Thursday morning federal headlines – August 18

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 users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • For the Defense Intelligence Agency, the revolving door may be a good thing. A new DIA project aims to deal with constant turnover in its workforce by making it easier for departing employees to return to the government. David Shedd, DIA’s deputy director, said two-thirds of the agency’s employees have been hired since Sept. 11, 2001. But the members of this younger workforce have no intention of staying in one place for 30 years. Shedd said the agency is devising a plan to offer on- and off-ramps to workers throughout a long federal career. The key to the program is letting people retain their security clearances. (Federal News Radio)
  • A program designed to help the Federal Protective Service assess risks is over budget, behind schedule and can’t be used as intended, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report. GAO found that RAMP, which stands for the Risk Assessment and Management Program, was supposed to be completed in 2009. And the costs have ballooned from $21million dollars to $57 million. GAO auditors said FPS has preliminarily decided to discontinue the current RAMP development contract and is considering using a new contractor. (GAO)
  • Customs and Border Protection is launching an investigation of possible corruption in its workforce. It has signed a cooperative agreement with the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general for help in the probe. Under the agreement, CBP will send internal affairs investigators to participate in IG field office corruption probes. The probes will focus on agents working along U.S. borders. Investigators said corruption takes many forms, including cash bribes and sexual favors in return for letting contraband or illegal immigrants get past checkpoints. (Federal News Radio)
  • CACI is reporting record fiscal-fourth quarter revenue and has raised its fiscal 2012 earnings forecast, because it said it sees more business — not less — from federal budget cuts, The Washington Business Journal reports. CACI won $550 million in contracts last quarter, and half of that was new business, the firm said. CEO Paul Cofoni said that despite the government’s belt-tightening, his company continues to see growth opportunities in defense, intelligence, homeland security and cyber. (Washington Business Journal)
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — DARPA — is under investigation by the Pentagon Inspector General, GovExec reports. Auditors are looking into whether contracts unfairly went to a company started by DARPA director Regina Dugan. The IG launched the investigation following complaints by the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group. POGO has questioned whether Dugan still has financial ties to Red-X-Defense, a company she and her father founded in 2005. It has received $6 million dollars worth of contracts. (GovExec)
  • A federal judge has ruled that White House visitors logs are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell rejected arguments by the Secret Service that the logs are presidential records and exempt from public disclosure. A watchdog group, Judicial Watch, argued in favor of releasing visitors logs. The Obama administration has already voluntarily released its visitors logs, however the ruling applies to logs from before that policy change. (Federal News Radio)
  • It is ‘so far, so good’ for a new cyber defense pilot program, launched by the Defense Department. Outgoing Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said the program is showing promise in increasing cyber defenses and preventing enemy intrusions into sensitive government networks. also reports the program shares classified threat intelligence with defense contractors or their commercial Internet providers. Lynn discussed the program and the threats of cyber warfare in the digital age at the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Customer and Industry Forum at the Baltimore Convention Center. (Defense Department)
  • The Justice Department is reportedly investigating whether Standard & Poor’s wrongly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The New York Times reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating S&P. However, the investigation started before S&P lowered the U.S. credit rating earlier this month. Investigators want to more information about instances when the company’s analysts wanted to award lower ratings on mortgage bonds but were overruled by other S&P business managers. Some government officials have questioned the agency’s secretive process and its credibility. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Coast Guard Surface Forces Logistics Center is marking a change in command, the AP reports. Today’s ceremony at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore will make Capt. Michael Haycock, the former commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, the new director of the center. Haycock takes over the command from Kenneth Burgess, who has been director since April. Burgess will serve as the Center’s Executive Director. The center provides maintenance, engineering, supply, logistics and information services for all Coast Guard surface forces. (Associated Press)
  • DynCorp International has landed a $401 million deal with the Air Force, The Washington Business Journal reports. DynCorp was awarded a re-compete contract for aircraft maintenance, munitions, base supply and fuels at the Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility, which has a first-year value of more than $54 million and a total of six option years.DynCorp first won the contract 10 years ago. (Washington Business Journal)
  • DARPA is reaching for the stars. Literally. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to award a half-million-dollar grant to study what it would take for humans to travel to another star, The New York Times reports. The study would cover more than just the technology to take people on journeys lasting hundreds or thousands of years; it will also explore the sociological, ethical and even religious questions behind such a project. In fact, the study itself could take a century. DARPA said it will announce the award on November 1, the culmination of a year-long collaboration with NASA called the 100-year Starship Study. (The New York Times)