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8:11 pm, December 22, 2014

House News

One year later, House lawmakers dissatisfied with VA's handling of eBenefits cyber breach

Reps. Jackie Walorski and Mike Coffman wrote separate letters to VA Secretary Bob McDonald asking for details about how the agency is addressing ongoing cyber challenges. Walorski asked VA to answer four questions about how it's protecting the identity of veterans using the eBenefits site.

Monday - 12/22/2014, 12:26pm EST

Obama signs NDAA deal with pay raise, higher co-pays for troops

President Barack Obama signed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act deal Friday. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees arrived at a compromise over troop benefits in the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that will give soldiers a 1 percent pay raise, as well as a $3 increase in most prescription co-pays. House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) released a summary of the ups and downs of this fiscal year's $585 billion NDAA, expected to be finalized before Congress leaves for the holidays.

Monday - 12/22/2014, 05:00am EST

Obama approves retroactive mass-transit benefit for workers

President Obama signed a broad $41.6 billion program of tax breaks into law that will retroactively raise the monthly mass-transit subsidy to $250 per month for 2014. The extension of these tax breaks, however, will only last until the end of 2014.

Monday - 12/22/2014, 04:39am EST

VA bringing latest cyber tools to bear to improve network defenses

Steph Warren, the Veterans Affairs Department chief information officer, said the agency is the first to implement advanced cyber capabilities from DHS known as Einstein 3A, and is expanding its continuous monitoring capabilities.

Thursday - 12/18/2014, 02:55pm EST
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House lawmakers call for OFPP to issue reverse auction guidance

Reps. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairmen of the Veterans Affairs and Small Business committees, respectively, wrote to Anne Rung, OFPP administrator, saying agencies still are "misusing" reverse auctions to "evade competition and compliance with other procurement regulations."

Wednesday - 12/17/2014, 04:50pm EST

Obama approves $1.1 trillion federal spending bill

President Barack Obama signed Congress' $1.1 trillion spending bill on Tuesday, putting an official end to the last-minute negotiations for the fiscal year 2015 budget - at least for now.

Wednesday - 12/17/2014, 06:46am EST

John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

The 114th Congress convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with some new faces yet to be voted in for important oversights roles such as chairman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. John Palguta is the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss what federal employees should expect in 2015 - from senior executives to civil service reform.

Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 08:00am EST
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House approves $1.1T bill financing government

GOP House OKs $1.1T bill funding government after Obama helps round up Democratic votes

Friday - 12/12/2014, 08:34am EST

Jessica Klement, Legislative Director, NARFE

The Office of Personnel Management's retirement claims backlog is down by about 10,000 claims in the past 10 months. The average processing time is at 37 days. OPM says an updated case management system will help it do better, but it's not sure yet what exactly that system will look like. Jessica Klement, legislative director for National Active and Retired Federal Employees, and her association's president, Richard Thissen, testified Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, US Postal Service and the Census. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose about the concerns she's hearing from NARFE members.

Thursday - 12/11/2014, 04:07pm EST
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OPM plots steps to modernize retirement system IT in 2015

Office of Personnel Management officials told the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Census about its plan to buy a case management system. The case management system will serve as the foundation for yet another attempt at modernizing the retirement system.

Thursday - 12/11/2014, 04:27am EST
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Lawmakers agree on $1.1 trillion spending bill

Lawmakers reach deal on $1.1 trillion spending bill, may add pension provision

Wednesday - 12/10/2014, 03:08am EST

Key lawmakers seek pension changes

Lawmaker discuss change to allow pension reductions at endangered multi-employer plans

Tuesday - 12/09/2014, 03:10am EST

Chris Mihm, Managing Director for Strategic Issues, GAO

The results of a governmentwide sweep to see how well agencies are meeting the goals set by the DATA Act is headed to Congress. The Government Accountability Office is bringing its results to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The GAO reports most agencies still have a tough road ahead. That road includes a 2015 deadline to create governmentwide data standards. Chris Mihm, managing director for strategic issues at the GAO, tells In Depth with Francis Rose, the sooner your agency meets those goals, the better.

Monday - 12/08/2014, 04:20pm EST
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Trey Hodgkins, Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act is still attached to the 2015 Defense authorization bill the House passed and the Senate will debate this week. The latest version of FITARA looks a bit different than the original. Still, the new bill would hand civilian agency CIOs more authority, prioritize hiring of specialty IT experts and maximize use of data centers. Trey Hodgkins is Senior Vice President of Public Sector at the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector, a division of the Information Technology Industry Council. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what we can expect from the compromise version of FITARA.

Monday - 12/08/2014, 08:30am EST
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House leaders move to avoid immigration showdown

House GOP leaders move to skirt immigration showdown, complete plan to keep government open

Friday - 12/05/2014, 04:16pm EST

Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

The big national defense authorization bill is moving through Congress. It passed the House yesterday, and the Senate is expected to take it up next week. In purely military spending terms, the bill is a mixed bag. Some programs and platforms get plus-ups, others get cuts. Todd Harrison is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He's been studying the bill, and joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to analyze the bill's winners and losers.

Friday - 12/05/2014, 07:58am EST
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Continuing resolution or omnibus? Decision looms for Congress as holidays approach

When Congress returns on Dec. 1, it will be pressed for time on deciding its next course on funding before the current continuing resolution expires at midnight on Dec. 12.

Friday - 11/28/2014, 12:13pm EST
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Don Kettl, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Everyone with a stake in the federal budget is looking toward Dec. 11. That's when the continuing resolution runs out, and Congress will have to decide what to do next. Beyond that, federal agencies are looking at two long years of a Republican Congress and Democratic White House. Will it be the immoveable rock facing the irresistible force? Or can good things still happen? Don Kettl, professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and long-time watcher of all things federal, offered some insight on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Monday - 11/24/2014, 10:48am EST
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CMS claims cyber fixes in place for HealthCare.gov

Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members on Nov. 14 that CMS fixed 22 technical recommendations before open enrollment began. The letter came on the cusp of yet another contentious hearing on the role of former White House CTO Todd Park in overseeing and developing the initially troubled portal.

Thursday - 11/20/2014, 04:26am EST
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Patent Office commissions review of telework abuse

The Patent and Trademark Office has hired the National Academy of Public Administration to review the agency's vaunted telework programs following allegations that teleworkers are falsifying their timecards and managers do not have the tools to monitor them.

Wednesday - 11/19/2014, 04:02pm EST
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