Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, it is my pleasure to congratulate the people of Malawi on the occasion of your National Day. Our countries boast a partnership rooted in shared values and expressed through decades of close collaboration.
Now more than ever, Malawi stands as a beacon of democratic success and stability. Malawian peacekeepers have risked their lives to help bring security and stability to conflicts across the continent. People around the world look to Malawi as a society that has trusted, invested in, and benefited from the independence of its institutions. Malawi will soon assume the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community, and the region is sure to benefit from your commitment to these democratic ideals.
Today, we celebrate Malawi’s progress and its promise for the future.
- Acting AG and Five Country Statement on the Temporary Derogation to the ePrivacy Directive to Combat Child Sexual Exploitation and AbuseBy Sam NewsJanuary 12, 2021Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen joined the Home Affairs, Interior, and Security Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom in issuing the following statement:[Read More…]
- Public Comments Welcome on Draft Policy Statement on Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to F/RAND CommitmentsBy Sam NewsDecember 6, 2021The Department of Justice announced today that it is requesting public comment on a new draft policy statement concerning standards-essential patents (SEPs) that seeks to promote good-faith licensing negotiations and addresses the scope of remedies available to patent owners that have agreed to license their essential technologies on reasonable and non-discriminatory or fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (F/RAND) terms. The Justice Department worked with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in responding to President Biden’s recent Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, which encouraged the agencies to review the 2019 Policy Statement on Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Commitments to ensure that it adequately promoted competition. Together the agencies, after consulting with the Federal Trade Commission, are now issuing a revised draft statement for public comment.[Read More…]
- Reports of Human Rights Abuses, Atrocities, and Destruction in Amhara and Afar Regions By Sam NewsDecember 12, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
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- Indonesian Company Admits To Deceiving U.S. Banks In Order To Trade With North Korea, Agrees To Pay A Fine Of More Than $1.5 MillionBy Sam NewsJanuary 17, 2021A global supplier of cigarette paper products, PT Bukit Muria Jaya (“BMJ”), has agreed to pay a fine of $1,561,570 and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for conspiring to commit bank fraud in connection with the shipment of products to North Korean customers. BMJ, which is incorporated in Indonesia, has also entered into a settlement agreement with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).[Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Meet and Greet with U.S. Embassy Personnel and FamiliesBy Sam NewsNovember 21, 2021Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
- Readout of Justice Department Leadership Meeting on Human Smuggling and Trafficking NetworksBy Sam NewsNovember 5, 2021On Nov 3, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division convened a meeting on efforts to combat human smuggling and trafficking networks as part of the department’s work on Joint Task Force Alpha (JTF Alpha). Participants included Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, the U.S. Attorneys in districts along the Southern border of the United States, Acting Deputy Director Patrick J. Lechleitner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and additional members of JTF Alpha.[Read More…]
- Rebuilding and Enhancing U.S. Refugee Resettlement ProgramsBy Sam NewsFebruary 5, 2021Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
- Department Press Briefing – February 25, 2021By Sam NewsFebruary 25, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
- Arkansas Businessman Pleads Guilty to Income Tax EvasionBy Sam NewsOctober 14, 2020A Bentonville, Arkansas, resident pleaded guilty today to income tax evasion announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.[Read More…]
- Military Airlift: DOD Needs to Take Steps to Manage Workload Distributed to the Civil Reserve Air FleetBy Sam NewsAugust 24, 2021What GAO FoundDOD exceeded the flying hours needed to meet military training requirements for fiscal years 2002 through 2010 because of increased operational requirements associated with Afghanistan and Iraq; however it does not know whether it used Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) participants to the maximum extent practicable. DOD guidance requires it to meet training requirements and to use commercial transportation to the "maximum extent practicable." During fiscal years 2002 through 2010, DOD flew its fleet more than needed to train its crews, although its flying has more closely matched its training needs in recent years. DOD has also used CRAF participants extensively to supplement military airlift. Although DOD has taken steps to make more airlift business available to CRAF participants, officials said that overseas operations have provided enough missions to support both training and CRAF business obligations. However, with the drawdown in Afghanistan, DOD officials expect the need for airlift to decline by at least 66 percent--to pre-September 2001 levels--reducing both training hours available for DOD and business opportunities for CRAF. DOD does not use its process for monitoring flying hours to determine when it will exceed required training hours and allocate eligible airlift missions to CRAF participants. Therefore, it cannot determine whether it is using CRAF to the maximum extent practicable. As a result, DOD may be using its military fleet more than necessary--which officials say is less economical--while risking reduced CRAF participation.DOD provided several reasons for restricting commercial carriers from transporting partial plane loads of cargo over channel routes, including the need to promote efficiency, meet its military airlift training requirements, and fulfill peacetime business obligations to CRAF participants. Channel route missions are regularly scheduled airlift missions used to transport cargo and provide aircrew training time. These missions also help DOD provide business to CRAF participants. According to U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) officials, DOD generally requires aircraft conducting channel route missions to be completely full of cargo before takeoff. The policy restricting carriers from flying partial loads over channel routes allows DOD to consolidate cargo previously flown by commercial carriers in less than full plane loads and redirect that cargo into the channel route system, where it will be transported by either commercial or military aircraft as part of a full plane load mission. According to DOD, consolidating cargo into full loads flown over the channel route system has increased both the efficiency of these missions and the availability of missions that DOD uses to train its crews and fulfill its business obligations to CRAF.It is unclear whether the planned size of CRAF will be adequate to meet future airlift requirements. DOD last established its future requirements based on the wartime scenarios in the Mobility Capability Requirements Study 2016, issued in 2010. However, due to changing military strategy and priorities, the 2010 study does not reflect current mission needs. