Former VA worker convicted of defrauding disabled veteran

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  • A former Veterans Affairs Department field examiner was convicted of defrauding a disabled veteran and attempting to steal nearly $700,000. Prosecutors said that while working in Tennessee, Kenneth Devore convinced the victim to draft a will and then inserted himself into it as his sole beneficiary. Devore will be sentenced in November, facing more than 50 years in prison and massive fines. (Department of Justice)
  • The Homeland Security Department launched a new cyber threat information sharing center. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the new National Risk Management Center will break communication barriers with the private sector. It will work in 90-day sprints and begin working with partners in the finance, telecoms and energy sectors. (Federal News Radio)
  • DoD wants help to build the next generation cybersecurity information sharing network. The Defense Industrial Base Network or DIBNet was so successful that the Defense Information Systems Agency wants to take it even further. DISA released a “sources sought notice” for input from vendors about building a new, improved cybersecurity collaboration and information sharing platform. DISA said it wants the new DIBNet to be a scalable platform built using information sharing best practices and standards to enhance collaboration between the DoD and the DIB partners. This includes email notifications, and instant messenger capabilities in both the classified and unclassified environments. Responses are due Aug. 9. (FedBizOpps)
  • Vice President Mike Pence called on the Senate to pass legislation to restructure and rename the National Protection and Programs Directorate as the “Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.” The House has already passed legislation authorizing the move. Pence criticized the Obama administration during a speech at the Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity Summit, saying the previous administration “left a mess” on cybersecurity. (Federal News Radio)
  • Agencies have a new playbook to help them meet the Trump administration’s goals of improving citizen services. The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council released a new customer experience playbook outlining eight steps agencies can take. ACT-IAC’s Customer Experience community of interest suggests agencies should create a customer strategy, understand their culture and appetite for change, and design the experience for today and the future. (American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council)
  • New Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie addressed the VA workforce with another video, reiterating a message he gave when he joined the agency as acting secretary. He said customer service will be his top priority for the VA. Wilkie also encouraged VA employees to listen to each other and encouraged agency leaders to cultivate a bottom-up organization. (YouTube)
  • The Defense Department said it has finished the first legal checklists to start housing immigrant families on military bases. The Pentagon said it wrapped up the initial legal and environmental reviews needed to start building family detention facilities at Fort Bliss, Texas. It is now waiting for a formal letter from the Department of Health and Human Services before it starts clearing land for the housing. HHS officials previously asked DoD for space to house up to 20,000 children while DHS asked for another 12,000 beds for families, including 2,000 within the next 45 days. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Air Force is considering an idea to let staff sergeants extend their service from 15 to 20 years before being forced to retire. Military.com reports Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth Wright spoke about the rumor during a town hall, saying the idea could help with retention and may be expanded to technical sergeants, allowing them to serve for 22 years.
  • The Department of Justice’s  Civil Rights Division and the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration Office of Foreign Labor Certification formed a partnership to go after certain private sector hiring practices. It aims to stop companies who hire temporary visa employees from discriminating against U.S. workers. The memorandum of understanding establishes data sharing, referring cases to one another, and training one another’s employees. It builds on a 2017 effort called the Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative. (Department of Justice)