Pentagon tells employees, no streaming NCAA games please

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

  • Pentagon leaders are aware it’s March Madness and a lot of games are played during the day, but the Defense Department is telling its employees not to stream NCAA Tournament games on DoD computers. In an email obtained by CBS News, the Joint Service Provider reminds employees that they’re all on one network, and using all that bandwidth could overwhelm it. (CBS News)
  • Federal employees will have to wait for word on their pay and benefits for 2018. The President’s fiscal 2018 budget blueprint gives no mention of a pay raise, or freeze, for civilian and military employees next year. It does suggest that the budget will drive future agency cuts to the federal workforce. The budget also gave a first indication of what the President’s Management Agenda will look like. (Federal News Radio)
  • The 2018 budget request provides the initial framework of a management agenda. Information technology and cybersecurity received only brief mentions in the fiscal 2018 budget request yesterday. But if you read between the lines of President Donald Trump’s first skinny budget, you can see where priorities are developing. The White House wants $1.5 billion for the Homeland Security Department to protect federal networks and share cyber threat information with the private sector. It wants NASA and Treasury to shore up cyber defenses. And the administration told the Veterans Affairs Department to modernize its technology infrastructure. A more detailed budget laying out these and other IT and cyber priorities is expected in May. (Federal News Radio)
  • The White House also released a budget amendment for fiscal 2017. Current funding under the continuing resolution expires April 28. The White House wants $3 billion more for the Homeland Security Department once the CR expires. Additional funds would help DHS start work implementing the President’s executive orders on border security and immigration. Civilian agencies would see $18 billion in cuts over the last five months of the fiscal year. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Trump Administration is forcing Congress to deal with sequestration sooner than it expected. A $30 billion supplemental budget for 2017 made its way to Capitol Hill for Congress’ review. In order to pass the $30 billion request, Congress must raise the 2017 budget caps. If it passes without a cap raise, it can trigger sequestration which will cause across the board cuts for government agencies. The defense budget supplemental pays for troop increases in the Army and Air Force, and for a wall along the Mexican border. (Federal News Radio)
  • The President’s 2018 budget proposal would eliminate 19 small and independent agencies. But it would privatize a really big one — the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control Organization. President  Donald Trump revived a debate that’s been waxing and waning for years. Airlines, passenger groups and the FAA’s own union support the measure, to transfer traffic control to a private entity. The budget would also end subsidies to low-demand, rural air routes and to Amtrak’s money-losing long-distance train service. (GovInfo.gov)
  • The Office of Personnel Management warned federal employees and retirees about a scam targeting annuitants. OPM said scammers are threatening to end the annuitant’s retirement, to call a “magistrate” who will criminally prosecute them. The imposter also is demanding immediate payment. OPM said to hang up on the scammer and report the attempt to the IG. (Federal News Radio)
  • A bill aimed at making the Postal Service more financially stable clears a hurdle in Congress. The Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 received approval from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Supporters say the bill helps cut down costs without raising prices for consumers. One of the ways it does that is by automatically enrolling USPS retirees into Medicare. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has reintroduced the Financial Transparency Act. Issa said the FTA would modernize and standardize the way financial regulatory agencies, collect private sector information. The legislation would also require the reported information be electronically searchable. (Rep. Darrell Issa)