Homeland Security IG’s hotline being used in phone scam

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

  • The Homeland Security Department’s Office of Inspector General said its hotline number is being used as part of an ID scam. The IG’s office said scammers are changing caller ID systems to appear as if it is calling people to demand personally identifiable information. The hotline is never used for outgoing calls though. The scam is under investigation. (Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General)
  • The President’s Management Council met for the first time since the beginning of the Trump administration. It was one of the earliest meetings of the council in a new administration, according to Acting Deputy Director for Management Dustin Brown. Most agencies don’t have confirmed deputy secretaries yet. But Brown said the council wanted to start conversations with acting ones on the Office of Management and Budget’s government reorganization plan. (Federal News Radio)
  • It will be a while before the Commerce Department has a permanent deputy secretary. President Donald Trump’s choice of Todd Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, withdrew his name. The Chicago Sun Times reports, Ricketts had filed financial disclosures with the Senate Commerce Committee. Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) had predicted approval. But the Office of Government Ethics ruled that Ricketts divesting his personal portfolio wasn’t enough and that members of his family would have to do the same. The Chicago Tribune has reported that Rickets has since withdrawn his bid for the post.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is offering early buyouts and retirement in the wake of President Donald Trump’s government reorganization directive. EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Michael Flynn said the goal is to complete the early out program by the end of June. He said the agency will also maintain an external hiring freeze. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Army is asking itself what it needs from its intelligence corps over the next decade. The Army called it a bottom-up review. It spans 12 separate topics — everything from how the Army trains and qualifies its intelligence personnel to how it acquires new technology, and what the service will need from its airborne surveillance platforms over the next decade. Review leaders surveyed almost 4,000 Army commanders so far. Intelligence officials plan to brief their conclusions to Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff by the end of this summer. (Federal News Radio)
  • The President signned the Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act into law. It officially lifts the sunset date for the Choice Program, and lets the Veterans Affairs Department use the remaining funds it has to spend on private sector care. Funding is due to expire around the end of the year. VA Secretary David Shulkin wants to present plans for a redesign to Congress in the fall. (House Veterans Affairs Committee)
  • To make it easier for agencies to contract for HR services, the General Services Administration re-organized its HR and Equal Employment Opportunity Multiple Award Schedule 738 X. It’ll now be called the Human Capital Management and Administrative Support Services Schedule 738 X, and will contain 10 new Special Item Numbers. GSA said the revisions will be in place by the end of the month. (General Services Administration)
  • It’s time to update the governmentwide Freedom of Information Act portal. The Justice Department is teaming up with the 18F digital services organization at the General Services Administration to modernize the centralized FOIA website for the government. Justice announced it wants agency and other stakeholder feedback as part of its work with 18F. The two organizations will gather user research and build on previous efforts to inform future development strategies. This is the latest step toward developing a national FOIA portal as required under the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. Feedback to Justice is due by April 28. (Department of Justice)
  • A key government reform and oversight lawmaker won’t be running for reelection. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who is the Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, announced he will not seek a fifth term. He has led the Oversight committee since 2015 where he investigated everything from federal cybersecurity problems to the attack on U.S. embassy in Benghazi. (Federal News Radio)