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FCW Insider: Dec. 19

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are scrambling to put together a new continuing resolution to keep the government fully operational until Feb. 8, according to the latest reports. The move is needed because seven appropriations bills have yet to be passed by Congress and signed into law, putting hundreds of thousands of feds at risk of furlough or working without pay after Dec. 21. The Trump administration is moving off its demand for $5 billion in wall funding, but according to spokesperson Sarah Sanders, agency heads have been instructed to look for funds that could be reprogrammed to support the wall. Adam Mazmanian has the story.

A change in the political control of the House of Representatives could mean more leverage for federal unions and a focus on workforce policies that both sides of the aisle can support. Chase Gunter explains what's in store for rank-and-file feds and managers in the second of FCW's 2019 Outlook series.

There were more than 35,000 cybersecurity incidents in federal agencies in fiscal year 2017, according to FISMA reports. A new Government Accountability Office audit of FISMA reports and other data finds that many big federal agencies aren't implementing key strategies contained in NIST cybersecurity framework. Derek B. Johnson has more.

Editor's note: FCW Insider is taking a break after Dec. 21, returning to regular weekday publication Jan. 2. We'll publish a brief email bulletin in the event that news breaks on government funding or other topics over the holidays.

Quick Hits

*** Background investigation tech is getting a refresh. The National Background Investigation Services program office, run by the Defense Information Systems Agency, is releasing an updated interface for its electronic application tool for investigations in December.

The capabilities are expected to be fully adopted by the federal government for suitability, security, and credentialing in investigations, DISA said in the release. A beta testing group of approximately 1,000 security investigators and those undergoing investigations are currently trying it out.

The initial release in October included a new web tool called eApp for electronic application for security personnel and those undergoing investigations. The tool, which is expected to replace the Electronic Questionnaire Investigation Processing or e-QIP tool, also has a position designation component that allows personnel to establish sensitivity levels and corresponding intensity for investigations. Applicants can answer investigation questions, securely store in-process applications and get validation checks throughout the process.

The December release adds interoperability between eApp and legacy systems and a function that helps automate investigation levels for applicants based on the sensitivity of their positions.

NBIS program manager Heidi Cotter said the goal is to deploy new capability sets every three months to further the Trusted Workforce 2.0, an initiative to revamp the security clearance process across government run out of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

*** Space Force is coming. The White House published a presidental memo Dec. 18 announcing the creation of U.S. Space Command as the 11th unified combatant command, to be led by a Senate-confirmed general or flag officer. The duties of the new command will be spelled out in the next update of the Unified Command Plan.

*** Christmas Eve day is once again a paid holiday for federal employees, President Donald Trump announced in a Dec. 18 executive order. The move comes as a large chunk of the federal workforce is watching to see if Congress and the president can agree on a funding package for seven outstanding appropriations bills or a continuing resolution before the clock runs out on an existing CR on Dec. 21. It's unclear what the Dec. 24 holiday would mean for furloughed workers in the event of a partial government shutdown.

*** Don't forget that Federal 100 nominations are due on Dec. 24.  Click here for more information

Posted on Dec 19, 2018 at 12:54 PM


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