Thursday Morning Federal Newscast – August 19th

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 Forest Service is adding climate change to performance evaluations for its top managers. Federal Times reports the new yardstick will apply to 80 senior executives. It will measure how well the managers meet benchmarks for confronting the effects of climate change on national forests. Those executives will also need to designate at least one employee as a point person for climate change issues.
  • The Office of Personnel Management will review its 20-year-old process for measuring the pay gap between federal and private sector workers. Several think tanks have produced studies recently purporting to prove that federal employees are paid more. Berry has disputed that, but tells Federal Times he wants to reconsider the way OPM measure the pay gap. OPM’s current methodology consistently shows a 22 percent gap in favor of the private sector.
  • Federal CIO Vivek Kundra says he just might reshuffle funding for IT projects in agencies’ 2012 budget requests. Speaking at a NASA IT summit, Kundra said the White House hopes to take feedback from CIOs and other IT staff and work it into final budget decisions. NextGov reports, Kundra and his staff have met with every member of the CIO Council to identify troubled projects destined for intensive oversight.
  • President Obama is ordering new steps to protect classified information. At issue is information that the federal government shares with state, local, tribal and private sector groups. The executive order creates a Classified National Security Information Program. It also sets up an advisory committee to resolve disputes on policy issues related to that program.
  • The last U.S. brigade combat team has left Iraq. This comes as the military approaches President Obama’s September 1 deadline for ending combat operations in that country. CNN reports another 6,000 combat troops remain in Iraq, with just under two weeks before that deadline. Fifty thousand U.S. forces will stay behind to help with stability operations.
  • The CIA is opening a new unit to fight the spread of dangerous weapons and technology. CIA Director Leon Panetta says the counter proliferation center will be a venue for brainstorming ways to fight the threat of weapons of mass destruction. It will be led by an undercover officer in the National Clandestine Service.
  • The National Institutes of Health kicked off a giant new governmentwide procurement for information technology. The 10-year program is known as Chief Information Officer Solutions and Partners 3, or CIO-SP3. Its total value will be 40 billion dollars. NextGov reports, CIO-SP3 will be split into two pieces. Half will be a full and open competition vehicle. And half will be set aside for small business. The Information Technology Assessment and Acquisition Center at NIH will manage the program. Look for the initial request for proposals on September first.
  • Northrop Grumman landed not one but two big contracts yesterday. The first is a five-year deal with a top-end value of $300 million dollars that will upgrade encryption devices for the Army. The Los Angeles Business Journal reports the upgrades will improve about 85-thousand current encryption devices in the field. The second contract is a 30-month, $90 million dollar deal from the Missile Defense Agency for technology used in sensors for missile defense.
  • Archaeologists with the National Park Service have unearthed parts of a slave encampment on the Monocacy National Battlefield. The slave village was part of a plantation near Frederick, Maryland more than 200 years ago. Now, the National Park Service says it will use radar to find more buildings, believed to have housed 90 slaves. The plantation was established in 1794 by a French family fleeing a slave revolt in what is now Haiti. Its slave population was 10 times that of comparable operations.

More news links

Ohio’s Bedbug Battle Escalates with EPA Crisis Meeting (TimeMagazine)


Former NASA Contract Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Astronaut Flight Suit (DOJ Press Release)


Coming up today on The DorobekInsider:

** Ever feel powerless to be green? Friday is Power IT Down Day, a reminder to turn off your computer. We’ll tell you how that step can make a difference.

** And is there a Islamic mosque at the Pentagon? WTOP’s Mark Segraves has the answer.

Join Chris after Washington Nationals baseball on 1500 AM or on your computer.