A package of oversight bills was voted out of the House during the early days of the 115th Congress. Some of the bills are similar to previous legislation that didn’t make it out of the last session. The bills include more access to information for government watchdogs, as well as protections for whistleblowers.
The Senate had a busy weekend, passing five major pieces of legislation that will impact veterans, inspectors general, FBI whistleblowers and others before the close of the 114th Congress.
A provision in the 2017 National Defense Authorization creates new categories of administrative leave: “investigative” or “notice” leave. Employees under an adverse personnel action investigation may stay on leave for 10 work days.
While Republicans clinched the White House and both congressional chambers, government pundits say it’s important that both political parties support the federal workforce and government, especially in the D.C. area.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is concerned about four agencies that had particularly high retirement processing error rates in September. The Social Security Administration and departments of Agriculture, Interior and Veterans Affairs topped the list. Congress now wants the Government Accountability Office to review the process that agencies and the Office of Personnel Management each use to review a retirement claim.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen took responsibility for his decisions and actions during a congressional investigation into the agency’s involvement in targeting of political groups. But he said impeachment would not be appropriate.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says agencies need to shift in a post-OPM data breach world to a new cybersecurity model.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously approved the Transit Benefits Modernization Act to let federal employees in the D.C. metro area user “digital transportation companies” such as Uber or Lyft, to get to work during the subway repair effort.
Outdated IT infrastructure and a deficit of skilled cyber workers are just some of the challenges faces the federal government as it goes to battle in the ongoing cyber war.
A new report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s majority members links the 2014 and 2015 OPM breaches as coordinated attacks, and blames the agency’s failure to heed warnings about its cybersecurity for the theft of PII of millions of federal employees and their families.