The Office of the National Cyber Director makes 17 new appointments

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The White House is bringing on more than a dozen new faces to help fill out the ranks at a new cyber directorate. The Office of the National Cyber Director announced 17 new appointments this week. The new hires include Drenan Dudley, a former Senate staffer who’s now assistant national cyber director for budget review and...

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Best listening experience is on Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Subscribe to Federal Drive’s daily audio interviews on Apple Podcasts or PodcastOne.

  • The White House is bringing on more than a dozen new faces to help fill out the ranks at a new cyber directorate. The Office of the National Cyber Director announced 17 new appointments this week. The new hires include Drenan Dudley, a former Senate staffer who’s now assistant national cyber director for budget review and assessment. Jim Halpert is now the office’s general counsel after joining the White House from law firm DLA Piper. And former State Department hand Caroline Chang is now senior adviser and executive secretary to National Cyber Director Chris Inglis. And Inglis’s office isn’t done hiring; it’s now looking for a director to lead on supply chain and technology security issues.
  • CACI wins a long-awaited contract to start overhauling the Air Force’s IT networks. Assuming it survives bid protests, the up to $5.7 billion award will let the company and its partners start work on “Wave 1” of the Air Force’s Enterprise IT as a Service project. The first wave is aimed at end-user hardware and helpdesk services. Ultimately, the Air Force wants to have vendors provide most of its “commodity” IT services. (Federal News Network)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs extends a pandemic-era program designed to help veterans financially. Veterans who owe benefit debts will have until 2023 before they have to begin paying those debts, if they can show doing so would be a financial hardship. The program, which has been in place since April 2020, was slated to expire September 30.
  • The Air Force is making moves to help out pregnant and nursing airmen. The Air Force is offering more lactation rooms for service members who need areas to pump. The service is rolling out lactation pods at three bases: Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Hill Air Force Base in Utah and Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. The pods are small, enclosed areas that are often used in airports. Robins Air Force Base has created a digital map for airmen that shows where the rooms are and how they can be unlocked. The addition of lactation rooms comes from feedback from the Air Force’s Women’s Initiative Teams. Those groups are helping the service accommodate all genders.
  • The Federal Reserve Board is taking a step toward modernizing its payment system with the expansion of its FedNow pilot. The board is preparing to enter technical testing for the service starting in September. The FedNow Service aims to enable banks and financial institutions to have instant payment services regardless of size or geographic location every day of the year. Currently, more than 120 organizations are participating in the FedNow Pilot Program.
  • The Treasury Department has settled an age discrimination lawsuit for $838,000. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approved the settlement, which goes to employees whose special discretionary 401(k) contributions were withheld in 2018 and 2019. The policy change meant that special discretionary $1,000 401(k) contributions were not made to employees earning more than $200,000 a year. Almost all of the employees impacted by the policy change were over the age of 40.
  • The Social Security Administration is struggling to document its new software development processes. SSA received high marks for many of its initiatives to move toward an agile software development methodology. But its inspector general said SSA is missing key pieces to fully make a successful transition. A new report from the IG finds the agency struggled at scaling new software code to ensure consistency across development teams. Auditors also found SSA fell short in deploying new capabilities incrementally, instead waiting for the software to match legacy applications. The IG made 12 recommendations and SSA leadership agreed with 11 of them, including creating executive-level training.
  • The Defense Department finalized a major update to the rules governing its Mentor-Protégé program. The final rule completes a nearly two-year-old mandate from Congress. DoD said it made no changes from the February proposal. The new regulations include an extension of the time small-and-large firms may enter into an agreement to September 2024. Another change would extend the time the mentor can receive reimbursement for the costs associated with the program to September 2026.
  • A panel of FOIA experts is gearing up to generate some fresh ideas for how the Freedom of Information Act could work better. Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall announced the appointment of 20 individuals to the FOIA Advisory Committee this week. New members include representatives from the Defense Department and the Department of Health and Human Services. The first public meeting of the committee’s upcoming two-year term is scheduled for September 8.
  • Plans to complete a consolidated campus for the Department of Homeland Security remain murky. The Government Accountability Office is waiting on key documents about how work on how DHS’ St. Elizabeths campus is going. GAO said a report this year from DHS doesn’t shed enough light on how the project is going from a cost-and-schedule perspective. The General Services Administration said it’s doing a planning-and-funding reset on the campus project, but that won’t be ready until February 2023. Congress has appropriated nearly $3 billion for the project, which began in 2005.
  • The Office of Management and Budget is seeking feedback on its plans to make federal data more useful for underserved communities. Its Equitable Data Working Group plans to hold bimonthly public listening sessions starting on September 15. In June, the group started a review of the statistical policy directives that ensure the federal government can compare race and ethnicity data across agencies. The group is looking for new ways to break down federal data by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, income, region and veteran status. (Federal News Network)
  • The Army said it’s looking for software that is intuitive to learn and operate as it starts the process of building new enterprise business solutions. The service wants to consolidate five business processing programs into one large system. Army officials said the Enterprise Business Solutions – Convergence program needs to be easy to learn because that will help it get online faster and lower the amount of training the Army needs to provide to soldiers and civilians. (Federal News Network)

 

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