FOI documents show CBP’s long-term problem with corruption

 

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  • More than 200 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees have been arrested on charges related to corruption in the past 14 years. At least 13 of those arrests have occurred  since the start of the Trump Administration. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) by the Project on Government Oversight, showed the 213 arrests included 127 field officers, most of whom worked at ports of entry, including airports. Another 80 arrests involved Border Patrol agents on the southern border.  (POGO)
  •  The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said Navy employees deliberately falsified training records for the service’s firefighters. OSC directed its investigation based on whistleblower allegations from a firefighter at Naval Station Newport, in Rhode Island. The review, led by the naval inspector general, found thousands of instances in 2016 in which Navy training records show employees attending courses that likely never happened. As a result, it found firefighters and paramedics did not have the training necessary to do their jobs. The Navy said it has since instituted extra measures to make sure its training records are accurate. (OSC) (NAVY IG)
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) set another screening record during the 2018 spring travel period of March 15-April 15, screening more than 72 million passengers and nearly 45 million checked bags nationwide.  The passenger numbers represent an almost 5 percent increase over the same period last year and puts the agency on pace for its highest volume year on record. Although the volume of individuals screened was high, TSA said 95 percent of all passengers waited less than 20 minutes at the checkpoint, and nearly 93 percent of passengers who were in a TSA Precheck lane waited less than five minutes. (TSA)
  • A House appropriations subcommittee said it plans to devote more resources to oversight of several big projects at the Veterans Affairs Department. The House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee said it wants VA to give regular reports on the status of claims processing, and quarterly updates on its financial management system upgrade. It also said it plans to ask for a Government Accountability Office review of the VA’s electronic health record modernization. The appropriations bill also sets funding for VA for 2019 at near $195 billion.  (House Appropriations)
  • Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that aims to make the Homeland Security Department respond to cyber attacks. The Federal Network Protection Act would clarify that the head of DHS has the authority to remove compromised software from a network before notifying software companies. GAO reports cyber attacks on federal systems increased from 5,500 in 2006 to more than 77,000 in 2015. (Sen. Feinstein)
  • Agencies have less than a month to analyze data and come up with an initial set of strategic priorities for 2018 and beyond. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memo this week detailing three focus areas for the reviews: mission, risk and management.  Under the management area, OMB told agency chief operating officers to lead a self-assessment of enterprise management capabilities, including technology, acquisition and financial management.  The assessment will inform proposals in the fiscal 2020 budget process as well as overall performance goals. (White House)
  • The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) said it will take a slow approach to military personnel reform. It said members will suggest making the military career intermission program permanent. It said will review the way the Pentagon moves its officers through promotion boards. HASC subcommittees will start marking up their versions of the National Defense Authorization Act this week. (Federal News Radio)
  • The House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee has suggested eliminating or restructuring the Strategic Capabilities Office by the end of 2020. The office is responsible for delivering fast, tech-savvy products to warfighters. (Federal News Radio)
  • Lt. Gen. Bradley Shwedo, the Air Force’s chief information officer (CIO),  has been nominated to become the new CIO of the Joint Staff in the Pentagon. Shwedo has been the Air Force CIO since June 2017, and previously served as commander of Joint-Base San Antonio-Lackland. (Defense.gov)