Glass ceiling still exists for women in federal law enforcement: DOJ report

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  • A report from the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General said women still only make up a fraction of federal law enforcement officials. It said women account for only 16 percent of criminal investigators in the agency’s four components:  the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI);  and the U.S.Marshal’s Service (USMS).  Women in those components were more likely to be human resources specialists, financial specialists or program analysts. The report found women held few headquarters executive leadership positions, and reported a survey showing women from the agencies felt they were more likely to be passed up for promotions than their male peers. (DoJ/IG)
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) has asked the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to detail its plans in response to the first publicly disclosed case of information illegally obtained through the agency’s 2015 data breaches. The Justice Department has refused to disclose how defendants in the case obtained personally identifiable information from OPM systems. Connolly’s letters echoed similar concerns from Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).  Warner and Connolly said they want to know  whether OPM data breach victims are now at greater risk of identity fraud. (Connolly.House)
  • Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) have asked the Education Department to release more  information about its recent moves to end collective bargaining negotiations with union leaders. They have also demanded Education withdraw the terms it imposed unilaterally in March after it and the American Federation of Government Employees union could not come to an agreement during bargaining negotiations.  (House Oversight-Dems)
  • The Trump administration has started to push back against a Senate proposal to ban some Chinese electronics from the government’s supply chain. The White House said the Senate’s Defense authorization bill would intrude on the executive branch’s role in managing export controls. The administration argued it needs flexibility to coerce companies like ZTE to stop behavior that is contrary to U.S. national security interests. In a statement of administration policy, officials said they had secured “unprecedented” agreements to oversee the company, despite the president’s earlier decision to relax sanctions the Commerce Department imposed earlier this year. (Federal News Radio advisory)
  • Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Reality Winner has accepted a plea bargain with federal prosecutors that will send her to prison for leaking classified documents to a news site last summer. Winner was charged with violating the Espionage Act by leaking documents describing Russian efforts to penetrate American election systems.  Specifically, the story detailed a Russian military intelligence attempt to target more than 100 local election officials with “phishing” attacks. Her plea bargain requires Winner to serve five years in prison. (Federal News Radio)
  • The former director in the Secretary of Defense Communications Office (SDC) has pleaded guilty to charges she used her federal job to benefit herself and her husband’s company. Kimberly S. Brewer violated conflicts of interest rules as SDC’s Director of the Program Management Office at the same time her husband’s company, Insight Technology Group (ITG), was a subcontractor on a $4.68 million contract with Brewer’s office. Documents charged Brewer advocated with her superiors on behalf of ITG and interfered  in personnel matters affecting the company.  (Justice)
  • One of President Donald Trump’s key economic and trade advisors has decided to leave the White House and return to the private sector. Everett Eissenstat served as a senior White House adviser on both the National Economic and National Security Councils. A pro-trade Republican, he was seen by many in Washington as an important balancing voice to trade hawks in the administration. (Financial Times)
  • A former White House IT official said she has plans to make the Energy Department a top recruiter of cyber talent. Karen Evans, tapped by the Trump administration to head a new Energy Department cybersecurity office, was a former administrator of the Office of E-Government and Information Technology in the George W. Bush administration. She told senators Tuesday that she would help fill the Energy Department’s cyber skills gap. The Trump administration picked Evans in June to run the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER), an office Energy Secretary Rick Perry stood up in February to protect the country’s energy infrastructure from cyber attacks. (Federal News Radio)
  • House lawmakers have passed a bill to force the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) at the Department of Homeland Security to spend more time focusing on operational technology, including industrial control systems. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) saw his DHS Industrial Control Systems Capabilities Enhancement Act pass the House on Monday. His bill would require NCCIC to be able to identify, address and share threats and vulnerabilities to products and technologies used in critical infrastructure processes. Currently, there is no companion legislation in the Senate. (Congress.gov)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D- Mass.) has called on the U.S. Transportation Command to start cracking down on companies that do not comply with cybersecurity measures set in contracts.  TRANSCOM uses civilian companies to move goods, but said it has found cybersecurity in some companies not as strong as the military would like. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Veterans Affairs Department (VA) has estimated project management costs for the electronic health record modernization will cost another $5.8 billion. That amount would be added to the ten-year, $10 billion contract VA signed last month with the Cerner Corporation. Cerner will provide planning and pre-initial operating capability support, then will conduct site evaluations at three VA medical centers in the Pacific Northwest. VA said it expects it will implement the new health record system at those sites within 18 months. (Federal News Radio)