The Defense Department has targeted existing procurement rules in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order to evaluate existing regulations and recommend their repeal, replacement or modification. DoD is asking for comment specifically on how the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) might be streamlined. The DFARS contains requirements of law, DoD-wide policies, deviations from FAR requirements, as well as policies and procedures that have a significant effect on the public. (Federal Register)
President Trump’s nominee to be the next deputy secretary of defense had a tough start to his confirmation hearing Tuesday. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) admonished Patrick Shanahan for dodging questions and said he might block Shanahan’s nomination. McCain was especially perturbed by one answer Shanahan gave in his written comments, in which he said he wasn’t informed enough to say whether the United States should provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine. The subject has been a matter of controversy for several years. McCain took the unusual step of telling him he should revise the 46 pages of written answers he gave to the committee before it makes a decision on whether to confirm him. (Federal News Radio)
A retired Navy captain has received a sentence of 41 months in prison for his part in the “Fat Leonard” bribery scandal. Michael Brooks was also ordered to pay more than $70,000 in restitution to the Navy. Brooks pleaded guilty in November 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in what the Washington Post called the Navy’s worst security scandal since the end of the war. Brooks, the former U.S. Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, admitted to accepting thousand of dollars in cash, travel expenses, luxury items, and prostitutes from foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis. In exchange, he admitted to providing classified material about the movements of U.S. ships and submarines, and confidential contracting information. (Justice Dept.)
A House panel has suggested military pay be increased by 2.4 percent in 2018. That’s slightly higher than what the Trump administration has recommended. The House Armed Services’ Personnel Subcommittee also wants to increase the Army’s end strength past what the Trump administration suggested. The panel wants to add 17,000 more troops to the Army’s ranks.
(Federal News Radio)
The Treasury Department has proposed several reforms for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called the CFPB unaccountable, with unduly broad powers that have led to regulatory abuse and excess. He said it has hindered consumer choice and access to credit. In a report on bank and credit union reform, Mnuchin recommended Congress overhaul and limit the bureau’s rulemaking power, repeal its supervisory authority and make it easier for the president to fire the director. (Treasury Dept.)
The House has passed a bill designed to improve employee morale at the Department of Homeland Security. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the sponsor of the bill, said it would authorize an employee engagement steering committee and career rotational opportunities. The proposed law would establish an annual awards program for top performers, while ordering a department-wide, independent review of discipline for the not-so-good. (The House)
A federal contractor has some explaining to do after a third breach of sensitive agency data. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has written to Booz Allen Hamilton CEO Horatio Rozanski, asking how the federal contractor is protecting federal data after a third breach since 2013. The letter came after Booz Allen Hamilton reportedly and inadvertently let sensitive government data, including a senior engineer’s passwords and security credentials, be stored on a public server. McCaskill asked for answers to three questions by July 26, including an explanation of what Booz Allen is doing to prevent future data leaks. (Senate Homeland Security Committee)