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Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) continues her push to hold the agency that manages the Thrift Savings Plan accountable, for ongoing complaints with the new TSP system. Norton, along with Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), requested that the Government Accountability Office conduct a “comprehensive examination” of TSP’s new online platform. Following a major system update, participants have been experiencing various issues with their accounts, including missing or incomplete account information and hours-long wait times to reach customer service.
Three decades in the making, $12 million dollars will go to Drug Enforcement Administration agents as part of a class-action settlement. The ink is drying on a sex discrimination case, after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approved a class-action settlement from 71 female DEA agents. The 30-year-old case stems from workers who cited discriminatory practices, alleging that the agency refused to assign female special agents to overseas posts. The law firm representing the employees said that the discrimination created barriers to career advancement for female special agents.
The Senate is expected to vote today on legislation meant to shore up the domestic supply chain for semiconductors. President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to pass the CHIPS Act during a virtual town hall meeting with corporate leaders yesterday. The bill would deliver $52 billion in grants and incentives to encourage companies to build chip fabrication facilities in the U.S. Those that do would also get a 25% federal tax credit. (Federal News Network)
The Justice Department announced charges in a multi-agency crackdown on health care fraud. DOJ is filing criminal charges against 36 defendants for more than a billion dollars in alleged fraudulent telemedicine, as well as cardiovascular and cancer genetic testing. The case involves providers billing Medicare for $174 million in false and fraudulent tests whose results weren’t used to treat patients. The alleged scheme also includes luring thousands of Medicare beneficiaries into getting unnecessary cardiovascular and genetic tests. The Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general’s office supported the multiagency law enforcement effort.
House lawmakers show some love for two governmentwide IT modernization funds. The IT Oversight and Reform (ITOR) fund managed by the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Services Fund are two big winners in the fiscal 2023 budget race so far. House lawmakers passed the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill that includes huge increases for both programs. The Federal Citizen Services Fund received a $60.7 million dollar increase over its 2022 budget. The ITOR fund received a $5.7 million dollar plus-up over its 2022 appropriation. Meanwhile House lawmakers approved $100 million for the Technology Modernization Fund, which is $200 million below the Biden administration’s request. (Federal News Network)
The Transportation Security Administration is updating its cybersecurity rules for pipeline operators. TSA said it has learned a lot in the 14 months since the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. The agency released a revised security directive laying out cybersecurity requirements for oil and gas pipelines. After industry complained that the previous requirements were too prescriptive, TSA said the new rules are performance-based, giving industry more room to tailor their technologies to meet different security outcomes. Since last May’s disruption, TSA said the cyber threat posed to the oil and gas sector has only intensified.
Small businesses bidders on the FirstSource III procurement from the Homeland Security Department are waiting with bated breath. That’s because DHS announced it will make a decision for phase one of the downselect by August 3. These are the companies that will move into phase 2 of the procurement that will end with award notices. DHS received 637 proposals from 325 offerors in September 2021 for the $10 billion multiple-award IT-products contract. DHS initially planned to make the awards in February, but protests and the large number of proposals pushed back their timeline.
By early 2023, agencies will have a common standard to report cyber incidents. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas directed the new Cyber Incident Reporting Council with creating rules and regulations for incident reporting across federal agencies. The council will need to provide a report to Congress by January 21. Leaders from 15 agencies serve on the council, including from the FBI, and the departments of Defense, Justice, and Health and Human Services. The committee was created by Congress in the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act and met Monday for the first time to discuss common standards for incident reporting.
NASA’s Goddard Center is on the hunt for a new leader, as longtime Director Dennis Andrucyk announced he’ll be retiring after more than 36 years working in the federal government. He stepped into the Goddard Center lead role in January 2020. As director, Andrucyk oversaw the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope and the release of its first images earlier this month. He’ll stay on as director until NASA has selected and trained a new executive.
The office of the White House National Cyber Director continues to grow in numbers. The White House announced Camille Stewart will serve as deputy national cyber director for technology and ecosystem security. Stewart was most recently Global Head of Product Security Strategy at Google. She’ll be joined by Jay Healey, who has been detailed to the White House from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to help write the Biden administration’s cyber strategy.
The General Services Administration has gained new climate expertise, as it names Jetta Wong, a former senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, to serve as senior adviser to the administrator on climate. Wong previously worked at the Energy Department and helped launch its Office of Technology Transitions to support the long-term commercial impact of DOE’s research. Wong also served on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.