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The Department of Education didn’t have to look far to find its new chief information officer. Luis Lopez, who has been with the Education department since 2017, is the agency’s new CIO. He replaces Jason Gray, who transferred to the US Agency for International Development in August to become the CIO. Lopez joined Education…
The best listening experience is on Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Subscribe to Federal Drive’s daily audio interviews at Apple podcasts or PodcastOne.
- The Department of Education didn’t have to look far to find its new chief information officer. Luis Lopez, who has been with the Education department since 2017, is the agency’s new CIO. He replaces Jason Gray, who transferred to the US Agency for International Development in August to become the CIO. Lopez joined Education five years ago as chief of operations for the Enterprise Technology Services division. In that role, he led all IT services and customer service for the department. Before coming to Education, Lopez worked at the Defense Health Agency and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Education remains internal for its new CIO – Federal News Network)
- The State Department has finalized its application for one of the most anticipated IT service contracts of the year. State released the latest request for proposals late Friday for Evolve, a six-and-a-half-year multi-award contract with a $10 billion cap. State is asking vendors to provide services in five functional categories, including cloud and data centers, application development, and end-user support services. Responses to the RFP must be submitted by January 18.
- Space Force has joined Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida as the newest member of the combatant command. The guards will assume responsibility for satellite communications, missile warnings and other space surveillance tasks in the CENTCOM region. The area of responsibility under the command encompasses more than four million square miles of Northeast Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia. Space Force recently joined Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii and will join US Forces Korea before the end of the year.
- An IRS watchdog has documented investigations into agency staff. The Inspector General of the Treasury for the Internal Revenue Service received more than 1,200 complaints or allegations against IRS employees in the second half of fiscal year 2022. Of those investigations, 26 ended when the IRS fired an employee. Another 21 cases resulted in the suspension or grading of an IRS employee, and 51 employees received a formal warning. Another 89 employees retired or left the agency before the end of the watchdog investigation. TIGTA said the closed investigations also led the IRS to take administrative action against 400 contractor employees.
- Federal employees are increasingly dissatisfied with their pay. Wage satisfaction fell from 61% to 56% between 2021 and 2022. This is according to the results of the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. It is the sharpest drop of any measure under the global satisfaction index this year. The Office of Personnel Management said the decline in wage satisfaction this year was likely due to the higher cost of living, without a corresponding pay rise for most workers. (Agencies’ transition to hybrid work shows in 2022 FEVS results – Federal News Network)
- A new Department of Defense office aims to fund long-term technology innovation. The Office of Strategic Capital (OSC) will offer a government partnership to technology companies to get additional funding or loans for defense applications projects. The OSC plans to focus on policy, acquisition and research to increase available capital. The program is designed to close the funding gap to fully develop new technologies, as well as help U.S. companies compete with foreign counterparts who receive funding from their governments to develop technology.
- An advocacy group makes a final push to Congress to repeal Social Security’s evil twin. Both the windfall elimination provision and state pension compensation would be repealed under the Social Security Fairness Act. Proponents of the bill, such as the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, say WEP and GPO unfairly reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for federal retirees. Some version of the Social Security Fairness Act has been introduced every year for decades. But this is the first time the legislation has been on the House calendar to be considered for a floor vote.
- Cyber leaders are exploring new security measures for both the FBI and their clients. The Federal Chief Information Security Officer Council is reviewing multi-factor authentication tools and policies at all agencies. The goal is to give FBIs and citizens more flexibility in how they can securely access data and services. “I think one thing we’re seeing coming out of the council is this strong push to say, ‘Citizens, we’re going to provide you with the highest security options. So you choose how much security you want when communicating with the federal government,” said Steven Hernandez, CISO in the Department of Education and co-chair of the CISO Council. (CISO Council Considers New Authentication Mechanisms for FBI, Citizens – Federal News Network)
- The Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Safety Review Board will scrutinize the activities of a notorious hacking group. The board announced that its second-ever review will examine cyberattacks related to Lapsus$. The group is connected to hacks that affect some of the world’s largest companies and multiple critical industries such as healthcare and government agencies. The review board will analyze Lapsus$ tactics and make recommendations to help organizations protect themselves.
- The Department of Homeland Security is creating AI champions for all of its components, as part of its forthcoming “black belt” program. DHS Chief Technology Officer David Larrimore said the agency is identifying AI experts in areas such as fraud, biometrics and statistical modeling. Larrimore said several DHS components are making tremendous strides in data sharing, especially in immigration operations. “Data sharing has allowed us to actually process and help hundreds of thousands of people,” Larrimore said. (DHS looks at ‘black belt’ program to create AI champions across all components – Federal News Network)