DOD Reduces Furloughs by 5 Days – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

The SEVEN stories that impact your life 

  1. Unpaid furloughs will end next week after the Pentagon found money from other areas to cut the number of furlough days from eleven to six. According to the Federal Times, the decision was due to several factors, but mainly lower-than-expected costs for moving equipment out of Afghanistan and Congress’ approval late last month to a request to shift billions of dollars from acquisition accounts to operating activities. Hagel’s decision means that 650,000 Defense Department civilian employees will no longer be shouldering one-day-a-week furloughs.
  2. The Pentagon released a new report about sexual assault in the military, as it continues to feel the pressure to reform practices. POLITICO reports, the report found that “more than 90 percent of sex crimes are committed by predators who strike repeatedly, using positions of power, a weak reporting system, and the culture of moving service members and officers from base to base every two or three years where they can prey on victims.” In recent months, the Pentagon has been more proactive about addressing sexual assault by launching new training programs and reviewing thousands of personnel records.
  3. Tuesday the General Services Administration launched a new online portal designed to help agencies figure out the best procurement vehicle for their IT needs. According to Federal Times, the IT Solutions Navigator will provide agencies with market research tools and video tutorials. The portal was developed due to increased customer challenges in finding the right way to purchase IT products and services. 
  4. In April 2011, senior staff members at the Department of Education were attacked in a cyber phishing scam, enabling cyberattacks to successfully steal government data. Federal Times just recently learned about the attack through the Freedom of Information Act. These types of attacks have been a persistent concern for years, and these recently obtained files provide a rare look into precisely how one team of cyberattackers targeted a government agency.
  5. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Data Services Hub, which is intended to support health insurance exchanges, is set to be operationally secure before October 1, 2013. According to a new report, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services found that CMS is working on a very tight deadline to ensure that security measures for the Hub are assessed, tested, and implemented correctly. Health insurance exchanges are State-based competitive marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase private health insurance
  6. Last August, the Special Operations Command began using data mining tools to dive deep into social media and track money laundering. Nextgov reports that under the government program, officials experimented with using social media monitoring tools in a major money laundering case being investigated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s bulk cash smuggling center. The first experiment was successful in identifying strategies and techniques for exploiting open sources of information.
  7. Due to Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, President Obama has officially decided that he will not meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, he will still attend next month’s Group of 20 summit, which is being held in St. Petersburg, Russia. According to the Washington Post, the White House officially stated that Obama will not meet because “there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • FastCompany: Why Companies Are (Finally) Falling All Over Each Other To Become Best Places To Work
  • Harvard Business Review: “You have to keep reminding the organization how capable it is. Every Friday afternoon for the past six years I have written a letter to all 180,000 employees celebrating a performance improvement, some great research, or a new award.”  Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson on creating a culture of continuous improvement.
  • And just for fun: During Shark Week: Mashable: 15 Shark Accessories That Will Scare You Out of the Water

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