Your top 7 Gov’t Stories: including the Pentagon’s new Spy Service

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 24th of April, 2012:

  1. The Pentagon is setting up a new spy service of its own. The Wall Street Journal says the Defense Department will use existing funds and personnel to increase to create the new department.  DoD has wanted to increase their role in the collection of sensitive intelligence about threats. The new spy service is part of a Pentagon-wide reorganization effort.
  2. Hacktivists pose the biggest threat to IT security. A new InformationWeek Federal IT survey says the top threat shouldn’t come as a big surprise since hacktivists have topped the list for the past two years. The survey found that despite governmentwide adoption of new FISMA policies cyber attacks were still up by 5 percent from last year.
  3. The GSA conference scandal has hit the agency hard...and now the investigation is widening to include potential contractor fraud. The Washington Post says GSA’s inspector general told federal prosecutors an outside event planner violated ethics laws. Michael Jahn, managing partner of Location Solvers, is accused of violating bribery laws by giving gifts to several GSA employees in excess of the government’s $20 limit.
  4. Two former students of the elite military and naval academies say in a new lawsuit that they were raped by fellow classmates and then either resigned or were forced to leave because administrators didn’t take their allegations seriously. The Wall Street Journal says the women claim they were raped by upperclassmen while under the influence of alcohol and later ostracized when they reported the allegations. The Defense Department has declined to comment.
  5. The Veterans Affairs Department is struggling to keep up with the number of veterans seeking mental health care. The agency’s inspector general said half of its mental health patients have to wait about 50 days for a full evaluation. Federal News Radio says the agency's tracking system is flawed. Doctors and clinicians said they don't have the manpower to handle all the cases. The VA last week began hiring 1,900 more mental health care workers.
  6. The Senate is back in session debating how to keep the Postal Service afloat. Now senators are considering a couple of amendments that would mean major changes to employees pay and benefits. Government Executive says the new bill would require retirement-eligible employees to retire, increase the amount workers contribute to their health benefits and life insurance,  limit executive pay and curtail the amount agencies can spend on government conferences.
  7. And on GovLoop, we’re talking about the future of Gov 2.0. It’s part of our new webinar with HP where we look at where Gov 2.0 started, where it is now, and where it’s going. It’s going to be a really fascinating discussion and you can still register right now on our homepage for the Thursday webinar! The conversation kicks off at 2pm.
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