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.
The Park Police says it doesn’t need to furlough workers anymore. It’s canceling them, effective Saturday. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said police have already taken three days of unpaid leave. The agency has found other ways to cut costs. And, with seven months of the fiscal year under its belt, Jarvis said it has a more optimistic view of the financial situation. Furloughs had been expected throughout the summer. Nearly one in 20 federal workers, including some park police, were on furlough Friday because of sequestration. (Federal News Radio)
The General Services Administration made last-minute concessions before awarding a bulk wireless buying plan. GSA brought three major carriers into a blanket purchase agreement under its Wireless Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative. NextGov reports, GSA gave up on requirements for pooling minutes at the agency level. And it let go of a requirement for no roaming charges near the Canadian and Mexican borders. GSA was responding to a Government Accountability Office ruling from last fall. GAO said those two requirements were not commercial, and therefore put too much burden on the contractors. (NextGov)
The Interior Department is planning to hire 600 young people. They’ll work in national parks, wildlife reserves and other public lands. They’re funded by $4 million in grants. Interior wants to cooperate with state government and private companies to extend the program. Interior officials hope to hire 17,000 people as part of an Obama administration plan to create a 21st century Conservation Services Corps. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says the program will help the young workers obtain job skills while connecting with the great outdoors. Interior’s announcement came a day before cancellation of Park Service furloughs. (Interior)
The Department of Homeland Security’s plan to charge a fee for coming to the United States by land is sparking outrage in northern states. In its 2014 budget proposal, DHS merely requests permission to do a study. But retailers in border states like Washington fear the fee could deter Canadians from crossing over to buy cheap gas, beer, wine or milk. Eighteen lawmakers have sent a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano saying the fee would hurt the economy. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is sponsoring legislation to bar a study. But lawmakers from southern states think differently. Some say a fee could help pay for border facilities. (Federal News Radio)
Sequestration and the receding furlough threat don’t mean the government has stopped hiring. In fact, agencies have around 27,000 open positions. The Washington Times reports, since the March 4 sequester, the government has posted 10,000 jobs. A fourth are positions at the Veterans Affairs Department, which is exempt from the sequester. The Transportation Security Administration has more than 400 openings, mostly for airport screeners. Some jobs seem unlikely to be filled. The Defense Department is looking for 71 bartenders and 123 waiters. (The Washington Times)
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC 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.