DoD says DON’T plan on sequestration cuts – DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • We are constantly hearing about how the polarization in Congress is making it impossible for anything to get accomplished. Are there any issues that can be not only agreed upon by our officials but also acted upon and implemented? The NAPA and the ASPA came together on this very question and a product of their efforts is a series of memos to our national leaders. Click here for the full recap.
  • We've probably all seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The movie showcases imagination, creativity and the freedom to try new things and experiment. That's the same idea as the TSA's IdeaFactory. The 5-year-old program was one of the first true government 2.0 technologies. Click here for the full recap.
But up front: Sequestration resolution in the works? The New York Times reports that Congress is planning a post-election dodge of the fiscal cliff. Senate leaders are closing in on a path for dealing with the ‘fiscal cliff’ facing the country in January, opting to try to use a postelection session of Congress to reach agreement on a comprehensive deficit reduction deal rather than a short-term solution.
Senate Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on the details, and House Republicans continue to resist any discussion of tax increases. But lawmakers and aides say that a bipartisan group of senators is coalescing around an ambitious three-step process to avert a series of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts…[S]enators would come to an agreement on a deficit reduction target — likely to be around $4 trillion over 10 years — to be reached through revenue raised by an overhaul of the tax code, savings from changes to social programs like Medicare and Social Security, and cuts to federal programs. Once the framework is approved, lawmakers would vote on expedited instructions to relevant Congressional committees to draft the details over six months to a year.
Much talk about BYOD -- bring your own device -- there are growing questions about what that might mean for your device... the data... privacy on your device. CIO magazine says a new survey shows there is a severe lack of trust that is impeding BYOD progress Mobile technology and BYOD give companies Orwellian power, testing the relationship between employers and employees. So far, there's a severe lack of trust that is impeding BYOD progress, says a new survey. With all eyes on the Presidential debate Wednesday night, Mashable says the real debate will be on Facebook and Twitter The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 2nd of October 2012
  1. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued a new warning to Defense Department civilians and commanders not to make any plans for automatic budget cuts, even as Congress and White House show no sign of halting the cuts. The Washington Times reports Carter does not even want military leaders to suggest in conversation with employees that the cuts might happen.
  2. The National Journal reports, the Veterans Affairs Department was cited for excessive conference spending and weak leadership for the handling two conferences in the summer of 2011. The report, issued by VA’s inspector general’s office, called the human resources conferences in Orlando, Fla., “valid training” exercises, but said the department lacked the leadership to “provide proper oversight.” The report specifically cited Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration John Sepulveda for “abdicat[ing] his responsibilities.”  As we told you yesterday, Sepulveda resigned from his position last weekend. Federal Times says Sepulveda made false statements while under oath during the investigation.
  3. The White House has thwarted a cyberattack. Federal Times says the attack targeted an unclassified network. The attack was identified by the White House and the system isolated the attack to prevent spread. The White House says that no data was removed in the hack.  A White House official says there was no attempted breach of classified systems. The official described such ‘spear phishing’ attacks as ‘not infrequent
  4. The Pentagon will expand a little-known program that allows defense contractors to quickly share information with the government about cyber-espionage and attacks, rather than wait for Congress to pass legislation enabling private companies to send that information quickly to the government. Foreign Policy reports in recent years, U.S. defense contractors have been hit by cyberattacks compromising information on high-profile weapons systems, such as the $1.5 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. In the case of the F-35, the attacks have led to costly software redesigns and production delays.
  5. GSA says they can’t verify cloud email savings. Federal Times says GSA has estimated its cloud email system will save $15 million over five years, but a new inspector general report found that GSA could neither verify those savings nor clearly determine if the cloud migration is meeting agency expectations.  GSA also cannot fully assess if the cloud migration is meeting agency goals because the performance measures are unclear, lack targets or were not updated.
  6. The biggest federal contractor has decided not to warn employees of potential layoffs from sequestration. Federal News Radio says this  is a reversal of the company's earlier stance. In a memo, Lockheed Martin chairman Robert Stevens told employees the company will go along with White House guidance. In exchange for not issuing WARN Act notices, the administration said agencies will cover legal and compensation costs for employees who may eventually lose their jobs because of sequestration. Stevens said he was told by Defense Department officials not to expect any contract actions on or near Jan. 2, the scheduled date for the automatic budget cuts.
  7. A new Freedom of Information Act website has launched. FOIAonline is a joint development of several agencies, led by the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal News Radio reports the site lets visitors communicate directly online with FOIA officers at participating agencies. These include EPA, the Merit Systems Protection Board, Commerce, Federal Labor Relations Authority and the National Archives. Other agencies are expected to join in the coming months. FOIA requesters can also track the progress of their requests online. Several good-government groups have praised the site.
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