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 requires DOD to conduct a new mobility capabilities and requirements study. DOD has not begun this study or finalized its ongoing reviews of the CRAF program's ability to support future requirements. Once they are finalized, these studies should allow DOD to better understand future requirements for CRAF and whether the CRAF program will meet future airlift requirements.Why GAO Did This StudyTo move passengers and cargo, DOD supplements its military aircraft with cargo and passenger aircraft from volunteer commercial carriers participating in the CRAF program. Participating carriers commit their aircraft to support a range of military operations in exchange for peacetime business. A House Armed Services Committee mandated GAO to report on matters related to the CRAF program. GAO assessed whether DOD (1) met its military airlift training requirements while also using CRAF participants to the maximum extent practicable, (2) provided justification for restricting commercial carriers from transporting partial plane loads of cargo over certain routes, and (3) has established future requirements for CRAF and how the planned size of CRAF compares to those requirements. GAO reviewed guidance and policies pertaining to the program, flying hour data, and DOD-sponsored CRAF study reports. GAO also interviewed DOD and industry officials.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Issues Guidance on Federal Statutes Regarding Voting Methods and Post-Election “Audits”By Sam NewsJuly 28, 2021Today the U.S. Department of Justice announced the release of two guidance documents to ensure states fully comply with federal laws regarding elections, specifically federal statutes affecting methods of voting and federal constraints related to post-election “audits.”[Read More…]
- Justice Department Solicits Public Comments on Possible Regulatory Modifications to Foreign Agents Registration ActBy Sam NewsDecember 8, 2021The Department of Justice is issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register to seek public comment to help inform the Department’s decision-making prior to its issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).[Read More…]
- Robert Katzmann, Judge and Civics Advocate, Dies at 68By Sam NewsIn U.S CourtsJune 10, 2021Robert A. Katzmann, a former chief judge of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and a tireless, impassioned advocate of civics education, died June 9. He was 68.[Read More…]
- Next Generation Combat Vehicles: As Army Prioritizes Rapid Development, More Attention Needed to Provide Insight on Cost Estimates and Systems Engineering RisksBy Sam NewsAugust 6, 2020The four efforts within the Next Generation Combat Vehicles (NGCV) portfolio all prioritize rapid development, while using different acquisition approaches and contracting strategies. Some of the efforts use the new middle-tier acquisition approach, which enables rapid development by exempting programs from many existing DOD acquisition processes and policies. Similarly, the efforts use contracting strategies that include both traditional contract types as well as more flexible approaches to enable rapid development of technology and designs. Vehicles of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Portfolio The two programs within the portfolio that recently initiated acquisitions—Mobile Protected Firepower and Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle—have taken some steps to mitigate risks in cost and technology consistent with GAO's leading practices. The Army's use of the middle-tier approach for these efforts may facilitate rapid development, but the programs could benefit from additional application of GAO's leading practices. For example, the programs identified some risks in their cost estimates, but because each presented a single estimate of the total cost—referred to as a point estimate—these estimates do not fully reflect how uncertainty could affect costs. Similarly, the programs took some steps to mitigate technical risk by limiting development to 6 years or less and incrementally introducing new technologies, steps consistent with GAO's leading practices. However, by delaying key systems engineering reviews, the programs took some steps not consistent with leading practices, which could increase technical risk. While trade-offs may be necessary to facilitate rapid development, more consistent application of GAO's leading practices for providing cost estimates that reflect uncertainty and conducting timely systems engineering reviews could improve Army's ability to provide insight to decision makers and deliver capability to the warfighter on time and at or near expected costs. The Army has taken actions to enhance communication, both within the Army and with Department of Defense stakeholders, to mitigate risks. Within the Army, these actions included implementing a cross-functional team structure to collaboratively develop program requirements with input from acquisition, contracting, and technology development staff. Program officials also coordinated with other Army and Department of Defense stakeholders responsible for cost and test assessment, even where not required by policy, to mitigate risk. The Army views the NGCV portfolio as one of its most critical and urgent modernization priorities, as many current Army ground combat vehicles were developed in the 1980s or earlier. Past efforts to replace some of these systems failed at a cost of roughly $23 billion. In November 2017, the Army began new efforts to modernize this portfolio. GAO was asked to review the Army's plans for modernizing its fleet of ground combat vehicles. This report examines (1) the acquisition approaches and contracting strategies the Army is considering for the NGCV portfolio, (2) the extent to which the Army's efforts to balance schedule, cost, and technology are reducing acquisition risks for that portfolio, and (3) how the Army is communicating internally and externally to reduce acquisition risks. GAO reviewed the acquisition and contracting plans for each of the vehicles in the portfolio to determine their approaches; assessed schedule, cost, and technology information—where available—against GAO's leading practice guides on these issues as well as other leading practices for acquisition; and interviewed Army and DOD officials. GAO is making three recommendations, including that the Army follow leading practices on cost estimation and systems engineering to mitigate program risk. In its response, the Army concurred with these recommendations and plans to take action to address them. For more information, contact Jon Ludwigson at (202) 512-4841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
