Pentagon IG examining how infectious diseases spread on ships

In today's Federal Newscast, the Pentagon’s inspector general has launched its own review into the Navy’s handling of coronavirus aboard its ships.

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  • The Pentagon’s inspector general has launched its own review into the Navy’s handling of coronavirus aboard its ships. The new evaluation focuses on how the service prevents the spread of infectious disease on its vessels – not just on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, but throughout the fleet. The Navy is conducting its own investigation of how the chain of command dealt with the outbreak aboard the Roosevelt.
  • National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel is now testing negative for COVID-19 after an initial positive testing. The National Guard says this is the second negative test Lengyel received after the first positive reading last Saturday. Lengyel read positive during a routine screening prior to attending a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting at the White House. The chief of naval operations is still in quarantine after coming into contact with a family member with coronavirus.
  • Reporting on employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs with coronavirus may look a little different. VA is tracking nearly 1,300 coronavirus cases among Veterans Health Administration employees since March. That figure may seem a little different from when VA reported in nearly 1,900 cases among VHA employees in April. VA says past numbers were based on employee self-reports and some were being duplicated. VA says it’s currently developing a system to verify employee self reports to give more accurate data. About 350 of the employees cases are considered active. The remaining 940 cases include employees who have been discharged or 14 days have passed since their last positive test. (Federal News Network)
  • Air Force Lieutenant Gen. Joseph Guastella has been appointed as the Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations. He’s currently serving as the commander of U.S. Air Force Central Command. While in that role he developed contingency plans and conducted air operations for an area encompassing 20 nations. He also served as the director of integrated air space, cyberspace, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance operations at Air Force Space Command. (Department of Defense)
  • DoD ended a 30-year-old CIO training program and lawmakers want to know why. The CIO Leadership Development Program at the National Defense University graduated 14 students last month. Not only was it a virtual graduation ceremony, it was its last one. The Pentagon decided to end the CIO training effort after 30 years and more than 1,500 graduates. Now, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers want to know why. House and Senate members sent a letter to Secretary Mark Esper asking about DoD’s plans to ensure this curriculum endures and continues to meet the military’s needs. (Federal News Network)
  • The National Archives and Records Administration awarded nearly $3 million in grants for historic preservation. Part of that funding will help compile the writings of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Martin van Buren and Abraham Lincoln. Other grant recipients will preserve some of the country’s earliest legal records. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission recommended these projects receive grant funding.
  • Federal IT leaders of innovation in the areas of security, automation and modernization can sharpen their pencils and apply for the 2020 AFCEA Bethesda Innovate IT Awards. The 13th annual Innovate IT Awards recognizes and promotes excellence in federal IT by honoring those who dedicate themselves to improving how government uses IT to serve citizens. Nominations are due by June 19.
  • Business continues for the Public Buildings Service during the coronavirus pandemic. PBS is keeping the vast majority of its construction projects going during the pandemic, and conducting virtual tours of facilities that would otherwise involve a group of 10 more people. The agency also launc hed an electronic lease platform that allows officials to sign and approve new leases. PBS Commissioner Dan Mathews says the agency has virtually onboarded new employees and sent them the equipment they’ll need to continue their work. (Federal News Network)
  • Homeland Security is issuing a new kind of temporary credential to employees and contractors who can’t physically access DHS facilities during the pandemic. The new derived alternative credentials allow employees and contractors to access DHS networks without a personal identity verification card. But they won’t give them physical access to DHS facilities. The department developed the new credential in three weeks. It’s issued 76 credentials to DHS employees so far. Employees and contractors from all DHS subcomponents who need network access or have an expired PIV card may be eligible for the new credential. (Federal News Network)
  • The Small Business Administration is about to implement new rules for woman-owned small businesses and federal contracting. The law requiring the rule change dates back to the 2015 National Defense Authorization bill. It’ll go into effect July 15. SBA says it’s been delayed by coronavirus. The new rule enables free, online certification for eligibility required to obtain certain federal set-aside contracts. It raises the net worth limit on women-owned small businesses, and institutes third-party, rather than self certification.

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