HUD Say It Will Furlough All Workers For A Week – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • The Government Accountability Office has looked at the growing number of cybersecurity threats facing our nation. And it's no small number. The GAO says the increase in cyber attack reported to CERT in the last 6 years has grown by 782%. There were 5,500 incidents in 2006, last year there were 48,000. Click here for the full recap.
Sequestration Update: The Department of Housing and Urban Development will furlough all 9,000 of its employees for seven days between May and August in a bid to reduce costs due to sequestration, Federal News Radio reported. The cuts will lop more than $66 million from HUD's 2013 bottom line. HUD, like all civilian agencies, is required to provide employees notice at least 30 days before enacting furloughs. Miami Herald: Automatic defense spending cuts has resulted this week in the suspension of the military tuition assistance program for service members for the rest of fiscal year 2013 for most branches, including the Air Force. That could affect more than 3,000 airmen at Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base who are eligible for the program. About half of those airmen received college tuition money from the program in fiscal year 2012. Automatic defense spending cuts has resulted this week in the suspension of the military tuition assistance program for service members for the rest of fiscal year 2013 for most branches, including the Air Force. That could affect more than 3,000 airmen at Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base who are eligible for the program. About half of those airmen received college tuition money from the program in fiscal year 2012.  State are concerned about sequestration too: Up North Live reports:  Sequestration is causing concern and uncertainty in northern Michigan. Michigan Works could see a 5-8% cut in their budget. Directors tell 7&4 News that equates to about $300,000. Already, Michigan Works has cut office hours at their Manistee and Kalkaska offices. Those who rely on government housing are also at risk. The Traverse City Housing Commission sent out a letter to landlords saying it expects to see a 5.1% decrease in funding to it’s housing assistance program. If those cuts occur, the commission may have to cut participants from the Section 8 housing program.  The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. The military has stopped production of a new medal for remote warfare troops - drone operators and cyber warfighters - as it considers complaints from veterans and lawmakers over the award, which was ranked higher than traditional combat medals like the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. The Associated Press reports, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a review of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, which was to be awarded to troops who operate drones and use other technological skills to fight America's wars from afar.
  2. Federal News Radio reports the Federal Aviation Administration is warning contractors to expect upheaval during sequestration. It said it cannot avoid changing some contracts. Deputy Assistant Administrator for Acquisition Patricia McNall said budget cuts could force the FAA to stop or suspend work, negotiate lower prices or other terms and even break contracts. McNall said the FAA is reviewing plans for new contracts too. Companies will get the bad news from their contracting officers. But the FAA is hoping to preserve as many opportunities as possible for small businesses.
  3. More openness and transparency could be on the way. A new bill would force agencies to release more documents to the public. The Bipartisan bill would force agencies to explain why they choose to withhold requested documents. It builds upon a four-year-old Justice Department memo that committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said agencies aren't taking seriously.
  4. On top of furloughs and an extended pay freeze, federal employees would shell out more for retirement benefits under a new budget plan. House Republicans' proposal for fiscal 2014 would save $132 billion over 10 years. It would also cut the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition. The budget's architect, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), meets today with President Barack Obama. But the GOP plan is widely considered dead on arrival. The president will release his own budget proposal in early April. 
  5. Researcher says officials covered up vets’ health data. Federal Times reports, that Department of Veterans Affairs officials purposely manipulate or hide data that would support the claims of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to prevent paying costly benefits, a former VA researcher will tell a House subcommittee Wednesday afternoon.“If the studies produce results that do not support the office of public health’s unwritten policy, they do not release them,” according to prepared testimony from Steven Coughlin, a former epidemiologist in the VA’s public health department.
  6. The data center consolidation effort will become part of PortoflioStat. FCW reports, Created in 2010, the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative’s objective to close or consolidate some 1,200 of nearly 2,900 identified federal data centers is intended to be just one portion of a broader campaign to curb waste and inefficiency in IT spending. Now, it appears FDCCI will be formally treated as such, with its 2013 baseline agency inventories categorized and rolled into PortfolioStat when that project's update commences.
  7. And on GovLoop, have you register for the next installment of DorobekINISDER LIVE? We are talking about the evolution of Gov 2.0. It’s next Wednesday March 20th at noon ET. Sign up here.
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