A new bipartisan House bill directs the Federal Communications Commission to determine if some spectrum bands can be set aside specifically for wireless devices such as laptop and tablet computers.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants more latitude to fire poorly performing employees, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told a House panel June 25. "Any way we can make these processes move more quickly, I'm all for it," McCarthy said at a House Oversight and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. "But there is an administrative process we must follow."
The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act passed in the House May 22 as part of the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435). The bill passed with a 325-98 vote.
The Postal Service's employee pension program has remained unchanged since 1987 despite rising costs that have left the agency operating at a deficit in the billions, a May 1 USPS Inspector General report says. USPS operated at a $5 billion loss in fiscal 2013 and much of its budget goes to labor expenses. About $6 billion of the beleaguered agency's spending went to retirement benefits, the report (pdf) says.
The House this week passed by voice vote a bill that would cut down the number of reports agencies must produce. The bill (H.R.4194) would eliminate outdated and duplicative reports that agencies have to write for Congress. By eliminating the 79 reports deemed unnecessary by both the Office of Management and Budget and House Committees, the government would save about $1 million a year for the next five years, says Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in an April 28 statement.
A bill reforming federal management of information technology has another shot at becoming law following the House's Feb. 25 passage by voice vote of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The bill (H.R. 1232) the House approved Tuesday afternoon is different in some key respects from an earlier version the House attached as an amendment to a national defense authorization bill.
A legislative attempt to create a Postal Service innovation officer and allow the agency to offer non-postal services such as check cashing failed during a Feb. 11 House Oversight and Governmental Affairs committee markup.
Three information technology officials from the Health and Human Services Department vouched for the security of healthcare.gov at a sometimes contentious House Oversight Committee hearing Jan. 16. No attacks on the site have been successful, said Kevin Charest, HHS's chief information security officer. He also called the code behind one widely reported denial-of-service attack attempt "rudimentary."
The House passed a bill Friday that would impose stringent new reporting requirements on the Health and Human Services Department whenever any healthcare exchange created under the Affordable Care Act suffers a data breach. The White House opposes the bill.
Last year Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) touted postal reform as a way to save the beleaguered agency, but now he wants to use savings from a proposed reduced delivery schedule to restore cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees.