Pentagon eases travel restrictions amid pandemic | Instant News



To listen to the Federal Bulletin on your phone or mobile device, subscribe to PodcastOne or Apple Podcasts. The best desktop listening experience can be found using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. The Defense Department is regularly lifting the travel restrictions it has imposed in response to COVID-19. This week’s update from the Pentagon shows that just over half of the world’s military installations are now in the “green” category – meaning the military can move to and from these bases without special permission. Four bases were added to the unrestricted list last week. The DoD considers several factors in deciding whether to change the condition of a facility, including whether adequate health care services are available at the base and under the conditions of the local community. Inspectors General of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee warn of a job well done, tracking around $ 3 trillion in coronavirus spending still means billions in fraud. Acting committee chair Michael Horowitz said just 1% of fraudulent spending would rival the Justice Department’s annual budget. According to him, current indicators suggest that the actual level of poorly spent funds is over 1%, but that the committee’s work continues to lead to arrests and charges of fraud. (Federal News Network) President Donald Trump hires a former chief of staff of a House committee to become the new inspector general of the intelligence community. The president plans to appoint Allen Souza to replace Michael Atkinson, who Trump sacked in April, to oversee the IC. Souza is currently the Deputy Senior Director of Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council. Previously, he was Director of Personnel for Minorities and General Counsel of the House of Representatives Standing Special Committee on Intelligence. (White House) Customs and border protection did not sufficiently protect sensitive data that was scanned in a data breach of a subcontractor, according to the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security. The IG report says these cyber loopholes allowed the contractor to improperly copy images of travelers onto a system that was subsequently breached. The IG says the data breach compromised around 184,000 images of CBP’s facial recognition pilot travelers, and at least 19 of the images were posted to the Dark Web. NIST is coming out with a major overhaul of its core cybersecurity guidelines. NIST calls revision five of Special Publication 800-53 not just an update, but a complete renovation. He released the final version of his long-standing cybersecurity post yesterday, changing everything from how security and privacy controls are built in to adding supply chain risk management concepts. NIST says Revision 5 is the end of a multi-year effort to develop the first comprehensive catalog of security and privacy controls that can be used to manage risk for organizations of all industries and sizes, and all types of systems. Unions are still fighting against the president’s 2018 membership decrees. An arbitrator has said parts of the 2018 EOs on official time and collective bargaining violate federal labor-management law. The ruling stems from a collective bargaining dispute between the US Patent and Trademark Office and the National Treasury Employees Union. The NTEU has filed unfair labor practice complaints against PTO for implementing parts of the President’s EOs and failing to negotiate about them. An arbitrator agreed. PTO can file exceptions to the arbitrator’s decision and appeal to court. (Federal News Network) The Aerospace Industries Association has unveiled a roadmap for recovery. The aerospace industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and is still in the midst of it. The interest group recommended that the government continue to target payroll assistance to help businesses pay wages and benefits. He also suggested investing in STEM research and education to develop technologies that protect jobs and essential skills. The AIA also wants the DoD to speed up its defense procurement. He said increasing progress payments for ongoing contracts could help businesses. The largest group of naval military bases are allowed to transition to a less restrictive state of health. Hampton Roads, Virginia, has been on condition of Charlie Health Protection since the coronavirus hit the United States. He now moves on to condition Bravo. This allows military personnel to adhere to national and local guidelines for off-base activities. They can also leave their homes for now essential tasks. The bases moved to the new state of health as they met the Ministry of Defense requirements for COVID minimization and preparedness. The Department of Veterans Affairs said it took a big step forward this month. The Veterans Appeal Board rendered over 100,000 decisions in fiscal 2020. The board rendered 95,000 decisions last year. This marked the previous record for most decisions rendered in a year. The council also completed 15,000 hearings this year. Four thousand of them were virtual. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the progress was the result of VA’s continued efforts to modernize the appeals process.



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