Federal HR managers are talking about their biggest successes and challenges at the Human Capital Management Federal event this week. Hiring reform has been one of the most successful HR initiatives of President Barack Obama’s first term.
What would the United States do with terrorism suspects if it shut down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay? That question has dogged political leaders for years. Now a Government Accountability Office report has rekindled the debate.
Ed Zurndorfer — Registered employee benefit consultant
With open season upon us, you may be in a rush to pick your health care provider for next year. But don’t forget about those flexible spending accounts. Now is the time to get those in order for next year too. And there are going to be some big changes.
MORE FROM THE FEDERAL DRIVE
Prosecutors in the WikiLeaks case go head-to-head today with defendant Private Bradley Manning. It’s the fourth day of a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade. Manning testified yesterday about his treatment during nine months of confinement. He said guards at Quantico were so harsh that his case should be dismissed. He described being locked up for 23 hours a day and having to surrender his underwear at night. Prosecutors will try to show jailers took the measures to prevent Manning from hurting himself. Manning faces life in prison if convicted of leaking state secrets to the website WikiLeaks. He wants to plead guilty to lesser charges that would net 16 years in prison. (Federal News Radio)
A cybersecurity breach in South Carolina has the Pentagon worried. It said service members and families who paid taxes in that state anytime within the past 14 years could be at risk. Cyber thieves broke into South Carolina’s Department of Revenue networks in August and September. State officials say the hackers stole up to 4 million Social Security numbers and hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ credit-card numbers.The Pentagon says thieves may also have accessed checks and accessed personal information of victims. South Carolina failed to encrypt about 16,000 accounts. It is offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity protection for victims.(Department of Defense)
The White House is saying “no” to the Senate defense bill. The White House said President Barack Obama will veto the $631 billion spending plan unless lawmakers remove some measures. One of those is a GOP amendment to cut the Pentagon’s civilian workforce by 5 percent over five years. The White House called that “arbitrary.” Another measure would push the Pentagon to use commercial software rather than an open-source program from the National Security Agency. The White House said that could set a dangerous precedent. (Federal News Radio)
The Navy has set itself up for what it calls “information dominance” over the next seven years. Earlier this week, the director of Naval Intelligence and the Commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command signed three documents that layout how the Navy plans to maintain vigilance in cyberspace. The Navy Strategy for Achieving Information Dominance, The Navy Cyber Power 20-20 and The Navy Information Dominance Corps Human Capital Strategy together create the strategic plan for Navy’s cyber initiatives. Vice Adm. Kendall Card said the three plans build on existing strategy but set the course for future cyber warriors. (Navy)
The National Science Foundation is asking for comments on building a research and development program to help the private sector with cybersecurity. The NSF wants to know about any research developments since the 2011 Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan. Agencies and the public have until Dec. 19 to submit comments. (NSF)
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-8 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.