Weekly News Kickoff: Metro Repair Schedule May Be Moved Up

Less than a week after a tentative schedule for Metro repairs was released, it is already being revised. The Federal Transit Administration has requested changes to the timeline, and some construction may be moved up to June. Welcome to the weekly news kickoff. Enjoy these highlights.

Changes Loom for SafeTrack Plan Amid Friction Between Metro, Federal Officials
Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld conceded he should have reached out to federal oversight officials before unveiling a tentative schedule for a massive rail reconstruction program starting next month, WAMU reports. Wiedefield said his management style is sometimes impatient. Five days after Wiedefeld released the proposed SafeTrack program’s timetable, the Federal Transit Administration directed Metro to prioritize repairs along three stretches of tracks. The federal directive, laid out in a letter by FTA acting head Carolyn Flowers, is likely to force Metro to juggle the initial schedule, worsening the inconvenience to some riders. Specifically, the planned 16-day shutdown of the Blue, Orange and Silver lines’ tracks between the Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue stations may have to be moved up to June.

FDIC CIO Allays Congressional Fears Over Data Breaches
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. officials assured the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology that they had rectified the issues related to five inadvertent data breaches and moved to put stronger security measures in place, FedScoop reports. Lawrence Gross, the FDIC’s CIO, testified in front of the committee Thursday after it came to light last month that an employee leaving the agency inadvertently downloaded data containing 44,000 banking customers’ personal details to the employee’s own mobile device. Earlier this week, it was revealed there have been five such instances of employees having left the agency with thousands of records containing highly sensitive information. Gross told the committee he has instituted new security measures, including limiting the use of mobile media devices inside the agency, revising the agency’s data breach management guide and hiring a third party to assess the agency’s IT security and privacy program. Gross said his office took steps to mitigate risk of harm from the breaches, including recovering the devices that had stored the data.

Data Demo Day Highlights Benefits of Open, Searchable Legislative Data
Lawmakers and the Data Coalition, an open-government advocacy group, held a Legislative Data Demo Day on Wednesday to discuss details of the bi-partisan Statutes at Large Modernization Act (H.R. 4006), as well as some ways open and what it calls successful legislative data might be used, FierceGovernmentIT reports. For more than two years, Congress has been publishing the U.S. Code, which organizes active laws by subject matter, as open data. It uses a standardized XML structure called the U.S. Legislative Model, or USLM, to publish, code and tag those laws so they can be software-readable. But the U.S. Code isn’t the only formal compilation of legislation on the block. H.R. 4006 would similarly codify the Statutes at Large, which lists legislation in sequential order, including legislation no longer in effect.

DHS Warns of Old SAP Vulnerability
An old SAP vulnerability is still affecting dozens of organizations worldwide, according to an alert from the Department of Homeland Security‘s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, FCW reports. On May 11, US-CERT said an old SAP vulnerability has affected at least 36 organizations, and security researchers at Onapsis have discovered indications that the weakness has been exploited. Although DHS said the vulnerability was patched in 2010, it “continues to affect outdated and misconfigured SAP systems.” In a May 11 threat report, Onapsis recommends that SAP users review whether the patches are in place.

Experienced, Higher-Ranking Soldiers Getting the Ax From Army
The Army is giving a clearer picture as to who are being involuntarily separated from active duty service as it tries to slim troops down to 450,000 by 2018, Federal News Radio reports. Soldiers with more than 20 years of experience who held the rank of lieutenant colonel or colonel and those in the upper echelons of the enlisted ranks made up the majority of Army layoffs, a report to Congress states. In total the Army issued involuntary separations to 494 soldiers between July and December 2015. The Army let go 238 lieutenant colonels and colonels and 206 sergeants first class and master sergeants. Of the nearly 500 soldiers laid off, all except 31 had 20 years or more of service, the report states.

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