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Federal Government
Feds: FDIC Still Has Weaknesses That Place Financial Systems At Risk PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 13 April 2015 06:04

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - The Government Accountability Office has releasaed the results of its audit of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The summary of what GAO found that while progress has been made toward securing the FDIC, more work remains.

"The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has implemented numerous information security controls intended to protect its key financial systems; nevertheless, weaknesses remain that place the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of financial systems and information at risk. During 2014, the corporation implemented 27 of the 36 GAO recommendations pertaining to previously reported security weaknesses that were unaddressed as of December 31, 2013; actions to implement the remaining 9 recommendations were in progress."

The entire report, as well as tables and charts, can be found at gao.gov.

U.S. House and Senate Schedule For Monday & Tuesday, April 13 & 14, 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 09 April 2015 05:45

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Following is the schedule for the U.S. Senate on Monday, April 13, and for the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 14.

Monday, Apr 13, 2015
2:00 p.m.: Convene and begin a period of morning business.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
10:00 a.m.
Hearing: Oversight of the Ongoing Rail Pipeline and Hazmat Rulemakings
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials

GAO Report: Security Enhancements at Federal Facilities Must Be Better Assessed PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 06 April 2015 05:57

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has concluded that better cost management must occur for security enhancements made at federal facilites since the terrorist attacks of 2011.

In a report, the GAO lays out the problem in a summary posted to its website. The entire report can be found at gao.gov.


"The federal civilian entities GAO selected—the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Justice's United States Marshals Service (USMS), the Smithsonian Institution (Smithsonian), and the Social Security Administration (SSA)—have implemented a range of enhancements to improve physical security. The Interagency Security Committee (ISC), which is chaired by DHS and has representation from across federal civilian entities, has a risk management standard that federal executive branch entities are to follow, where ISC specifies enhancements entities should implement to effectively minimize risk and meet baseline levels of protection. The ISC has identified six general categories of enhancements: interior security, facility structure, security systems, facility entrance, site improvements, and operations and administration. Enhancements can include, among other things, security systems, contract guard forces, and blast resistant windows.

The five federal entities paid for security enhancements using a range of methods such as: paying for enhancements as part of their rent to GSA; paying fees to security organizations to install or operate security screening services; and paying for enhancements during renovation projects. Entities reported having limited ability to track facility security expenditures, particularly when these costs were: (1) funded partially by another entity; (2) were part of rent costs and not separately identified; or (3) were not a separate line-item for entities' funding. GAO's work at these entities showed that several factors drive security costs. For example, site and facility-related factors—such as geographic location, age and size of the facility, and historical designation—drive these costs. Also, implementing security enhancements in new construction projects generally costs less compared to renovations.

Officials from the selected entities said they have used a range of practices to manage costs, such as researching and selecting the least costly vendors, considering costs in relation to risk when deciding on enhancements, and developing some performance measures. ISC's risk management standard states that federal entities should use a cost analysis methodology that considers all costs and should establish a comprehensive performance measurement and testing program to, among other things, help allocate resources. These aspects of the standard represent a rigorous approach to determining cost effectiveness and measuring performance in the security environment; however, the ISC does not provide detailed guidance or specify methodologies federal entities could use for implementation. In fact, the selected entities have had difficulty implementing these parts of the standard to the degree specified by ISC, noting that further guidance would be beneficial. ISC is well positioned to provide entities with such guidance. Implementing these parts of the standard could better able federal entities to assess the cost effectiveness of their security investments."

IRS Employment Dilemma: Huge Numbers Eligible To Retire By Next Year PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 06:06

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - IRS Commissioner John Koskinen laid out a key challenge for his agency, and it's related to the aging of his agency's workforce.

"Essentially, the IRS is facing its own version of the baby bust," said Koskinen, as reported by federalnewsradio.com. "The situation makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible for the IRS to develop the next generation of leaders. We estimate that by next year, 41 percent of our front-line managers and 61 percent of our executives will be eligible to retire. With those departures go knowledge and expertise that will be impossible to replace, especially if our severe underfunding continues."

Koskinen lays the blame on budget cuts and hiring freezes that fail to make the agency a desirable place for younger works to sign on. According to his prepared remarks:

"The agency continues to be in a very difficult budget environment since we are the only major agency functioning basically at the post-sequester level rather than having been moved back toward the pre-sequester level of funding. Since Fiscal 2010, IRS appropriations have been cut by about $900 million and we have 10,000 fewer employees even as our responsibilities continue to expand," he said in is prepared remarks.

Koskinen's full prepared remarks can be found at irs.gov.


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