IG: NASA made ‘insufficient progress’ to improve IT governance

To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe on PodcastOne or iTunes.

  • Auditors said NASA’s IT governance efforts haven’t improved in four years. The NASA inspector general issued a scathing report on the space agency’s ability to oversee and manage $1.4 billion  in technology hardware and software. The IG will take the agency’s chief information officer to task for making insufficient progress to improve IT governance over the last four years. Auditors said the lack of progress casts doubt on the CIO’s ability to effectively oversee the agency’s IT assets. The IG also said the CIO continues to have limited visibility into IT investments across the agency and the process NASA developed to correct this shortcoming is flawed. (NASA Office of Inspector General)
  • Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) saif the tax cuts Congress is considering should not affect defense spending, calling it inexcusable to not give service members what they need to do their jobs. Some Democrats in Congress expressed that they felt the Defense Department budget should be on the table when it comes to tax reform.
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee is considering a subpoena for the White House’s top cybersecurity official. Members of both parties expressed almost universal displeasure after Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, declined to appear for a hearing on national cyber defense on Thursday. The Trump administration cited executive privilege, since Joyce is a member of the National Security Council, not a Senate-confirmed official. But lawmakers said he’s the only member of the administration who’s in a position to discuss governmentwide policy on cyber defense, including how to integrate federal agencies’ various roles and responsibilities. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Small Business Administration looks to improve the odds for women-owned-small-businesses. Sean Crean director of SBA’s office of government contracting said the agency is close to putting out a proposed rule to establish a certification process for women-owned-small businesses for sole-source contracting opportunities. (Federal News Radio)
  • A new Chief Information Officer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed. The FDIC Board approved Howard Whyte to take over the position. Whyte was appointed as the agency’s Chief Information Security Officer back in January. Prior to that, he worked for Goldman Sachs and was CISO and deputy CISO for NASA as well. (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)
  • Agencies don’t have a clear and consistent way to discipline federal employees for misconduct. A new report from majority staffers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found that not all agencies have tables of penalties to recommend disciplinary actions. Eight out of 26 agencies have no tables, and many haven’t updated their penalties for decades. (Federal News Radio)
  • House Oversight Committee leadership looks for answers from some agency managers about their use of private or noncommercial flights for official travel. 10 agencies have fully complied with the request the committee made back in September, 13 partially complied and two still haven’t complied with the committee’s request. Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said they also want all agencies to give them travel records that date back to January 2016. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • School’s out at the General Services Administration. GSA announced its Travel Training Team will no longer offer or host online travel training courses. Outstanding courses will be honored through November 27 and GSA will still offer scheduled instructor-led classes. (General Services Administration)
  • Homeland Security’s office of inspector general employees won plaudits from their colleagues. For the second year in a row, Homeland’s IG shop took home the annual Alexander Hamilton Award, given by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. CIGIE cited an IG report on weak safeguards resulting in the issuance of 20,000 erroneous green cards. Also honored were reports on fraud in FEMA’s firefighter grant program and on Transportation Security Administration risk management. (Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General)