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The troubled HealthCare.gov website has been the subject of at least one attempted but unsuccessful cyber attack, according to one of the of the Homeland Security Department's top cyber officials. Lawmakers at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing said the consolidation of personal information and the glitch-prone website are cause for concern.
Collaboration is the name of the game when it comes to many of the Homeland Security Department's cybersecurity efforts. Doug Maughan, director of DHS' Cybersecurity Division in the department's Science and Technology Directorate, discussed the department's cyber partnerships as part of the Federal News Radio special report, A New Era in Technology.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued targeted early-retirement and buyout offers to hundreds of employees nationwide, according to an American Federation of Government Employees local. EPA officials are planning to offer early-outs at 19 different offices within the agency, spanning all 10 regions. Workers who sign up can receive up to $25,000 and will have to be off the rolls by early April.
Last month the Homeland Security Department published its updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan, a governmentwide framework for securing critical infrastructure on a wide scale. The aim of the updated plan is to make all sectors of critical infrastructure more "resilient" -- better able to absorb and recover from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, cyber intrusions and other adverse conditions.
Returns for nearly all of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan trended downward in January following a rocky month on Wall Street. The largest declines came in the stock funds. The large-cap C Fund fell by 3.45 percent, the small-cap S Fund inched down 1.91 percent and the I Fund, made up of international stocks, plunged by more than 4 percent, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
The head of the Internal Revenue Service said the agency isn't planning any employee furloughs this year, even though Congress decided not to restore funding to the agency that had been lost due to the across-the-board sequestration cuts. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the budget crunch, though, would mean taxpayers will see a decline in services.
More Thrift Savings Plan participants withdrew money from their accounts early in 2013 than in any other year over the past decade. The board processed a total of 291,000 loans and about 138,000 hardship withdrawals last year, according to statistics presented at the board's monthly meeting Monday. More than 14,000 of the hardship withdrawals taken last year came during the month of October, when partisan gridlock led to a 16-day government shutdown and financial uncertainty and delayed paychecks for thousands of federal employees.
Fueled by budget cuts and pay freezes, federal employee satisfaction and engagement across the government plunged last year, according to the Office of Personnel Management's annual Employee Viewpoint Survey. Now, OPM says it's here to help agencies turn around those sagging satisfaction scores.
GSA is axing its annual Expo conference, citing the current fiscal climate. It's the second year in a row the agency's signature conference has been called off. Meanwhile, GSA is also phasing out its traditional SmartPay training conference in favor of a virtual forum, which will be held in the spring or summer of this year.
The U.S. Postal Service's financial woes are forcing the agency to put off vital maintenance and repair work of facilities across the country, according to a recent inspector general report. Between 2009 and 2012, the Postal Service's budget for capital improvements and facility repairs fell by $382 million, and some 19,000 planned repairs were left uncompleted.