Air Force wants to show airmen how to fuel themselves up

In today's Federal Newscast, the Air Force now has its own cooking show.

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  • The Air Force now has its own cooking show. The service launched the Nutrition Kitchen on YouTube last week. The goal is to help airmen and their families make healthy choices by teaching them new ways to cook. Each episode introduces different ways to make a classic meal more nutritious. The recipes are developed to be tasty and low-cost.
  • Customs and Border Protection is moving out on seven best practices to improve efficiency at the border. In a new report, the Government Accountability Office’s recommendations highlight ways border patrol agents can use data and take advantage of existing processes to better manage and document crossings. In response to the report CBP is planning to complete all the improvements by January 2027, with many finished by 2024. By the end of the year, the department will hire a dedicated liaison to the Checkpoint Program Management Office and start quarterly reviews of its data systems and reports.
  • The Department of Homeland Security wants to get Freedom of Information Requests out the door more efficiently. DHS is moving to a new FOIA system it said will process records requests faster. The department said the transition will be staggered across FOIA process centers to minimize disruptions. The agency said the new tools will provide DHS FOIA professionals with access to advanced e-discovery tools that are common in the private sector. The DHS Privacy Office will begin the transition in late June.
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is encouraging organizations to look beyond the password. CISA’s new “more than a password” campaign is pushing the use of multi-factor authentication. Agencies already have marching orders to adopt MFA from last year’s cyber executive order. CISA said using at least two types of authentication reduces the likelihood of a cyber attack by 99%. The agency’s new campaign includes guidance and resources for organizations looking to adopt MFA.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs told Congress it doesn’t need any more cyber expert audits. More than 1,200 employees and contractors across 60 programs already conduct oversight of VA’s technology systems and applications. Kurt DelBene, VA’s CIO and assistant secretary for information and technology, told House lawmakers their bill, the Strengthening VA Cybersecurity Act, is unnecessary. DelBene said FISMA audits, oversight by GAO and inspector general reviews already are equal or go beyond what the bill calls for. House and Senate lawmakers introduced companion bills in March requiring VA to bring in a federally funded research and development center to assess up to 10 high impact systems.
  • More than 4,000 federal employees joined the American Federation of Government Employees last month. And the trend of feds joining unions seems to be sticking, AFGE said. A union director said AFGE is routinely adding more than 4,000 members per month. In May, AFGE saw its largest net gain of union members in nearly four years. The union is also trying to organize both young workers and federal retirees to serve as mentors to new union members.
  • Bringing employees with disabilities into the federal workforce is one thing, but getting them to stay remains a challenge. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finds that in fiscal 2018, agencies exceeded a 2% hiring goal for employees with substantial targeted disabilities. But the federal government fell short of meeting a goal for 12% of new hires to have any sort of disability. The EEOC report also found federal employees with disabilities were less likely to hold leadership positions at their agency, and more likely to leave government service, both on a voluntary and involuntary basis. (Federal News Network)
  • Some Thrift Savings Plan participants are expressing frustration with an attempt to modernize the TSP website. Customer service delays, long waits and technical issues are major points of concern for TSP participants. That’s as they are looking to log in for the first time with the new My Account system. The board in charge of the TSP acknowledged the delays and told participants they are working to resolve the issues. That comes after the board rolled out a new mobile app and updated the TSP interface on June 1. (Federal News Network)
  • The House is set to consider eight small business bills this week with votes expected as soon as today. These include the Strengthening Subcontracting for Small Businesses Act that would encourage agencies to consider prior compliance with subcontracting plans as part of a prospective vendor’s past performance rating. Another bill, the Women-owned Small Business Program Transparency Act, would require SBA to provide report to Congress a host of data including the amount of contracting dollars awarded through the program and the number of certifications being issued.
  • U.S. military aid to Ukraine underscores the need for permanent watchdogs at the State and Defense Departments. That’s according to a letter good government groups sent to Senate leadership. A dozen nonprofit organizations are urging the Senate to confirm Rob Storch as DoD’s first permanent inspector general in six years. The groups also called on the Biden administration to nominate a new IG at State. The letter states permanent IGs would oversee spending in Ukraine better than giving this work to a special IG, as some senators have proposed.
  • The Defense Department pitted all of the military services against each other on a video game platform. One came out victorious. The Air Force won out in the military’s first-ever Armed Forces Esports Championship. The competition was part of a convention bringing together military, industry and academia to tackle mission support and force development issues. The Defense Department started its gaming league in 2019, which brings together more than 25,000 service members. The Pentagon uses gaming as a means of recruitment, training and as a way to build morale in the ranks.
  • The Census Bureau is making it easier for researchers and businesses to use its Geocoder tool to find addresses and other data to match geographic locations. The update includes moving the tool to the cloud and using open source software. Census said the modern technology will mean faster processing and shorter response times for its users. The Geocoder can locate all possible structure numbers even if physical structures do not exist. This is the first update to the census geocoder since 2013.

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