DFAS says timing uncertain for post-shutdown back pay

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  • The government shutdown may be over until Feb. 8, but the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) said military members and stakeholders will have to wait for more information about how the weekend shutdown would affect the timing of their pay and benefits. Meanwhile, after many organizations spent hours engaging in “shutdown procedures” on Monday,  it’ll take several hours more before workers are back on the job. Bargaining unit employees in some locations won’t return until 12 hours after they’ve received an official notification from their supervisors to resume their jobs. (DFAS) (AF Materiel Command)
  • House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) returned to the Capitol on Monday after the latest in a series of operations required for injuries he suffered during a shooting rampage at a baseball practice last June. Scalise told reporters he was “feeling great” and  glad to be back at work in time to vote on ending the government shutdown. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Army could increase its total force in Afghanistan by 1,000 troops, according to The Washington Post. There are already 14,000 troops currently in Afghanistan. The extra troops would be part of a broader strategy to hit the Taliban during the upcoming fighting season. Defense Secretary James Mattis has not yet signed off the bump. (Washington Post)
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for details about a career senior State Department executive accused of multiple instances of harassment. Lower level employees have accused the person of brutalizing female and minority staff, creating a climate of fear and causing daily humiliation and denigration. They also alleged that repeated complaints to higher-ups in State have produced no action. (House Oversight)
  • A senior House Homeland Security Committee lawmaker asked the Department of the Homeland Security (DHS) for more information about the progress agencies are making in removing Kaspersky lab products and software from their networks. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) sent DHS a letter wanting answers to eight questions about whether the Russian-based company is a threat to federal systems. Thompson told DHS he wants to know if any conclusive evidence exists to show that agencies lost data due to Kaspersky, and if there is a security threat posed by the company’s code embedded in other products. Thompson requested answers by Feb. 1. (House Homeland Security Committee)
  • An Ohio man plead guilty to charges of ramming a dump truck through the gates of the FBI field office in Pittsburgh. Authorities said Thomas Ross plead guilty Monday to reduced charges of fleeing and eluding and simple assault in the July 2016 incident. He was sentenced to five-to-ten months in prison. He still faces federal charges of destruction of government property. (Federal News Radio)
  • The top two lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said they want answers about last week’s Metro train derailment. Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and  Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority on Friday requesting more information on the Red Line train’s derailment.  The lawmakers question how a cracked rail passed multiple inspections, and why crews had trouble communicating with their radio equipment. Gowdy and Cummings said they expect a response before the end of January. (House Oversight)