National intelligence chief snubs subpoena of whistleblower allegations

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  • The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, is withholding a whistleblower complaint alleging serious wrongdoing within the intelligence community that may involve President Donald Trump. The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), on CBS told “Face the Nation” that Maguire declined to release the complaint because he was instructed not to by a “higher authority.” Schiff said the committee will “do everything necessary” to get the complaint. He hasn’t revealed the subject of the whistleblower’s complaint. (Federal News Network)
  • The next acting chief of the U.S. Park Police has been accused of using his role to improperly have criminal charges dropped against defendants. Gregory T. Monahan is set to take on the role this week. He previously worked for the department’s San Francisco office while based in D.C. The complaint filed by the Fraternal Order of Police details said Monahan twice intervened to have charged dropped against San Francisco employees of Presidio Trust, a federal agency that helps fund San Francisco’s Park Police through partnerships with other organizations.
  • The Justice Department has won an $8.4 million settlement from UPS for allegedly overcharging agencies for package delivery services. Justice announced the settlement after a joint investigation with the General Services Administration’s inspector general into whether UPS failed to follow the Price Reduction Clause under its GSA schedule contract. The clause requires vendors to provide the government with their lowest commercial prices. (Associated Press)
  • The Navy said it will name a new official to oversee its huge logistics, supply and maintenance enterprise. The move is partly a response to Congress, which has been pushing the Defense Department for years to pay more attention to the long-term lifecycle costs of its major weapons systems. Those long-term bills generally account for more than 70% of a system’s total price gag. The new official hasn’t been named yet, but the office he or she will occupy will officially come into existence at the beginning of October. (Navy)
  • The Navy secretary has appointed John Kroger as the service’s first-ever chief learning officer. Kroger will lead and unify all Navy and Marine Corps formal education programs. Kroger served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and was a leader in residence at the Kennedy School of Government. (Navy)
  • A new strategy from the Air Force on artificial intelligence will address the service’s use of data and the ethical ramifications of the technology. The service said the strategy is crucial to fielding a future Air Force, executing multi-domain operations and confronting threats before they reach the level of actual combat. The document said the Air Force needs to standardize data for AI algorithmic use and to cultivate a talented workforce to develop AI. (Federal News Network)
  • Agencies have even more new hiring guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM has advised agencies to review the assessments they currently use to evaluate a candidate’s skills and proficiency. Agencies should generally stay away from assessments that let applicants self-rate their own abilities. OPM has also encouraged agencies to have subject matter experts get involved in the hiring process and review applicant reviews. (Federal News Network)
  • The Postal Service has hit another financial setback with judges striking down its highest-ever price increase on stamps. The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled the Postal Regulatory Commission didn’t make a good enough case to raise the price of a first-class stamp from 50 to 55 cents in January. A Postal Service spokesman said the agency is reviewing its legal options following the ruling. (Federal News Network)
  • The Federal Aviation Administration said it is closing in on a plan to improve safety of drones operated by hobbyists. Comments close Thursday on a request for information on a program to subject recreational drone operators to a written aeronautical knowledge and safety test. The FAA extended the comment period after manufacturers, airlines, the general aviation industry and drone fliers themselves weighed in. FAA said it envisions a light touch, with local designers administering the still-to-be-developed test. Because Congress mandated the testing program in last year’s authorization, the FAA can proceed without formal rule-making. (Federal News Network)
  • A Department of Veterans Affairs program that gives tablets to veterans to use the agency’s telehealth programs is getting some recognition. Studies in two independent peer review journals said the distribution program is making a difference with veterans who live in rural areas, and veterans with social or clinical access challenges or mental health conditions. Both studies — JAMIA Open and Psychiatric Services — said VA’s program is also cutting back on missed veteran appointments and other inefficiencies. (VA)

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