Former Defense Intelligence Officer arrested for working with Chinese government

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  • A former Defense Intelligence Officer was arrested for attempting to send national defense information to China. The Justice Department said Ron Hansen not only attempted to transmit the information to the Chinese government, but received at least $800,000 acting as an agent of China. If convicted, he faces life in prison. (Department of Justice)
  • Veterans who got a referral for private sector treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department are potentially waiting up to 70 days for routine care. That’s if VA medical facilities and third party administrators took the maximum number of days to schedule a veteran’s appointment. The Government Accountability Office studied the current Veterans Choice Program. GAO said VA should set a reasonable wait time goal to make sure treatment facilities are meeting the department’s expectations. It also made 10 recommendations for VA’s future consolidated community care program. President Donald Trump is expected to sign VA’s new consolidated care program into law later this week. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Veterans Board of Appeals said it is on track to process 81,000 appeals by the end of the fiscal year. It signed over 53,000 to date. The VA said last year’s appropriation of $42 million  helped the Board of Appeals hire over 200 decision-writing attorneys, 24 veterans law judges and others. More staff and the board’s effort to streamline processes helped the agency process more claims this year. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • The president’s former nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs department is now under investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general. A spokesman for the DoD IG said the office decided a formal investigation into Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson was warranted after an initial review of the facts. But it is unclear precisely which facts the office is looking into. The IG declined to comment on whether it is a criminal investigation or an administrative one. Jackson is still a member of the White House medical office, but is no longer the president’s personal physician. Trump withdrew his VA nomination amid allegations about his behavior as a leader of that organization. (Federal News Radio)
  • DoD is expanding its support for military families with special needs. It launches its Exceptions Family Member Program for recourses, options and consultants. The program puts families in touch with teams to help them find services, benefits and care. It is available through Military One Source. (Military One Source)
  • It may take hundreds of millions of dollars or more to make the Defense Department’s facilities cybersecure, according to a new report from the Pentagon. DoD said it still does not have a full inventory of the cyber vulnerabilities in its buildings. The department is also hurting for experts able to fix issues with facilities control systems. (Federal News Radio)
  • Three-quarters of all agencies are struggling to manage cyber risk and Office of Management and Budget is sending help. A strong majority federal cyber programs are at risk or at high risk of failure. OMB called those new findings unacceptable. And now OMB and the Homeland Security Department are doing something about it by enhancing Federal Information Security Management Act CIO metrics to focus on capabilities to mitigate threats identified in the Cyber Threat Framework. Additionally, DHS put the Cyber Threat Framework into practice via its dot gov Cybersecurity Architecture Review program. The program is based on a tool developed by the National Security Agency for DoD to map defensive capabilities against intelligence-informed threats. (CIO.gov)
  • The Defense Information Systems Agency unveiled its replacement to current Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing, or E-QIP system. E-App will officially replace the current system sometime by the end of the fiscal year after DISA gets feedback from 1,000 Army users who are testing it. DISA redesigned the online standard forms for users to apply for a security clearance. E-App splits up the entire application process into 10 sections. Users can jump back and forth between them more easily now. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board updates its operating guide for when the agency lacks a quorum. The guide now reflects a new law allowing the agency to extend an employee’s stay with the Office of Special Counsel when the board lacks a quorum. It also reflects a change that lets appellants withdraw a petition for review in situations when the board lacks a quorum. Trump announced two nominations to sit on the MSPB but neither has been through the Senate confirmation process. (Merit Systems Protection Board)
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office circled Tuesday, June 19 on its calendar as the day the agency will issue the nation’s 10 millionth patent. Officials marked this milestone with an online retrospective detailing the history of the patent system. The first patent board consisted of three members of President George Washington’s cabinet. Washington himself signed the first patent in 1790. The current USPTO director Andrei Iancu unveiled a new patent cover design at an innovation conference in March. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
  • There could be more chief customer officers at agencies in the future under the President’s Management Agenda. Anahita Reily, CCO of the General Service Administration said agencies need to invest more resources into improving customer service in order to meet the White House’s goal. Only about six agencies have chief customer officers. (Federal News Radio)