Thursday Afternoon Federal Newscast – May 6

The Afternoon Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Daily Debrief hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris discuss throughout their show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Computer glitches are driving up costs for the 2010 Census. A new audit from the Commerce Department inspector general’s office finds frequent outages in a Census Bureau computer system are requiring overtime to deal with the problem. The outages caused a 40-hour backlog of work over two weeks in April. They could also put the accuracy of the census at risk.
  • The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says she wants to see the government accelerate its deadline for taking over administration of the international “no-fly” list. Currently the airlines are responsible for comparing names of passengers on international flights to the no-fly list. But the Transportation Security Agency is set to take over the international no-fly list in about a year. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said on CBS’ “Early Show” that the government needs to take on that responsibility sooner.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that suspect Faisal Shahzad’s cooperation with federal agents is continuing as investigators delve into the attempted Times Square bombing. “We will continue to pursue a number of leads as we gather intelligence relating to this attempted attack,” Holder told a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing. The questioning of Shahzad by federal agents is “ongoing” and “there is simply no higher priority than disrupting potential attacks and bringing those who plot them to justice,” the attorney general said.
  • A House panel approves a bill that would make permanent the federal Chief Technology Officer and Cyber Coordinator positions. Right now, a president can eliminate those jobs at will. NextGov reports the measure is part of an amendment to the Federal Information Security Amendments Act. The bill now moves to the full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
  • The Senate has unanimously approved a measure that would permit small community banks to pay a smaller assessment than large banks toward the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s insurance fund. The amendment to the Senate’s broader financial regulation bill would require the FDIC to determine bank payments based on the amount of risk banks engage in, a formula that would require larger banks to pay a higher premium. The vote was 98-0.
  • The head of the Federal Communications Commission is pledging to apply only narrow regulations to high-speed Internet access to ensure the agency has adequate authority to govern broadband providers without adopting heavy-handed rules. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday that the commission will seek to regulate broadband connections as a telecommunications service subject to “common carrier” obligations to treat all traffic equally.


Coming up on the Federal Drive

** Dan Gordon, Administrator of Office of Federal Procurement Policy, brings us an update on where the policy debate over the definition of ‘inherently governmental’ is right now.


** Certified Financial Planner Arthur Stein brings us up to speed on your TSP numbers.