Friday Morning Federal Newscast – August 27th

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.

  • A new survey says the government could be missing out on the best candidates for job openings. Conducted by the Partnership for Public Service and HR consulting firm PDRI, the survey finds the federal hiring process does not effectively evaluate all available candidates when hiring. Survey respondents also said they felt they received insufficient guidance from OPM and had limited resources for training managers.
  • They know they can do it. But they may not know how. That assessment comes from the Department of Homeland Security about Customs and Border Patrol agents who search laptops and other electronic devices at ports of entry. The report says the agents receive training on their legal authority to do the searches, but they don’t always get instruction on how to conduct the searches. The report recommends the expansion of a triage course explaining procedures for searching devices.
  • The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency has amended what was originally a sole-source contract to Google, so that other companies can apply. The contract is for geospatial visualization services. The original announcement stated that Google is the only source that can meet the Government’s requirement. But NextGov reports that Microsoft says its Bing Map Server is also capable.
  • The nation has four big wireless carriers: AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Verizon and T-Mobile. The Government Accountability Office says those four carriers control 90-percent of the wireless market, making it harder for smaller companies to compete. USA Today reports the GAO report could help fuel the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to increase oversight of the wireless industry. The FCC is considering some new consumer protection rules and is investigating certain industry practices, like charging a fee for breaking your service contract.
  • A new GAO report finds that federal contracting is trending toward noncompetitive contracts. The study shows 44 percent of all federal contracts in fiscal 2009 either were not placed up for competition or attracted only one bid. GAO says that in some cases, contracts were written so narrowly as to only apply to one company. Auditors say that agencies have gotten comfortable with incumbent contractors, and are choosing to award them follow-on contracts rather than evaluate other possibilities.
  • Federal agencies employ 3 of every 100 people with disabilities in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that number is similar for the total percentage of non-disabled people employed by the federal government — 2.6 percent. The report comes as the Labor Department and the White House place a bigger focus on employment for people with disabilities.

More news links

Frozen fruit bars recalled after typhoid outbreak


Ex-FEMA chief: ‘Fatal mistake’ made during Katrina response (CNN)

Nazi ballerina spy stole WWII battle plans (AFP)


Coming up today on The DorobekInsider:

** Your Web site — it is one of the key ways of getting information. We’ll talk to a professor who has studied Congressional Web sites and has some recommendations on what what works and what doesn’t. We’ll also talk to a Web site expert who says a good Web site involves more then just IT.

** And those amazing Mars Rovers — an update on their now six year mission

Join Chris from 3 to 7 pm on 1500 AM or on your computer.