The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.
The Senate has blocked consideration of a 2011 Defense Authorization bill that would repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The measure failed by three votes yesterday, in a test vote. All but one Republican opposed it, mainly on procedural grounds, insisting the Senate vote on tax cuts first. Maine Senator Susan Collins was the only Republican who voted for it. Now there’s a push to put the don’t ask, don’t tell repeal into a stand-alone bill.
Security is the top management challenge facing the Internal Revenue Service in Fiscal 2011. That comes from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. J. Russell George says security has replaced modernization as the top challenge facing the IRS mainly because of recent events at IRS facilities and the agency’s potentially expanding role. The report noted recent attacks on IRS facilities and threats against IRS personnel, including an incident in which an irate taxpayer steered a small airplane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas.
Telework for federal employees is now the law of the land. President Obama has signed the Telework Enhancement Act. It gives agencies six months to develop fresh teleworking policies, and to identify the employees they apply to. The law also orders agencies to designate a telework manager. That person’s job includes developing continuity of operations plans during emergencies.
The Social Security Administration may be running out of time to build its new data center. The inspector general there says the existing computer hub won’t be able to support expanding workloads beyond 2012. The IG says structural and electrical capacity problems make building the new data center imperative. But Social Security says the new facility won’t be ready before 2015. The details come in an IG report that reveals major problems with IT program management at Social Security.
EADS and Boeing continue to compete for the Air Force tanker contract. The latest volley comes from EADS which says it is soliciting bids to design and construct a new facility in Mobile, Alabama where the company hopes to build the KC-45 tanker. New Mexico Business Weekly reports that EADS said it won’t actually build the facility unless it wins the tanker contract. The Air Force wants 179 new tankers, worth about $40 billion. The contract is expected to be awarded in early 2011. A recent report from think tank Lexington Institute suggests that EADS has the edge.
The Army is shipping powerful new rifles to its snipers in Afghanistan. USA Today reports the rifles can take on insurgents who are firing from greater distances and shooting at troops more frequently than in the early years of the war. The XM2010 sniper rifle can hit a target 3,900 feet away, which is a quarter-mile farther than the current Army sniper rifle shoots. The added distance is important because insurgents have been shooting down from ridges and mountaintops where gravity helps their bullets travel farther and beyond the range of Army snipers.
G.I. Jobs Magazine has released its list of the Top 100 Most Military-Friendly Employers for 2011. The top five on the list are Booz Allen Hamilton, ManTech International, CSX Corporation, URS, and CACI International. The annual list includes companies that have made the greatest effort and have had the greatest success in hiring military veterans. Companies were rated on their efforts in recruiting from the military, and policies for Reserve and Guard employees called to active duty.
** The telework bill is now law. President Obama signed the bill yesterday. What impact can telework actually have? Does telework impact job satisfaction? What about work-life balance? We’ll talk to a professor who has studied those issues.
** And we’ll continue looking at the stories that shaped 2010. Today, what is the big Gov 2.0 story of the year.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-8 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.