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A group of Democratic senators want to remove the National Rifle Association Foundation from the list of approved charities on the Combined Federal Campaign. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J,) led nearly a dozen of their colleagues in writing to the Office of Personnel Management. They say it’s inappropriate for federal employees to donate to the NRA through a government-sanctioned donation drive. Two district attorney generals are suing the NRA for misusing funds. The 2020 CFC kicks off today.
Feds are still juggling work and childcare. But there may be an easy fix that could help. The Government Managers Coalition is calling on the administration to set up an emergency leave transfer program. The Office of Personnel Management has set up similar programs in the past after presidentially declared disasters. It allows federal employees to donate unused annual leave to a pool. Employees impacted by an emergency can apply to use that donated leave. Managers say an emergency leave transfer program might help parents who are still struggling to balance childcare and work during the pandemic. (Federal News Network)
A whistleblower at the Department of Homeland Security said he won’t testify to lawmakers behind closed doors until his lawyer gets clearance to see classified materials. Former DHS official Brian Murphy claimed the agency pressured him to suppress facts in intelligence reports which the president may find objectionable, including reports about Russian interference in elections and white supremacy threats. Murphy was originally supposed to give a deposition today to the House Intelligence Committee. (Federal News Network)
Agriculture Department Deputy Secretary Steve Censky is heading back to his old job. The agency announced Censky will leave his position on Nov. 8 to become the CEO of the American Soybean Association. He was the CEO of ASA for 21 years before joining the Trump administration. Censky has been with USDA since October 2017 and has focused on reshaping the agency to improve customer service and operational efficiencies.
More agency email is in the cloud than ever before, but meeting the governmentwide goal is still far off. Two more agencies met the governmentwide goal of putting at least 95% of their email in the cloud. The departments of Interior and Health and Human Services helped raise the overall percentage of federal email boxes in the cloud to its highest ever at 84%. But the Office of Management and Budget’s update on performance.gov shows five large agencies are standing in the way of meeting the administration’s target. The departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury and Energy made little or no progress in the third quarters, while the Social Security Administration improved by 30 percentage points.
The Air Force is holding an industry day today to explain to vendors how it plans to “transform” its acquisition process with digital technology. The event itself is all-digital, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials say they want industry to understand how the Air Force and Space Force will do business from now on: Incorporating digital engineering, agile software development and open architectures into all of their major programs.
There’s a new push from the Pentagon to speed up the adoption of 5G wireless technologies. In a new request for information, DoD said it wants more input from industry on how it can share parts of the wireless spectrum that are currently reserved for military systems like radar. The department says it wants to understand the “art of the possible” so that both military and civilian users can benefit from 5G technologies. The RFI focuses specifically on parts of the so-called “mid-band” spectrum that’s ideal for 5G deployments, but is dedicated to military use as of now.
The Army is directing its commanders and managers to immediately take precautions against possible effects from climate change. A memo from Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy instructed commanders to establish resilience measures to safeguard valuable assets and minimize readiness impacts of climate change. Leaders are supposed to implement relevant policies, plans and procedures to counteract extreme weather. Superstorms and fires have damaged military installations across the nation. The most notable is Tyndall Air Force Base, which was devastated by a hurricane. (Federal News Network)
The Federal Education Association is calling for the Defense Department to return all of its schools to remote learning. The call comes after a counselor at Fort Knox Middle/High School died of COVID-19 last week. About one third of the military’s schools are currently open to in-person classes. About 15,000 employees work for the Defense Department Education Activity.