News in Brief

EPA's new-old CIO, plus weapons acquisition, spyware warnings and a new role for Long

A year later, Durkin starts as EPA CIO

Ann Durkin waited a long time to post this tweet:

Originally nominated by President Barack Obama in January 2014 to be the Environmental Protection Agency's Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information and CIO, Durkin was left in limbo thanks to Senate disagreements over larger EPA issues. Renee Wynn, a career EPA official, had filled both roles in an acting capacity since July 2013.

Durkin, who was re-nominated by Obama last month, still has not been confirmed for the assistant administrator position, but EPA leaders determined that she could fill the CIO post without confirmation. That move echoes the strategy taken by the Department of Veterans Affairs with Stephen Warren in 2013, and the Defense Department's 2010 decision to restructure its CIO role so that Senate confirmation was no longer required before putting Teri Takai in the job.

GAO to DOD: Abolish unnecessary acquisition requirements

The Defense Department should get rid of unnecessary reviews and information requirements in order to speed up its process for acquiring weapons systems, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

The Pentagon "has not yet identified ways to achieve the right balance by minimizing the time spent on information requirements and reviews that contribute to its inefficient milestone decision process," GAO said.

Former NGA director Long pivots to private sector

Former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia Long has joined the board of directors at UrtheCast Corp., a Vancouver-based firm that has installed two cameras on the International Space Station. Long, the first woman to head a major U.S. intelligence agency, retired from NGA in October after more than four years at the helm. NGA's work with unclassified information allows it to be more transparent than other intelligence agencies, she told FCW in an exit interview.

Lenovo CTO: Superfish spyware confined to consumer notebooks

While the Superfish VisualDiscovery spyware found on some Lenovo PCs has damaged the company's reputation, enterprise customers have been assured the adware was confined to consumer market notebooks, GCN reports.

The company has released an automated removal tool Microsoft, McAfee and Symantec updated their software to automatically disable and remove the spyware. But US-CERT says the systems that came with the software already installed will continue to be vulnerable until corrective actions have been taken.

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