DEA closer to getting new headquarters

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  • The Drug Enforcement Administration is one step closer to a new headquarters. The General Services Administration signed a 15-year lease for the DEA. The headquarters will house more than 2,500 employees and include a museum and visitors’ center. GSA said it would save more than $100 million over the lease’s length. (General Services Administration)
  • 911 is still best method for contacting the Coast Guard for rescue after a hurricane. Rear Adm. Scott Buschman, deputy commander of the Atlantic area, said the service cannot monitor social media constantly, and traditional communication channels like 911 are more effective for survivors to contact first responders. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Agriculture Department is making it easier for agencies to spread information to the media during large scale emergencies. A new USDA tool allows agencies to search media organizations geographically, and contact them with information relevant to their audiences. For example, agencies can tailor information directly to areas affected by a hurricane or other natural disaster, a disease outbreak, transportation infrastructure issues, or even a fugitive sighting. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Army awarded a 10-year, $1.5 billion contract for HR services. The awards are part of a portfolio the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Services called HR Solutions. The multiple-award contract went to 12 small businesses who’ll offer a wide array of HR support services, focusing on recruitment management and administrative support. The Army claims DoD customers who’ve already moved their support services to HR Solutions have cut their administrative costs by 25 percent.
  • Air Force Air Combat Command outlined how it will focus on revitalizing squadron readiness, develop leaders and accept risk in a new strategic plan. The plan emphasizes delegating authority, family readiness and integrating joint capabilities. The strategy is meant to help the Air Force operate in all domains and find innovative ways to accomplish its mission. (Air Force Air Combat Command)
  • The Senate approved President Donald Trump’s permanent pick to lead the Internal Revenue Service. Tax attorney Charles Rettig will serve as commissioner until November 2022. He takes over for David Kautter, who held the role since last November. At a Senate Finance Committee hearing in June, Rettig told lawmakers he’d make IT modernization a top priority. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Government Accountability Office gave the Internal Revenue Service a thumbs up for its handling of the 2018 tax filing season. GAO found a Tax Day computer glitch did not interfere with the agency’s ability to receive tax returns. The IRS also improved its over-the-phone customer services for the third year in a row. About 80 percent of callers now get through to a live operator to answer their tax questions. But the IRS still struggles with responding to taxpayers who write to the agency asking for help. (Federal News Radio)
  • Three out of 135 agencies still have not met a request from May from the House and Senate small business committees. Lawmakers asked for updates on how they are complying with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Ranking member Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) wrote to the departments of Interior, Health and Human Services and Energy about why these agencies still have not full issued all of their small agency compliance guides. The House committee found very few agencies have been adhering to this provision of the law since 2007. (House Small Business Committee)
  • The State Department’s efforts to protect their data and networks is coming under congressional scrutiny. Five senators are pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about his agency’s cybersecurity shortcomings. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Corey Gardner (R-Colo.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.) wrote to Pompeo asking why his agency hasn’t implemented many of the same cyber protections as other agencies. The senators want more details about why only 11 percent of the agency’s system administrators need multi-factor authentication to log in. They also asked what steps State is taking now that the Office of Management and Budget designated its cyber-readiness as high-risk? Responses from State are due by Oct. 12. (Sen. Ron Wyden)