New tool to help federal agencies complete annual FOIA reports

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  • It’s now easier for agencies to submit their annual Freedom of Information Act reports online. The Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy launched new tools on FOIA.gov to help agencies prepare reports, and is offering updated training for records officials this week. Agencies must submit their fiscal 2019 FOIA reports by Nov. 18. (Justice Department)
  • A new online filing system for federal employees will save the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission an untold amount of time, office space and money. EEOC expanded its online filing system to the federal workforce back in July. The private sector version of the EEOC system will save as much as seven years of work for the agency. EEOC predicts it could process an additional 3,700 cases a year with the new public portal. These savings will let EEOC shift its employees from opening the mail or making copies to higher-value work. (Federal News Network)
  • The latest Defense Department hackathon, sponsored by U.S. Cyber Command, netted more than 30 security vulnerabilities and handed out more than $33,000 in awards to white hat hackers. HackerOne, which ran the bug bounty program between Sept. 3-18, said hackers focused on content intermediaries, such as proxies, VPNs, and virtual desktops. The goal was to find places where the many external Defense network touchpoints might be used by adversaries to surveil information that is internal to the network. Eighty-one hackers from five countries, including the U.S., Canada and India, participated in this eighth bug bounty challenge. (Business Wire)
  • The Army is seriously considering a proposal that would significantly expand the responsibilities of its Cyber Command. Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, ARCYBER’s commander, has proposed a new Army Information Warfare Command – covering not just cyber, but also information operations, intelligence and electronic warfare. Ryan McCarthy, the Secretary of the Army, told reporters Monday he hasn’t made a final decision yet, but that the idea “makes a lot of sense.” He said the Army plans to conduct more analysis on the issue this fall. The Air Force created a similar command just last week when it combined the 24th and 25th Air Forces into the new 16th Air Force. (Air Force)
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology is looking for industry partners to help secure the internet of things for the energy sector. NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence is accepting letters of interest from tech companies, looking to collaborate on research and development for this project. Agency officials said they’ll accept participants on a first-come, first-served basis, but don’t expect work to begin any sooner than November. (Federal Register)
  • An industry trade association kickstarted its public sector efforts by hiring a big name federal agency chief information officer. The Information Technology Industry Council is bringing on Gordon Bitko, the FBI CIO, as its senior vice president of policy to re-energinze its public sector advocacy and strategy efforts. Bitko will join the trade association in November. He worked for the FBI for 12 years, including the last three as its CIO. In his new role, Bitko will focus on all public sector policy matters, including federal and state procurement rules and regulations, public sector supply chain risk management and security, and federal IT modernization. ITI president and CEO Jason Oxman said Bitko brings the right mix of knowledge of federal IT and procurement, and public policy issues. (Federal News Network)
  • Inaccurate procurement data has undermined efforts to meet government-wide contracting goals. The Small Business Administration’s inspector general said SBA should take steps to ensure that 23% of prime contracts get awarded to small businesses. The watchdog also warned that the agency’s Women-Owned Small Business Program remains susceptible to fraud without the agency implementing a certification process for eligible companies. (Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General)
  • A bipartisan group of House members are trying to drum up support for a new veterans preference bill. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) introduced the Veterans Preference Parity Act earlier this spring. The bill would allow Reserve and National Guard members to qualify for veterans preference when applying for a federal job. Current law limits veterans preference to military members who complete over 180 days of consecutive active duty service. Hartzler’s bill would allow all retired service members to qualify. (Dear Colleague)

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