USPS also finds itself in need of more truck drivers

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  • National shortage of truck drivers hits home the Postal Service. The inspector general found that the agency has had more than 1,000 underemployed drivers since at least 2018. The IG office found that USPS drivers are spending overtime to make up the shortfall. The USPS is running a pilot program to train employees who already drive a lighter mail truck to drive larger tractor trailers. More than 9,000 USPS employees work in the Postal Vehicle Service. The agency hires more than 1,700 contract employees to drive longer highways.
  • There were more problems that the Department of Veterans Affairs encountered in implementing the new electronic health record system. The Spokane, Washington, hospital, which served as a test site, stopped accepting patients and rescheduled appointments for a full day late last week during an outage in Cerner’s new system. Officials initially told doctors they should assume all records in the new system were corrupt, according to an email obtained by the local newspaper, The Spokesman-Review. Virginia said the system was eventually restored, but about 200 patient records were affected.
  • The Department of Defense said it will close the largest refueling site in the Pacific. The Red Hill storage facility in Hawaii has provided a strategic fueling station for the United States since World War II. Now, after several leaks, spills, and community disruption due to jet fuel in the water supply, the Pentagon has said it is shutting down the site. The Defense Department will present a plan to remove fuel from the facility by the end of May. The Defense Department said it would redistribute the fuel to other regions and work with industry partners to find new storage sites.
  • The Air Force selected Project Arcwater as the winner of the 2022 Spark Tank competition. The competition asked pilots to develop innovative ideas that could improve the service. The Arcwater system saves energy and saves drinking water using solar fabric and ecological water harvesting. The pilots will be able to take the group out into the field to pick up gallons of potable water.
  • Two other agencies won $9 million under the Technology Modernization Fund. The Postal Regulatory Authority and the Selective Service System became the first small agencies to receive loans from the Technology Modernization Fund. The TMF Board of Directors has announced that the People’s Republic of China will receive $2.6 million to modernize its website, spreadsheet system and data analysis tools. The Selective Service received a $5.9 million loan to upgrade its registration, compliance and verification programs. This is the second set of awards that the TMF Board of Directors has awarded using the $1 billion it received from the American Rescue Act Plan last summer.
  • Federal contractors that provide software to agencies will soon have to confirm that they meet the agency’s minimum security requirements to use their product. But first OMB wants to hear from vendors what the self-certification process should look like. OMB and NIST will hold a public virtual workshop on March 23 to obtain feedback from industry and other experts to inform future implementation guidance for federal procurement of secure software. NIST released the Secure Software Development and Mentoring Framework in early February.
  • Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines has announced that Adele Merritt will be the next chief information officer in the intelligence community. Merritt has served in numerous positions across IC over the course of more than two decades. She began her career at the National Security Agency, and also served as the deputy chief of information for electronic affairs at the Department of Energy. Merritt was a member of the National Security Council during the Obama administration. Most recently, she worked as a Program Manager at DreamPort, an innovative cybersecurity non-profit organization set up by US Cyber ​​Command. (Federal News Network)
  • Agencies have a new guide to securing their mobile environments. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has published guidance on “Applying Zero Trust Principles to Enterprise Mobility.” CISA said special consideration is needed for mobile devices given their widespread use and rapid changes in technology. The evidence comes as agencies look to meet their no-trust targets by the end of fiscal year 2024 as part of a new White House strategy. CISA is accepting comments on the new mobile security paper through April 18.
  • The IRS, amid a challenging season, has officially launched the Taxpayer Experience Office. The officially launched Office of Taxpayer Experience contains a roadmap for the work the IRS should focus on over the next five years. Much of the information reported by President Joe Biden’s executive order last year focused on improving customer service in government. Ken Corbyn will head the office, in addition to his role as Commissioner for the IRS’ Remuneration and Investment Division. Congress tasked the IRS with creating this office as part of the first taxpayer law passed by Congress in 2019.
  • The US Capitol Police has made hundreds of improvements to address lessons learned from the January 6 attacks, but the department has a long way to go when it comes to morale and leadership issues. This is one of the conclusions of a new, large-scale assessment of police force conducted by the Government Accountability Office. The Government Accountability Office said its own survey largely mirrors the results of the agency’s Federal Employee Perspective Survey in recent years: Only 50%-60% of employees said the Capitol Police was a good place to work, and many cited a lack of leadership.