Federal News Countdown: Fiscal cliff, continuing resolution and GSA reform

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:

Francis Rose, host of “In Depth”, Federal News Radio

Jason Miller, executive editor, Federal News Radio

Jason Miller’s stories
#3 Agencies’ Section 508 compliance mixed, survey finds
From Federal News Radio:


A Justice Department survey finds agencies have made some progress in making technology accessible to employees with disabilities but still have room for improvement when it comes to training and procurement. Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires agencies eliminate potential barriers in electronic and information technology to people with disabilities.

#2 GSA praised for steps to reform culture, organization
From Federal News Radio:

The General Services Administration’s plans to reform its culture and organization received two thumbs up Wednesday. GSA’s Inspector General and Senate lawmakers praised acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini’s strategy to centralize the IT and human resources functions and reduce contracting fees as a main part of his plan to bring the power and oversight back to headquarters and away from the regions.

#1 Shutdown averted but ‘fiscal cliff’ awaits
From Federal News Radio:

Congress is moving to quash the threat of a government shutdown, but the prospect of a one-two punch of tax increases and slashing, automatic spending cuts will still confront lawmakers when they return to Washington after Election Day. The House on Thursday passed a six-month stopgap spending bill to keep federal agencies running past the end of the budget year, the elections and into the spring. It effectively scratched a major item off of Congress’ to-do list heading into a potentially brutal postelection, lame duck session.

Francis Rose’s stories
#3 First elements of DoD’s Joint Information Environment come together in Europe
From Federal News Radio:

The Pentagon has been talking for a long time about collapsing the military’s tens of thousands of computer networks into something that looks like a single technology enterprise. But it’s taken a major step forward this week, officials said. What’s called the Joint Information Environment (JIE) – a network architecture that DoD hopes will one day serve the core needs of all the military services – will lean heavily on work that’s already been done in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command.

#2 Court puts temporary hold on STOCK Act reporting requirement
From Federal News Radio:

A district court judge has put a hold on the section of the STOCK Act that requires 28,000 federal executives to publish their financial information online. Judge Alexander Williams of the District Court of Maryland issued the preliminary injunction on Section 11 of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act on Thursday, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Senior Executives Association and other organizations, claiming the bill’s disclosure provision was an invasion of privacy.

#1 White House warns of ‘deeply destructive’ cuts in sequestration report
From Federal News Radio:

The across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2 would be “deeply destructive” to national security and core civilian agency programs, according to a comprehensive report from the White House detailing the impact of the cuts on specific programs and accounts. The $109 billion in cuts coming next year – split evenly between Defense civilian agency budgets – would slash Defense discretionary spending by 9.4 percent and civilian agency spending by 8.2 percent.