Friday Morning Federal Newscast – October 22nd

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.

  • Census Bureau Director Robert Groves says his agency cannot afford to keep running like it does without big changes. Groves, cited in GovExec, says that costs are growing each year at a rate that surpasses inflation. He spoke at a meeting of the 2010 census advisory committee, yesterday. That’s the same day the Census Bureau announced participation rates for the 2010 population count. 74 percent of households sent back their forms; that matches the participation rate from the last census 10 years ago.
  • The Defense Department has changed its procedures again, following an appellate court order that DOD be allowed to enforce its ban on openly gay people in the military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered that all firings under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell must now be approved by the secretaries of each military branch. Last week, a federal judge ordered the military stop enforcing the policy. And the Defense Department complied. But yesterday, an appellate court lifted the injunction.
  • GSA is asking for your help in documenting the government’s progress in social media. The agency’s Center for New Media and Citizen Engagement has created an interactive Gov 2.0 timeline. They want your input to help populate the timeline with Gov 2.0 milestones. Already, the tool tracks a number of first-time happenings, including the launch of a weekly Presidential YouTube Addresses. You can submit your idea by emailing
  • The FCC is launching a contest for ideas on how cloud computing can help people with disabilities. The agency is asking the public to submit short multimedia presentations. The winning idea will be posted on one of the Commission’s Web sites. There are also a pair of $1,000 prizes for presentations that best address the interests of people with cognitive disabilities and of people in developing countries. You have until May 1st of next year to submit your idea.
  • The RAT Board is not just about stimulus any more. Now a new web site is coming to track non-stimulus federal spending on education jobs. NextGov reports the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board has already applied for a name for the new site. will follow how $10 billion appropriated by Congress earlier this year is spent by local school boards. Not just teachers will be counted. Education jobs includes principals, IT staff, coaches, and even janitors and bus drivers.
  • The FDIC wants to get out of the real estate business. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is trying to figure out how to sell banks’ real-estate assets back to the private sector. The Wall Street Journal reports that FDIC had been selling property loans to investors in partnership with the agency. But the volume is growing, and the FDIC really wants to move things along. So, they’d like to bundle and sell some of them as commercial mortgage-backed securities. The agency is expected to launch its first CMBS deal, expected to be backed by at least $500 million dollars of performing commercial mortgages, by the end of this year.
  • The first women in the Navy to serve on submarines now know which boats they’ll be assigned to. The Navy has selected the USS Wyoming, Georgia, Maine and Ohio to receive female officers. The women are in training now and will join the subs in December 2011. The four nuclear-powered subs are among the Navy’s roomiest at 560 feet long. The three women on each boat will share a stateroom. But they’ll have to share the single officers bathroom with the men.

More news links

Afghan aid projects at risk over security firm ban


Two U.S. air marshals flee Brazil after being charged with assault (CNN)


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