Lance Armstrong ordered to pay Postal Service $5 million

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  • The U.S. Postal Service just had a big payday.  Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong was ordered to pay USPS $5 million. The payment is to resolve a lawsuit that charged Armstrong with violating sponsorship agreements his cycling team had with the agency when he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. The agreements required the team to follow the rules of cycling’s governing bodies. (Department of Justice)
  • The Defense Department is defending its strategy to award its upcoming, multi-billion dollar cloud computing contract to a single vendor. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said a single-award approach is appropriate “because of the current marketplace” for cloud services. She said DoD will reconsider its stance after the contract’s two-year base period expires. (Department of Defense)
  • National security agencies collect hordes of data every day, but the FBI said it is having troubling getting its arms around all that information. To help get all its data in one place, FBI Chief Data Officer Maria Voreh said the agency is looking to move to the cloud next year. She said the move would significantly help with collaboration across the agency. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Army told Congress it has narrowed down the list of locations for its new Futures Command from several dozen to just 15. The new command is meant to bring all of the Army’s modernization and acquisition functions under one roof, and officials said they wanted it to be in a city with a strong high-tech base. The 15 remaining contenders are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. The Army plans to announce a final location and begin assembling the new command within the next several months. (Associated Press)
  • The Senate passed a bill to set up a “bug bounty” program at the Homeland Security Department. DHS would pay white-hat hackers who find undiscovered vulnerabilities in the agency’s networks. The Defense Department, Army and Air Force also have bug bounty programs. Last year, the General Services Administration became the first civilian agency to start one. (Sen. Maggie Hassan)
  • Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) was confirmed to be the next NASA administrator by a Senate vote of 50 to 49. He will be the first permanent leader of the space agency in 15 months. Bridenstine replaces acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, who is retiring at the end of the month. (Federal News Radio)
  • The State Department is a step closer to having a new confirmed leader. One Democratic senator said she would support the nomination of Mike Pompeo, currently director of the CIA. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who voted to confirm Pompeo at CIA, said she would support his nomination as Secretary of State. Other Democrats up for re-election in states that President Donald Trump won have not said how they will vote. Aside from secretary, several other high-level political jobs at State remain open. (Associated Press)
  • To quicken its security clearance process, the Air Force is launching several initiatives with the Office of Personnel Management and the National Background Investigations Bureau. The initiatives include establishing centralized interview hubs, and prioritizing submissions based on mission needs. The Air Force’s backlog is up to 79,000 applicants waiting for a clearance. (Federal News Radio)
  • Contractors are not being properly screened at the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid Office. An inspector general report found contractors are getting access to the department’s IT systems and buildings consistently since they determine their own risk level. The IG said FSA should start tracking what access contractors have. (Department of Education Office of Inspector General)
  • As agencies rely more on commercial technology, the risk of data theft by China is increasing. A new report from the U.S. China Commission found the People’s Republic of China is targeting agency and contractor networks, and creating policies that promote cyber-espionage efforts. The commission recommended the government take six steps. These include creating a centralized approach to supply chain risk management and tying policy revisions to a funding strategy that ensures agencies take action in ways which can be audited. (U.S. China Commission)