • The Air Force has wrapped up its third bug bounty program. Hackers from around the world found 120 separate cyber vulnerabilities during the latest challenge. The latest iteration of Hack the Air Force was open to white hat hackers from 191 countries – far more than any previous federal bug bounty. Notable exceptions were China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. HackerOne, the company that ran the competition, said the Air Force ended up paying bounties of $130,000 to 30 hackers. The Air Force said the competitions give it access to extra talent and the experience to harden its networks. (Business Wire)
  • Congress has passed the OPEN Government Data Act. The legislation requires agencies to publish all their information, using standardized, machine-readable formats. The bill also requires agencies to keep a comprehensive inventory of all their data sets, and seeks to codify aspects of the Obama administration’s 2013 Open Data Policy. (Data Coalition)
  • Legislation passed in the senate looks to shore up emergency alerts. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Thune (R-SD) and Roger Wicker’s (R-MS) new bill will explore new ways of alerting the public through online video and audio streaming services to send out emergency alerts. This comes nearly a year after a false missile alert was issued across Hawaii. (Sen. Brian Schatz)
  • The lone member of the Merit Systems Protection Board is getting a second job. President Donald Trump has asked MSPB acting Chairman Mark Robbins to serve concurrently as general counsel at the Office of Personnel Management. Robbins told MSPB employees he will have to recuse himself from some matters. The decision has been cleared by the White House Counsel Office and Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel. Robbins said lack of quorum limits potential conflicts of interest. (Merit Systems Protection Board)