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FCW Insider: June 19

Steve Kelman praises the motivation behind a new fellowship program for young government cyber hires that promises college loan repayment for participants, but he worries that the incentives don't reward long government service. Learn more about the new hiring program for cyber.

Two longtime federal procurement experts argue that Congress has yet to get serious about retiring the nation's antiquated information technology. In an FCW commentary, Michael Garland and Gaurav Pal make the case for naming a federal IT czar with broad authority to modernize government tech.

In yet another tweet heard round the world, President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Patrick Shanahan, the acting secretary of defense, was withdrawing his name from consideration for the top Pentagon job and that Army Secretary Mark Esper was taking over on an acting basis. It later emerged that domestic violence issues that emerged during Shanahan's vetting led to his resignation. Adam Mazmanian has more.

The defense top-line budget will be a point of contention between the Republican-led Senate and Democrat-led House as they resolve their differences with the 2020 defense authorization bill, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said on Tuesday. Lauren C. Williams has the story.

Quick Hits

*** The Federal Aviation Administration has been meeting weekly with the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection to help establish anti-drone capabilities at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to Angela Stubblefield, deputy associate administrator at FAA's Office of Security and Hazardous Materials. Stubblefield told a Senate Commerce Committee hearing June 18 that the agencies are working through details of implementing the capability, such as defining the threat in the area and its impact on spectrum there. DHS was granted authority to take down drones last fall by Congress.

*** The E-Verify system used by employers to check the work eligibility of current and prospective employees is getting a link to a nationwide police database to check drivers' license information. According to a privacy impact assessment released June 18 by DHS, drivers' license data from the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System will be transmitted via the DHS Enterprise Service Bus to tell E-Verify end users whether an applicant matches up to data hosted by NLETS. According to the privacy assessment, DHS has minimized data collection by E-Verify.

*** In a June 17 letter to President Donald Trump, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) say the federal government is losing out on billions of dollars in potential savings and foregoing needed reforms by failing to put in place permanent inspector general offices at the Departments of Defense and Education, the Central Intelligence Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Personnel Management, Export-Import Bank and Tennessee Valley Authority.

The senators cite 2013 findings by the House Oversight Committee that agencies with temporary or acting IGs in place are substantially less likely to implement or close out recommendations contained in audits.

*** Two senators on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee are sponsoring a new bill that would increase coordination between DHS and state and local governments on cybersecurity. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act June 18. The bill authorizes the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center at DHS to offer a suite of tools and trainings to state and local governments to deal with cyberattacks.

Posted on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:20 AM


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