DorobekINSIDER: 7 stories you need to know: GSA’s Steve Kempf takes medical leave

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Monday the 30th of July, 2012

  1. Congress is one step closer to reaching a funding deal that would avert government shutdown on September 30th. Politico reports that this six-month funding resolution would avert a messy budget fight right before elections in November. The expiration of Bush-era tax-cuts and automatic defense reductions that are set to go into effect in December, however, have still not been addressed.
  2. General Service Administration’s FAS Commissioner, Steve Kempf, will be taking a 60-day medical leave. Mary Davie will take over as the Acting Commissioner in the interm. Insiders tell the DorobekINSIDER that Kempf’s decision is not related to recent questions about FAS spending on a performance award conference.
  3. The Pentagon is continuing their effort to reduce costs and promote efficiency through better program design. The Washington Post reports that while some advances are being made, industry is having trouble adapting to some of these changes. One trend emerging is consolidation, with smaller companies being bought up by larger contractors to increase their profits and maintain overhead costs.
  4. An internal watchdog at the Justice Department has found cases of nepotism. The Wall Street Journal reports, eight current or former officials at one of its divisions steered jobs to children and other relatives, violating laws and regulations that forbid nepotism. This is not the first time the Justice Department has been hit with charges of nepotism. Similar allegations of improper hiring practices at the department’s Justice Management Division, which oversees administrative and back-office staff, have been the subject of repeated investigation by the department’s inspector general. The Justice Department said it takes the report’s findings seriously and will make changes to hiring practices, including tightening disclosure requirements.
  5. There are now more feds with security clearances than ever before. Secrecy News reports that list now tops more than 4.8 million people. The total clearance figure is composed of cleared government employees and contractors, at all clearance levels — Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. The number of Top Secret clearances alone was over 1.4 million. The annual report on security clearances is now required by Congress since the FY2010 Intelligence Authorization Act. The Act represents a new degree of transparency in national security classification policy.
  6. When it comes to figuring out the rules for cyberwar the Pentagon is a bit behind. The AP reports, the Defense Department told Congress that its still grappling with how to write the rules of cyberwarfare, such as when and how to fire back against a computer-based attack. Congressman Mac Thornberry told military leaders that there likely won’t be time for Congress to pass a declaration of war if or when a computer-based attack happens, so the DoD will need a defined list of cyberwar rules. The current ground rules for cyberoperations were written in 2005, but are not adequate for the current technologies.
  7. And on GovLoop, we are still reeling for the AWESOME Next Generation of Government Training Summit. There were some fantastic speakers like Deloitte’s Carmen Medina and WordPress’s Matt Mullenweg. It was a fantastic conference and if you couldn’t make it in person we’ve recapped it here on GovLoop. You can see all our posts, photos and audio commentary by searching nextgen.

On today’s program

  • Are you a rebel in your workplace? Can you be? And what does that mean? We’ll hear from a former senior executive at the CIA — who professes being a rebel in the workplace. We’ll hear what that means… and how you can be a rebel.
  • Could alternate fuels really save the government billions? The American Clean Skies foundation says yes. They’ve unveiled their new plan at our Next Generation of Government Training Summit. You’ll find out.

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