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The Army, Navy and Air Force now must have senior positions for basing and environmental affairs. As part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated an assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment in each of the services. The decision has been left up to the services until now. The change was prompted by the Navy’s aborted effort last year to eliminate the position. Officials wanted to replace it with a new assistant secretary for information management, but backed down after pushback from Congressional leaders.
Most civilian federal employees are starting out 2020 with a pay raise. However, some feds who are already close to the top of the pay scale are not. On average, feds will get a 3.1% bump in their next paycheck. But a growing number of GS-15 employees won’t see the full raises since their salaries are capped. See the full list of localities affected by pay compression and how it’s changed over time at www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Congress is allowing $10 million in funds for two prize challenges directed at detecting deepfakes and furthering 5G technologies. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity will run the challenges. Each challenge will be worth $5 million. Deepfakes are videos and other media manipulated by a computer to make it look like a celebrity or politician said something they actually didn’t say. The technology is being used to interfere in elections and sway public opinion. (Federal News Network)