Who Should Run NSA? Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

But up front:

  • Politico: Federal workers' pensions targeted in budget deal  

  • NYT: Officials say U.S. may never know extent of Snowden’s leaks. National Security officials don't know how many documents former NSA contractor Edward Snowden took with him when he fled the country earlier this year, report Mark Mazzetti and Michael S. Schmidt for the New York Times. "Investigators remain in the dark about the extent of the data breach partly because the N.S.A. facility in Hawaii where Mr. Snowden worked — unlike other N.S.A. facilities — was not equipped with up-to-date software that allows the spy agency to monitor which corners of its vast computer landscape its employees are navigating at any given time."

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Obama administration guaranteed that the National Security Agency will continue to be led by a military official, defying a growing push to put the spy agency under the purview of a civilian, reported Defense One. The administration guaranteed ongoing military supervision when it decided the NSA director will continue to also lead Cyber Command, which must be overseen by a military officer.

  2. The Air Force has its 23rd secretary after the Senate confirmed Deborah Lee James by a 79 to 6 vote on Friday, reported Defense One. She is the second female secretary for the military branch, which has been under Congressional scrutiny this year for its handling of sexual assaults.

  3. The Interior Department aims to shed redundant IT programs and invest more in innovative and forward-looking IT programs. It kick-started a multibillion dollar IT modernization effort in 2011 that is expected to save the agency $100 million a year from 2016 to 2020, reported Federal Times.

  4. With no long-term budget in place yet to fund defense programs through Oct. 1, the Air Force has directed all program managers to assume their top line budgets will remain flat.

  5. Congress has yet to give final approval of a bipartisan budget deal announced last week by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The deal, which passed the House Dec. 12, would provide agencies some relief from sequester budget cuts and cap the government’s discretionary spending at $1.012 trillion this fiscal year, reported Federal Times.

  6. An independent auditor handed the Department of Homeland Security the first clean financial audit in the department's history last week but said officials still need to get a better handle on financial controls, including some supporting IT functions. KPMG, the independent auditor contracted by the DHS inspector general, issued an "unmodified opinion" on the department's balance sheet for fiscal 2013, which ended Sept. 30, reported FCW.

  7. Congress has re-opened the debate about how much contractors should charge the government for executive compensation. The legal limit now stands at $952,000. The authorization deal the Senate debates this week contains a clause to cut the maximum compensation in half, to $487,000. But a bipartisan Defense authorization bill also working through Congress contains a third figure, somewhere in between the other two. Unions and good-government groups have criticized the current formula, reports Federal News Radio.

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