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FCW : May 15, 2013
The Senate and House passed a bill repealing a key part of a law enacted a year ago that sought to increase pub- lic nancial disclosures by senior fed- eral employees. The new rules, which have stirred intense private objections from many senior aides in the legis- lative and executive branches, were repealed with no committee action or advance notice of oor action by lead- ers in the Senate or House. The bill largely waived the provi- sion in the Stop Trading on Congres- sional Knowledge Act that required senior federal employees to post infor- mation about their nancial transac- tions online. The STOCK Act had passed both chambers overwhelmingly last year. At the time, supporters touted it as an effort to "restore the public s confidence in Congress." The law, which was expanded to cover top federal employees, was triggered by a report on CBS News "60 Minutes" that described rampant insider trading by members of Congress. But after a four-month study, the National Academy of Public Admin- istration released a report conclud- ing that the STOCK Act requirements "impose unwarranted risk to national security and law enforcement, as well as threaten agency missions, individ- ual safety and privacy." According to the new bill, the only people who must still abide by the dis- closure requirement are the president, vice president, presidential nominees, members of Congress and candidates for Congress. Furthermore, the new bill does not affect provisions of the STOCK Act that impose other non- Internet nancial disclosure require- ments, including restrictions on insid- er trading. --- Richard E. Cohen Budget numbers posted on the federal IT Dashboard in April suggest that the government is spending at least $5 bil- lion on classi ed IT, but the numbers don t tell the whole story. President Barack Obama s fiscal 2014 budget request includes about $39 billion for Defense Department IT spending. However, the summary numbers in the IT Dashboard put the defense allocation at $34 billion. A foot- note to a budget document explains the $5 billion discrepancy by noting that "spending levels on information technology investments shown here for DOD include estimates for IT invest- ments for which details are classi ed." If the $5 billion discrepancy forms a baseline for classi ed IT spending, the real number is likely much higher. The Obama administration is seeking a total of $82 billion for federal IT in scal 2014, but annual spending could be as high as $100 million, said Joel Willemssen, managing director for IT issues at the Government Accountabil- ity Of ce, in testimony before a House committee in April. "When [the Of ce of Management and Budget] talks about the amount of money the federal government spends on IT, it s an understated gure for a variety of reasons," Willemssen said. For instance, certain research and development and space projects that include a huge percentage of IT are not reported and neither is spending on intelligence. The $5 billion might understate clas- si ed IT spending in other ways, said John Slye, an advisory research analyst at Deltek. Authentication and encryp- tion components of weapons systems, for example, could be listed as some- thing other than IT. Nevertheless, the fact that the gov- ernment is advertising the discrep- ancy between classified and non- classi ed spending points to "pockets of increased intelligence transparency," he said. --- Adam Mazmanian Congress spares feds from online disclosure IT Dashboard hints at classi ed IT spending 8 May 15, 2013 FCW.COM Trending sets of medical records for discharged military personnel are transferred from DOD to Veterans Affairs each year 300,000 TANK
April 30, 2013
May 30, 2013