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An Indiana senator is appealing directly to President Trump to relocate federal agencies out of the Washington D.C. area. A new bill from Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) would allow the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration to draft plans for moving non-national security agencies to other areas. Young says agencies could help revive smaller and struggling communities, and lower costs. Indiana is currently one of the sites under consideration for the proposed relocation of two bureaus at the Agriculture Department. (Sen. Todd Young)
The Pentagon is playing matchmaker between trusted companies integral to its supply chain and possible investors. The Defense Department is setting up its Trusted Capital Marketplace to build up vulnerable industrial bases. DoD hopes to start the venture in July, but doesn’t know how much money will be invested yet. (Federal News Network)
A new background investigation IT system under development at the Pentagon will not be ready in time for the upcoming security clearance transfer. The security clearance portfolio is set to move from the National Background Investigations Bureau to DoD by October 1. NBIB Director Charlie Phalen says DoD will reimburse the Office of Personnel Management to continue using its legacy IT systems, at least until the new system is ready. The four contracts that NBIB uses to supplement its federal investigator staff, will move to DoD under federal acquisition regulations. (Federal News Network)
For the first time ever, DoD will release statistics on suicides among military family members. The Department usually posts the number of service member suicides, but not family members. The numbers will be from 2018. Recently, Congress, DoD and other organizations have put more emphasis on the strain military families face. This new report could provide a deeper look into those issues.
The Defense Department is reallocating another $1.5 billion from its budget to pay for President Trump’s border wall. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says the funds are coming from a variety of accounts, including one that was designed to support Afghan security forces. But the Pentagon says the move will have only a minimal impact on military readiness. DoD says the latest reprogramming will fund roughly 80 miles worth of barriers on the southern border. The move follows another $1 billion reprogramming toward border construction in March. Those funds came largely from Army personnel accounts. (Federal News Network)
Being a member of the House of Representatives may soon mean you also need to be up to speed on cybersecurity matters. A new bill from Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.), would require the chief administrative officer of the House to carry out annual cyber and IT training for House members, officers and employees. They say increasing cyber attacks on every level of government justify the requirement and that it’s imperative members are able to identify possible cyber intrusions. (Rep. Kathleen Rice)
Senate lawmakers want agencies to take the next step to secure the federal IT supply chain. Agencies have spent the last 18 months focusing on the acquisition side of supply chain risk management. Now two powerful Senators are pushing on the education side. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich), the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Supply Chain Counterintelligence Training Act. The legislation would require OMB, GSA, DHS and the DNI to create a governmentwide approach to ensuring that all agency officials with supply chain risk management responsibilities are trained to identify and mitigate counterintelligence threats. (Congress.gov)
The IRS has a mandate to protect taxpayers’ sensitive information, but it may not have any idea how many third-party cyber breaches there have been. The Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration says between 2017 and 2018, cyber breaches on third-party tax service providers rose by about 50%. Last year, about 90% of taxpayers filed their returns online. (Government Accountability Office)
Postmaster General Megan Brennan shed more light on a 10-year business plan for the Postal Service. She says the plan will drill down on what universal services the Postal Service should provide, and how to pay for them. USPS reported a $2.1 billion net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2019. (Federal News Network)
A career employee was named to the number two slot at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Mark Koumans starts today as the deputy director of USCIS. Tracy Renaud, who has been acting assistant director, will go back to her job as associate director of the management directorate. Koumans has had several jobs at USCIS since joining in 2015. Earlier he was a deputy assistant secretary of Homeland Security and a long-time member of the U.S. Foreign Service. (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)