Thursday morning federal headlines – Aug. 11

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.

  • The Coast Guard is ditching Windows Mobile phones in favor of iPhones and Androids. It is the first agency to adopt both platforms for its workforce. However, the change won’t come all at once. Rather, the Coast Guard will hand out new devices as users’ current phones come due for replacement. David Dermanelian, the Coast Guard’s chief information security officer, said the Coast Guard doesn’t want to increase the overall number of mobile devices on its network. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Navy cyber command has a new boss: Rear Admiral Michael Rogers has been nominated to take over from the retiring Vice Adm. Barry McCullough. Rogers will rise to vice admiral if approved by the Senate. The command is nearing one year since it opened for business. Rogers is now the intelligence director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and has been working in information warfare since 1987. Last month, the command announced a new deputy commander, Rear Adm. Matthew Kohler. (Federal News Radio)
  • National Treasury Employees Union president Colleen Kelley has been re-elected to head the federal union. It is Kelley’s fourth, four-year term. She won the vote — which was open to delegates from agencies throughout the government — by a landslide margin: 86 percent to her lone challenger’s 14 percent. Kelley was first elected to head the NTEU in 1999. She said she looks forward to continuing to represent the federal workforce in challenging times. (NTEU)
  • The Army is reorganizing efforts to cut its energy tab. At the annual Gov Energy Conference, Secretary John McHugh said the Army would launch a new task force called the Energy Initiatives Office, which will be operational September 15. The task force is part of the Army’s installations, energy and environment office, and it will manage — under one roof — all of the Army’s renewable energy projects. McHugh said the energy task force will help streamline acquisition so it can bring in private sector expertise more quickly. The Gov Energy conference ended yesterday in Columbus, Ohio. (Defense Department)
  • A movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden is already set for release in 2012, , the Associated Press reports. But not everyone is giving plans for the movie a thumbs up. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he is worried that the movie will release sensitive information about the mission and is asking for an investigation by the CIA and the Pentagon inspectors general. He said he wants to know how much information the Obama Administration has provided to filmmakers. However, the movie makers say the film is non-partisan, focusing on the cooperation between the Defense Department, the CIA and the collective efforts by the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. (AP)
  • The State Department is using new software to assess security weaknesses, and the Government Accountability Office said it appears to be working. A recent GAO report found that the move is helping the department improve real-time awareness of its vulnerabilities. But, there are other challenges with the new application, called iPost, because there are some IT areas that it doesn’t cover. GAO also recommended that State assign someone to monitor security risks. (GAO)
  • The Washington Business Journal reports that government contractor Computer Sciences Corp’s earnings grew 28 percent in the latest quarter. However, while revenues improved, margins deteriorated, which brought the company’s shares lower. The IT contractor reported net income of $183 million in the fiscal-2012 first quarter that ended July 1. CSC said that margins deteriorated because of poor performance within its managed services sector. Company officials said they’re taking “improvement actions.” (Washington Business Journal)
  • The Obama Administration is open to any ideas about how to get rid of all those foreclosed homes and turn them into rental properties. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Treasury Department, and Housing and Urban Development have released a Request For Information for how to best take those properties held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turn them into rental properties that could be managed by private enterprises, or sold. The idea is to make neighborhoods more stable while clearing the federal government’s balance sheet. (Treasury Department)
  • A series of festivities will lead up to the dedication of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Aug. 28th. D.C. city residents will have access to a special preview day to get a peek at the new memorial before its official unveiling. Passes will be available on the D.C. city website next week. A star studded commemoration ceremony is planned for the 28th and President Obama is scheduled to speak. The 30-foot sculpture of King sits along the Tidal Basin, next to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. A schedule of events and tickets can be found at (WTOP)
  • The Statue of Liberty is about to get a new infrastructure. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a $27 million upgrade to the statue’s base. The landmark will also get new elevators, restrooms, electrical and mechanical systems, and improved access. The statue will stay open until Oct. 28th, its 125th anniversary. The next day, though, it will close for a year while the work is completed. Visitors will still be able to alight on Liberty Island, though, because Interior said views of the statue from the outside will remain unobstructed. (Interior Department)