In the midst of revelations about a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency awarded a $4.3 million two-month contract extension to Northrop Grumman for the OPM's Data Warehouse Program (DWP). According to the award documents, the follow-on contract includes "electronic official personnel folder (eOPF) proprietary software, software maintenance and development services, and conforming scanning services." Services to be provided by Northrop Grumman will support 100 federal agencies with up to two million "electronic official personnel folders", including scanned human resources documents.
According to the OPM, the Data Warehouse Program includes, among other things:
Standardized collection of federal employee data
Centralized focus on data quality and integration to one system
Consistent, timely, and secure source for other programs requiring integrated federal employee data, such as the Retirement Systems Modernization program.
Standard data interfaces for the collection of human resources (HR), payroll, and training data
Processes to integrate data from the various sources to provide a comprehensive view of a federal employee's career
Individual employee lookup tool to view history across the employee's Federal career
Secure systems environment that meets Federal data standards and certification requirements
Although the original contract came about through a competitive bidding process, this two-month follow-on extension was a "Limited Sources" award due to the difficulties of implementing an alternative system to Northrop Grumman's proprietary system. OPM also states that along with the contractor, the agency is designing and deploying system enhancements including a "much anticipated self-service password feature" that the agency's inspector general had recommended to allow secure access to the system through internet browsers.
Beyond these initial reasons, OPM also asserts that changing to a new contractor at this time could actually result in violations of the law by OPM since the transition would result in a "sustained inability" to carry out mandated tasks. The agency also warned of "increased risk to the integrity of the eOPF [electronic official personnel folder]" from the "learning curve" a new vendor would experience bringing a new system online.
The OPM's description of the data breaches does not make clear if the Data Warehouse Program was compromised by the attacks. Emails to OPM and Northrop Grumman requesting comment and further information have so far gone unanswered.
The government doesn’t seem to have many good days, these days. If it isn’t a vast hacking of its employees’ personal information by, presumably, the Chinese, then it is the revelation that the people who are supposed to keep air travel safe, the crack agents of the TSA, missed some 95 percent of the dummy bombs that a task force attempted to slip by them in a recent test. Ninety-five percent.
I'm not sure what the great political philosopher Leo Strauss would have thought of the Internet (he was a skeptic about progress, but also a skeptic about reaction). I personally think he would have appreciated aspects of it. Perhaps he would have even written an essay on "Persecution and the Art of Tweeting." Or not.
Speaking Tuesday at the 45th Annual Washington Conference of the Council of the Americas, Secretary of State John Kerry said that "countries are far more likely to advance economically and socially when citizens have faith in their governments and are able to rely on them for justice and equal treatment under the law." Kerry said that a "new kind of relationship" with Latin American countries, emphasizing democracy and human rights, will contribute to "our common ag
The inspector general of the State Department confirmed today in Senate testimony that the State Department network at some point was hacked. He made the comments in response to a question from Georgia senator David Perdue.
Perdue asked, “Do you have evidence that the State Department’s network has been attacked, and does that affect you guys?”
The U.S. State Department is looking to design and facilitate a media ethics course for journalists in India, and has even proposed appropriating the name of Robin Thicke's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" as a title for the course. The U.S.
Since Politico, a politics-focused website and newspaper, launched its subscription-based news service Politico Pro in 2011, government agencies have increasingly turned to the service to keep abreast of the latest developments in their spheres of policy. Government records show fiscal year 2011 contracts with the owner of Politico, Capitol News Company, totaling $41,900.
Senator Chuck Grassley has sent two letters to the State Department to ask about Huma Abedin's special government status when she was a government employee--and for information on Abedin's email use while working for the government. Abedin is a close aide to Hillary Clinton, and worked for the consulting firm Teneo (under a special government employee status) while working for Clinton.
We received this email from a 40-year veteran of the federal workforce, who raises serious questions about Hillary Clinton and her emails:
Since this story broke I have been wondering why "Conversion" has not entered the discussion. In my 40 years in government service, 20 as a senior supervisor, there has been an inviolable rule. One does not use Government resources for personal benefit, and one does not use private resources for Government benefit for personal convenience.