CISA: No public or private sector organization could have prevented SolarWinds violation

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  • Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) Said the House would accept the president’s proposed salary increase for federal employees next year. She said the 2022 Financial Services and General Government Bill would support a 2.7% increase. The House Appropriations Committee is expected to release the text of this bill today. The supply subcommittee will correct the bill later this week. Wexton said she would prefer a bigger pay raise for federal employees. She is a co-sponsor of a bill that would give employees a three point two percent raise next year. (Federal Information Network)
  • The Bureau of Personnel Management has a permanent director for the first time in over a year. The Senate confirmed Kiran Ahuja as director of the OPM in a close vote. Vice President Kamala Harris voted to break the tie 50-50. No Senate Republican voted for Ahuja because of his concerns about his take on abortion and his support for an anti-racist scholar. She will be the first South Asian woman and the first Asian American woman to lead OPM. Five different people ran the agency under the previous administration. (Federal Information Network)
  • Unproductive federal programs would be blocked under a new bipartisan bill. Senators Maggie Hassan (DN.H.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) Introduced the law, which will require agencies to present a list of unnecessary programs to the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB will work with Congress to decide whether the programs should survive. The bill seeks to eliminate inefficient government spending. Funders say this would save taxpayers $ 3.1 billion over the next ten years. (Senator Maggie Hassan)
  • Republican senators are introducing a bill prohibiting IRS employees from leaving their workstations to use official time during tax filing season. Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) Leads six other Senators in introducing the IRS Customer Service Improvement Act. Braun said the bill’s restrictions on time use would solve the agency’s workload, as a quarter of IRS employees who used official time in 2019 are in customer service jobs. or in call centers. The National Taxpayer Advocate finds that the IRS received 100 million calls last year, but only answered 24 million. (Senator Mike Braun)
  • A handful of Defense Ministry candidates are about to be confirmed. The Senate Armed Services Committee has advanced the appointments of Gina Ortiz Jones as second-rank Air Force civilian official and Shawn Skelly as Deputy Defense Secretary for readiness. Other advances include Caroline Krass, General Counsel for the Department of Defense, and Meredith Berger, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Facilities and the Environment.
  • The National Guard needs $ 500 million to continue training over the summer. The past year has been one of the busiest in National Guard history as it has responded to COVID, natural disasters and civil unrest. The five months he spent protecting the Capitol after an attack by a pro-Trump mob could cost the military component significant training time. Army officials say if Congress cannot pass additional legislation soon, the Guard will be forced to cancel many exercises scheduled for this summer. This could potentially compromise aviation readiness and ground support. (Federal Information Network)
  • Heads of military services are pushing back a popular bill that would remove non-military crimes from the chain of command. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said the removal of commanders from prosecution decisions could affect readiness and loyalty between commanders and those they lead. Department heads were still largely willing to prosecute sexual assault outside the chain of command. The bill amending the military law has more than 60 co-sponsors in the Senate. (Federal Information Network)
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said he supports overhauling the military system for prosecuting sexual assault cases. In a statement last night, Austin said the DoD will work with Congress to remove these lawsuits from the military chain of command. His decision follows the recommendations of an independent review committee appointed by Austin at the start of his term. This panel recommended a new system of prosecuting a variety of crimes, including domestic violence. Austin’s move comes just after several senior leaders in uniform wrote to Congress, saying they had serious doubts about removing the chain of command lawsuits.
  • The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body has just approved Redspin and Kratos as the first-ever Certified Third Party Assessment Body (C3PAO). CMMC AB chief executive Matthew Travis said C3PAOs could be allowed to conduct assessments as early as mid-July. But first, they need the MoD and AB to finalize the assessment guidelines and set up a computer system to track CMMC scores. Travis also said any timeline depends on the outcome of a CMMC review by new officials in the Biden administration. This review is expected to end soon.
  • Regarding the SolarWinds cyberattack, the private sector was no better placed than the government to stop or block the attack. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) That it was not aware of any public or private sector organization that has successfully deployed technology that detected deviations from normal behavior. network that would have been detected and / or prevented the SolarWinds incident. CISA said it also did not know how many agencies segmented their networks to prevent hackers from jumping onto the network once they broke through cyber defenses.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is embarking on a multi-year journey to implement new cybersecurity measures within the agency. A zero trust action group will work in three to four month sprints, starting with conditional access and rights management first, to build a zero trust architecture. IOC Eric Hysen said this work should be considered a marathon, not a sprint. The efforts are part of the Biden administration’s executive order on improving cybersecurity, which invested $ 1 billion in DHS.
  • An industry association said it’s time to reinvent government-wide procurement contracts. The basic theories behind government-wide procurement contracts (GWACs) have not been reformed for over 25 years. The Alliance for Digital Innovation, an industry association, wants to change that. In a new white paper, ADI makes seven recommendations ranging from having more ramps for new vendors to leveraging more of the private sector’s past performance. ADI said the recommendations are a combination of some of the innovations happening in government today and some of the issues entrepreneurs face with GWACs.
  • The Government Accountability Office said the Social Security Administration should reconsider the performance expectations of its administrative judges. The ASS wants administrative judges to render between 500 and 700 decisions or dismissals per year. But 87% of ALJs told GAO the expectations were too high. More than 80% of judges achieved the SSA target in 2019. But 18% achieved the targets last year during the pandemic. Judges said telecommuting restrictions and file size are the main reasons they fail to meet SSA goals. Case files are five times larger today than they were when SSA first set performance targets in 2007.
  • After nearly 15 months of virtual arguments, the Federal Circuit plans to re-allow in-person arguments from the end of August. Law 360 reports that it will first test new COVID-19 protocols with two cases next month. U.S. Chief Justice Kimberly A. Moore on Tuesday issued an order directing the clerk of the court to “resume scheduling in-person oral arguments from the September 2021 session,” but left room for business before this date to “proceed as indicated”.
  • Attorneys General for 20 states and the District of Columbia are challenging the Postal Service’s plan to slow first class mail. State attorneys general told the Postal Regulatory Commission that the USPS plans to slow the delivery of nearly 40 percent of first-class mail would hamper the on-time delivery of election mail. Many states filed lawsuits last year challenging USPS operational changes ahead of the 2020 election. States said the changes would particularly hurt rural and low-income residents with few alternatives to delivery. USPS. Lawyers representing New York and San Francisco have joined states in filing comments. (Federal Information Network)
  • Home Office confronts the troubled history of federal residential schools for Native Americans. Secretary Deborah Haaland said the new federal Indian Residential Schools initiative would publish any information it can gather about the treatment of Indians in schools, first established in 1819. They disappeared in the 1960s. The network of Schools was designed to uproot Indian children and assimilate them culturally. In an open letter, Haaland said this policy goes against the federal government’s doctrine of fiduciary responsibility to Indians. She added that the harsh treatment of Indian children still resonates. Haaland said the recent discovery of unmarked graves at the site of a school in Canada prompted the bookkeeping of the past few days.

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