Defense One: State of Defense

Defense One – This year’s State of Defense special report highlights the tension between the U.S. long-term strategy to compete geopolitically with China and the short-term situation with Russia. Long-term plans are continuing ahead while officials continue to keep up to date with important developments in Europe. Please click here to read more.

New FOIA Guidelines Issued

Federal News Network – Attorney General Merrick Garland is directing agencies to apply a “presumption of openness” when processing open records requests, as lawmakers seek a major deep dive on the issues agencies face in complying with the Freedom of Information Act.

The new FOIA guidelines issued by Garland on Tuesday also state the Justice Department will not defend decisions that fail to apply a presumption of openness. It encourages agencies to not just rely on one of nine exemptions that allows agencies to withhold information. Please click here to learn more.

Bill Signed: H.R. 2471

On Tuesday, March 15, President Biden signed into law H.R. 2471, also known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022.” The act provides full-year funding through September 20, 2022 for projects and activities of the Federal Government. It also includes supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2022 for Ukraine activities. Click here to read more.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Issues Guidance on Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued a special publication on March 15 providing Federal agencies and private organizations further guidance on protecting unclassified information. The publication details ways to assess an organization’s adherence to NIST’s go-to list of enhanced security requirements for protecting controlled unclassified information (CUI). 

Dept. of VA Recommendations for VA Health Care System

The US Department of Veterans Affairs recently published the recommendations of the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission to modernize and realign the VA Health Care System.  Wisconsin is in two regions called Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN).  VISN 12 covers most of the state, northern Illinois, and the upper peninsula of Michigan while VISN 23 covers the northwest portion of Wisconsin.  If the recommendations are approved, construction projects will be completed to update, expand, and improve VA facilities in Wisconsin and across the nation.

Read the reports for additional details – VISN 12 ReportVISN 23 Report

If you need assistance on this topic, please contact Carol Murphy at carolm2@wispro.org or 414-270-3600.

Biden Executive Order Takes Major Steps Toward Regulating Cryptocurrencies

Nextgov – The president will sign an executive order regulating the growing industry, announcing the exploration of a possible government-backed currency and addressing national security and equity concerns. Central to the discussion surrounding the executive order was the potential for Russia to utilize cryptocurrencies to skirt the onslaught of sanction imposed by public and private entities following its military invasion of Ukraine. To read more, click here.

Executive Order Signed to Review Security of Supply Chains, Including for the Defense Industrial Base

In order to strengthen the national industrial base during times of disruption, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed Executive Order (E.O.) 14017, America’s Supply Chains, on February 24, 2021. The E.O. calls for a comprehensive review of supply chains in critical sectors, including the defense industrial base (DIB). This report provides DoD’s assessment of supply chains in the DIB and articulates the Department’s plans to ensure security of supply for items vital to national security. Click here to read more.