Wednesday morning federal headlines – May 30, 2012

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp 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.

  • Fifty-four information technology contractors won places on the newest governmentwide acquisition contract. The NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center made the awards. The GWAC is known as Chief Information Officers – Solutions and Partners 3. CIO-SP-3 is a 10-year deal that’s open to all civilian and Defense Department agencies. NIH said all prices were pre-competed at the master contract level. That should speed the ability of contracting officers to award task orders. Among the large contractors are Accenture, BAE, Booz Allen, Deloitte, GTSI, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Unisys. (NITAAC)
  • The White House is bolstering its cyber office as its first cybersecurity coordinator prepares to retire. Andy Ozment will join the cyber office as one of two senior directors reporting to Howard Schmidt. After Schmidt leaves June 10, Ozment will report to his successor, Michael Daniel. Ozment returns to the White House from the Homeland Security Department, where he was director for compliance and technology in the CIO’s office. Earlier, Ozment helped craft the 60-day cyberspace review that’s guided White House policy since 2009. Before joining the government, Ozment worked at the MIT Lincoln Lab and for Merrill Lynch. (Federal News Radio)
  • Howard Schmidt is taking some credit for raising the government’s cybersecurity awareness. Schmidt will retire in two weeks as White House cyber coordinator. He told Federal News Radio that cybersecurity is now recognized across government as key to protecting agency and private sector infrastructure. Schmidt said one of his most important decisions was giving Homeland Security authority for civilian agency cybersecurity. Veteran White House staffer Michael Daniel will take over from Schmidt. (Federal News Radio)
  • Governments around the world are examining the Flame virus. Iran admitted to massive data losses thanks to the latest cyber attack. That country’s cyber defense group said the Flame virus appears to be more lethal than the Stuxnet worm. Stuxnet was aimed at Iran in 2010, causing destruction of some of the country’s nuclear centrifuges. A source told the New York Times that Flame has a pattern indicating it was written in Israel. In the U.S., both the House and Senate will receive briefings from Symantec tomorrow on the latest cyber threats. McAfee will detail threats in a White House sponsored speech today at the Commerce Department. (Federal News Radio)
  • A long-time insider is leading the National Weather Service as it recovers from scandal. Laura Furgione became acting assistant administrator yesterday. She replaced Jack Hayes, who stepped down Friday after the release of an internal investigation that found agency employees had moved millions of dollars between programs without telling Congress. The agency has now asked lawmakers to redirect $36 million to local forecasting and equipment upgrades. (NOAA)
  • Lockheed Martin won a seven-year prime contract to supply IT services to two Justice Department agencies. The deal is worth up to $496 million. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service will share the contract. Lockheed will provide hardware, software, cybersecurity, maintenance, help desk and other support. It will also supply cloud computing services. Justice made the award under the GSA Alliant program. It will cover 15,000 seats at multiple locations. (Lockheed Martin)
  • A new report shows federal employees’ satisfaction with pay dropped significantly between 2010 and 2011. The Partnership for Public Service said it was no surprise, considering pay was frozen for two years. But the nonprofit said the attitudes of highly-paid government employees dropped more than those who aren’t paid as well. Senior Executive Service members’ satisfaction dropped nearly 8 percent in a year. (Federal News Radio)
  • Government statistics revealed that nearly half of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have filed for disability. Forty-five percent of the 1.6 million vets from these wars are seeking compensation for service-related injuries. That’s more than the double the disability claims from the Gulf War. In addition, these vets reported an average of eight to nine ailments, compared to fewer than four for Vietnam veterans. That makes post-9/11 vets the most medically and mentally troubled generation of veterans in the nation’s history. Government officials told the Associated Press that several factors were driving the claims, like more troops surviving wounds, multiple tours of duty and greater awareness of problems like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Disability payments range from $127 to nearly $3,000 a month, depending on the level of disability. (Federal News Radio)
  • Scandals at the General Services Administration, Secret Service and other agencies may be the talk of Capitol Hill and the fodder of late-night talk shows, but most Washingtonians don’t seem fazed. That’s the good news from a WTOP Beltway poll. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they do look less favorably on Washington officials. Virginia residents appear to be let down the most. More than four in 10 said they see official Washington less favorably. Marylanders react pretty much the same way. But just two in 10 District residents said they’ve changed the way they see their neighbors. The poll was conducted by Heart and Mind Strategies. (WTOP)
  • The Office of Personnel Management has asked agencies to send in their existing policies on domestic violence in the federal workforce. This move follows a memo President Barack Obama released in April saying government “should act as a model in responding to domestic violence in its workforce.” This is the first move to create a single, government-wide policy that will include guidance for violence prevention, assisting employee victims and disciplinary action for employee perpetrators. (CHOC.gov)