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Senate Committee bill would require random security clearance audits

A Senate panel passed a bill Wednesday that would require random audits for those holding security clearances at agencies. The bill (S.1618), sponsored by  Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), would require that everyone with a security clearance would get audited randomly twice over a five year period.

As federal property is reduced, offices could shrink

As the federal government reduces its real estate footprint, feds could see their office space shrink. Agency executives told a House panel Wednesday that they plan to decrease by as much as 50 percent the average square foot per federal employee.

Bill would give immediate sick leave to disabled vets entering civil service

Disabled veterans  who enter the federal civilian workforce would immediately get their full year's sick leave under a bill introduced in the House July 29. The bill, introduced by Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX), states that disabled vets wouldn't have to wait to accrue sick leave like most new federal employees do, a July 29 statement says.

House approves VA reform bill giving secretary power to fire executives

The House Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a $17 billion bill that would give the Veterans Affairs Department secretary broad authority to fire agency executives and allow veterans to seek private care. The bill (H.R.3230) is a compromise between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and the Senate is set to take up the measure this week.

Senate confirms Robert McDonald to head VA

The Senate unanimously confirmed Tuesday Robert McDonald as the new head of the Veterans Affairs Department. McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble CEO and an Army veteran, replaces acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson who took over for Eric Shinseki when he resigned in May when it was discovered that the VA falsified wait lists and delayed treatments for veterans.

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FierceHomelandSecurity

The Government Accountability Office recently upheld Raytheon Corp.'s protest that the Customs and Border Protection improperly awarded a $145 million contract for a virtual border fence along the southwest border to a competitor. The GAO recommended that CBP reevaluate the proposals from Raytheon and EFW Inc.

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A bipartisan Senate bill seeks to protect student educational records by limiting how that information is shared with private companies. The Protecting Student Privacy Act, introduced on July 30 by Senators Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, requires that data security safeguards be put in place for sensitive student data held by private firms.