A Look at TSA Security Policies – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

But up front: The LAX TSA Shooting

  • Federal prosecutors have filed charges against Paul A. Ciancia, the 23 year old alleged gunman who fatally shot one TSA officer and wounded two others at Los Angeles International Airport last week. The Washington Post reports that in light of the incident, TSA senior officials are reexamining the agency’s officer-safety protocols and deciding which measures should be taken to prevent a similar event from occurring the future.

  • John Miller, a former LAPD Deputy Commissioner and a CBS senior correspondent shares his thoughts on how the gunman was able to conceal his weapon in the Los Angeles International Airport. CBS shares Miller’s insights, reporting that Ciancia hid his rifle in a backpack and suitcase, opening fire first at the TSA document checkpoint.

Other must reads:

  • Bloomberg: the last minute push to build an online insurance exchange by October 1 forced the administration into an expedited bidding process that yielded only four viable website construction companies. Chosen from amongst these four, CGI also had a limited amount of time to create Healthcare.gov. Each of these factors has contributed to the site’s weaknesses and malfunctions.  

  • CNN: Lawmakers are divided over whether their staff members should be required to sign up for the new health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Members of Congress have until Thursday to decide and if no decision is reached, then congressional committee and leadership staff will automatically be exempted from the exchanges due to an interpretation of the new health care law. 

  • Washington Post: the federal government’s outdated system for tracking and recording deaths has led to numerous instances of two kinds of mistakes. The first is that of falsely listing individuals as dead when they are still alive. This happens to at least 750 new people each month. The second is that of failing to record when a person has died. As a result, federal benefits have been piling up over time for citizens who are not able to cash them. As an example, in recent years, the federal employee retirement system has paid out more than $400 million to former employees who have already passed away.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Senate democrats have expressed serious reservations regarding the latest legislation for reforming the US postal service, stating that significant modifications will have to be made before the bill can garner bipartisan support. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) spoke out against the bill, arguing that its current measures will only slow down USPS delivery standards. The Hill reports that in the face of strong opposition, the Senate Homeland Security Committee has decided to delay the scheduled markup of the USPS legislation.

  2. Top military officials are considering removing the NSA director’s authority over US Cyber Command in light of recent NSA surveillance scandals and concerns over the degree of power and lack of oversight of the NSA chief position. If the powers of the NSA director are split, the Pentagon is debating whether a civilian or a military officer should lead the NSA. Despite the Pentagon’s considerations, the Hill reports that Keith Alexander, the current NSA director and head of US Cyber Command, is advocating for the continued unification of these two powers under the NSA directorship. Alexander argues that dividing the two powers will lead to decreased collaboration between the NSA and Cyber Command.

  3. The Homeland Security Department is investigating allegations that its employees at the Customs and Border Protection headquarters have been adding two hours of “administratively uncontrollable overtime” to their timesheets every day, but failing to conduct work during that period. CBP employees at headquarters abused their overtime hours by engaging in personal or leisure activities such as surfing the internet or watching TV. Recent investigations have found that overtime abuse both at CBP and other DHS organizations have cost taxpayers an estimated $8.7 million annually, as reported by the Federal Times.

  4. The Interior Department has reported that there are currently not enough certified cloud service providers to assist the federal government in its efforts to transition more than 400 of its data centers to the cloud over the next several years. The Federal Times notes that only eight companies are certified under the FedRAMP program to provide cloud services to the federal government. To become a certified cloud service provider, a company has to meet stringent federal security standards in accordance with the FedRAMP program and be reviewed by an independent, third party. The process can take approximately six months.

  5. Funds in the Thrift Savings Plan program ended the month of October on a positive note, despite the flurry of withdrawals and transfers that occurred in TSP accounts during the government shutdown. Federal News Radio observes that the C, S, and I funds under TSP demonstrated the highest increases for October.

  6. USCIS has redesigned and transitioned its website onto the Homeland Security Department’s cloud in an effort to improve the site’s reliability and reduce costs by eliminating the need for locally managed web servers. FCW notes that the new site offers more news alerts and customer notifications as well as user-friendly tools for monitoring the status of adoption and immigration appeals.

  7. The Obama administration has moved the due date for federal agencies to comply with the president’s open data goals in light of the fact that most agency datasets were turned off during the recent government shutdown. Agencies now have until November 30, as opposed to November 1, to implement measures such as making an inventory of all agency data and listing individuals and departments responsible for data release. FCW reports that despite the government shutdown, federal agencies are on track for meeting the president’s open data requests. 

 

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