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- Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Company and its Owners Plead Guilty to Violating Environmental and Worker Safety Laws Related to Workers’ 2015 DeathsBy Sam NewsJuly 12, 2021Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services LLC (NRCS), its president and owner, Steven Michael Braithwaite, and its vice president and co-owner, Adam Thomas Braithwaite, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Omaha to charges stemming from an investigation into a 2015 fatal railcar explosion that killed two workers. The charges include conspiracy, violating worker safety standards resulting in worker deaths, violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and submitting false documents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).[Read More…]
- Justice Department Statement on Law Enforcement Assistance to the Haitian GovernmentBy Sam NewsJuly 12, 2021The U.S. Department of Justice today released the following statement from spokesman Anthony Coley on department efforts to provide law enforcement assistance to the people and Government of Haiti:[Read More…]
- Justice Department Announces Additional Distribution of More than $568 Million to Victims of Madoff Ponzi SchemeBy Sam NewsSeptember 16, 2021The Department of Justice announced today that the Madoff Victim Fund (MVF) began its seventh distribution of approximately $568 million in funds forfeited to the U.S. government in connection with the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) fraud scheme, bringing the total distributed to over $3.7 billion to nearly 40,000 victims worldwide.[Read More…]
- Cybersecurity: HHS Defined Roles and Responsibilities, but Can Further Improve CollaborationBy Sam NewsJune 29, 2021What GAO Found The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Information Security is responsible for managing department-wide cybersecurity. HHS clearly defined responsibilities for the divisions within that office to, among other things, document and implement a cybersecurity program, as required by the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014. For healthcare and public health critical infrastructure sector cybersecurity, HHS also defined responsibilities for five HHS entities. Among these entities are the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center, which was established to improve cybersecurity information sharing in the sector, and the Healthcare Threat Operations Center, a federal interagency program co-led by HHS and focused on, among other things, providing descriptive and actionable cyber data. Private-sector partners that receive information provided by the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center informed GAO that they could benefit from receiving more actionable threat information. However, this center does not routinely receive such information from the Healthcare Threat Operations Center, and therefore is not positioned to provide it to sector partners. This lack of sharing is due, in part, to HHS not describing coordination between the two entities in procedures defining their responsibilities for cybersecurity information sharing. Until HHS formalizes coordination for the two entities, they will continue to miss an opportunity to strengthen information sharing with sector partners. Further, HHS entities led, or participated in, seven collaborative groups that focused on cybersecurity in the department and healthcare and public health sector. These entities regularly collaborated on cyber response efforts and provided cybersecurity information, guidance, and resources through these groups and other means during COVID-19 between March 2020 and December 2020. In addition, the HHS entities coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to address cyber threats associated with COVID-19. Further, the HHS entities fully demonstrated consistency with four of the seven leading collaboration practices that GAO identified, and partially addressed the remaining three (see table). Until HHS takes action to fully demonstrate the remaining three leading practices, it cannot ensure that it is improving cybersecurity within the department and the healthcare and public health sector. Extent to Which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Demonstrated Leading Practices for Collaborating Leading practice Extent to which the HHS working groups demonstrated the leading practice Define and track outcomes and accountability ◑ - five groups met this practice Bridge organizational cultures ● – all seven groups met this practice Identify leadership ● – all seven groups met this practice Clarify roles and responsibilities ◑ - six groups met this practice Include relevant participants in the group ● – all seven groups met this practice Identify resources ● – all seven groups met this practice Document and regularly update written guidance and agreements ◑ - six groups met this practice Source: GAO analysis of HHS documentation. | GAO-21-403 Why GAO Did This Study HHS and the healthcare and public health sector rely heavily on information systems to fulfill their missions, including delivering healthcare-related services and responding to national health emergencies, such as COVID-19. Federal laws and guidance have set requirements for HHS to address cybersecurity within the department and the sector. Federal guidance also requires collaboration and coordination to strengthen cybersecurity at HHS and in the sector. GAO was asked to review HHS's organizational approach to address cybersecurity. This report discusses HHS's roles and responsibilities for departmental cybersecurity; HHS's roles and responsibilities for healthcare and public health sector cybersecurity; and HHS's efforts to collaborate to manage its cybersecurity responsibilities. To perform its work, GAO reviewed documentation describing HHS's cybersecurity roles and responsibilities, assessed those responsibilities for fragmentation, duplication, and overlap, and evaluated the department's collaborative efforts against GAO's leading practices for collaboration. GAO also interviewed relevant officials at HHS and CISA, and in the sector.[Read More…]