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A former contractor who worked with the National Security Agency, is going to prison for up to nine years after pleading guilty to willful retention of national defense information. Harold Martin of Glen Burnie, Maryland also received three years of supervised release. Martin admitted he stole government property from secure locations and computer systems for nearly 20 years, including documents in both hard copy and digital form relating to the national defense. (Department of Justice)
The pressure is on at the Defense Department’s Consolidated Adjudications Facility. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) says he’s happy with the progress at the National Background Investigations Bureau, where the security clearance backlog is at 386,000. But Warner says DOD’s CAF has its own backlog of 200,000 cases. The CAF says it’s reorganizing its staff and business processes to adjudicate and close out background investigations more quickly. It’s also deferring no-risk and low-risk periodic re-investigations to focus more on cases that need more attention. (Federal News Network)
DoD’s newly renamed security clearance agency is using upcoming policy changes as its organizational framework. Officials within the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency say the administration’s Trusted Workforce 2.0 initiative is guiding everything it does, but even those new policies aren’t quite ready for primetime yet. The DCSA says it’s building out its vetting enterprise to handle an influx of new people to its continuous evaluation program. 1.3 million people are enrolled in CE today. The agency’s new IT system will also be ready to handle new investigative tiers that are under development. (Federal News Network)
The National Defense Industrial Association wants Congress to pass a two year budget deal to avoid sequestration and possibly steer clear of a continuing resolution in October. NDIA says it supports bipartisan efforts to pass a deal and also praises the previous 2018 budget agreement for its ability to restore readiness and help the military modernize.
House and Senate lawmakers debated the need for White House involvement in the DoD cloud procurement known as JEDI. Four House Armed Services Committee members wrote to President Donald Trump encouraging him to stay out of DoD cloud procurement. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the ranking member of the committee, and three other Republicans say HASC has done enough oversight of JEDI and it is essential for national security reasons to move forward as quickly as possible with the award and implementation of this contract. The letter comes after the President said he’s heard a lot of complaints about the contract. Meanwhile two Republican Senators also wrote to the White House earlier this month asking for the National Security Council and the President to step in and delay the award. (Federal News Network)
Vice Admiral Mike Gilday has been nominated to be the next chief of naval operations. He’ll replace current CNO Admiral John Richardson. Admiral Bill Moran was originally selected for the position, but withdrew his nomination after the Navy started an investigation into his relationship with a former public affairs officer who mistreated multiple women.
There is another senior leadership vacancy in the Pentagon. David Trachtenberg had been the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy. His last day in the Pentagon was Friday. His retirement – reported by Defense News – hadn’t been previously announced, and a Pentagon spokeswoman says a replacement has not yet been identified. Trachtenberg appeared at a televised press briefing just two days earlier to announce the Pentagon was cutting Turkey off from the F-35 program because of its decision to buy a Russian air defense system. (Defense News)
NASA will gain a new associate chief information officer for transformation and data. Ron Thompson, now the CIO of the National Agriculture Statistics Service at USDA, will move to NASA on August 5. The move was announced by NASA deputy CIO Jeff Seaton. Before joining Agriculture, Thompson was a technology executive at the Veterans Affairs Department and at Health and Human Services. Earlier he worked at IRS and the Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau has exceed its early recruiting goals for hiring temporary workers for the 2020 count. But the Government Accountability Office says the bureau is taking longer than expected to run full background checks on some hires. The bureau expects to hire 400,000 temporary workers during the decennial count, like recruiting assistants, office operation supervisors, clerks, and partnership specialists. The bureau will have fewer workers in 2020 than they did in 2010, because new tech tools that have streamlined the addressing canvassing process. (Government Accountability Office)
Agency tenants not happy with their office buildings can now let the General Services Administration hear about it. GSA officials launched their 2019 Tenant Satisfaction Survey, aimed at giving federal employees at leased and owned facilities a chance to offer feedback. Comments GSA got in last year’s survey led to new lights at a federal building in Philadelphia, and heating and air conditioning improvements at a facility in Wheeling, West Virginia. (General Services Administration)
A self-styled countercultural organization and the Bureau of Land Management reached an agreement on the size of a major event. BLM’s Nevada office and Black Rock City LLC cap attendance at the annual Burning Man festival at 80,000 people. BLM issues a 10-year, special recreation permit for the festival, which occurs about 100 miles north of Reno each September in the Nevada desert. The Black Rock National Conservation Area is under BLM management. BLM staff will remain on site during the week-long festival, the agency says, to ensure safety. (Bureau of Land Management)