Monday Morning Federal Newscast – October 4th

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.

  • September was a positive month for your TSP. The S fund saw the biggest gain: more than 11 percent. The I fund came in second, with an almost 10 percent boost. Both funds posted losses in August. The F and G funds tied for the smallest September gains: both under one percent.
  • Federal employees will have to dig deeper to pay for health care insurance. Premiums are going up. The Office of Personnel Management said premiums in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program will rise by an average of 7.2 percent in fiscal 2011. But that’s lower than last year’s rate hike, and lower than some hikes occurring in the private sector. For federal employees, the increase translates to about 23 dollars per month more for family coverage, eleven dollars more for self-only coverage.
  • Postmaster General John Potter has warned the U.S. Postal Service could go broke by next September, when he expects it to run out of cash. Potter also reported the official figure for Postal’s fiscal 2010 loss at $6 billion. That compares to a $3.8 billion loss in 2009. At the moment, the Postal Services has about $2 billion in cash and available credit.
  • It was a shocker for the contracting community late Friday afternoon. The Small Business Administration announced that GTSI was temporarily suspended from any future contract awards from the federal government. The Washington Post broke the news that the company is accused of improperly receiving contracts that were intended for small businesses. GTSI’s chief executive, Scott Friedlander, sent an open letter to employees, customers, partners and investors Friday night, saying that the company would fight the charges and restore its name. The temporary suspension is one of the strongest contracting enforcement steps taken by the government in recent memory.
  • Congress has approved its first Coast Guard authorization bill since 2006. GovExec reports the measure creates an acquisition directorate. It also bans the Coast Guard from giving private contractors the status of lead systems integrators. That provision is aimed at avoiding the failures of the troubled $25 billion Deepwater modernization program. That effort has seen major cost overruns and performance problems. The authorization bill now awaits the president’s signature.
  • Two House lawmakers have introduced a bill to improve coordination and jointness among national security agencies. Missouri’s Ike Skelton and Kentucky’s Geoff Davis say their proposal aims to break down agency-centric cultures and structures in within the national security system. It would create an interagency personnel system to promote the integration of critical skills across government. Skelton says the bill relies on lessons-learned from the Goldwater-Nichols law of 1986. That bill is credited with bringing defense agencies closer together.
  • Another big IT deal has landed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed contracts with 30 vendors worth a total of $5 billion over 10 years. The winning companies will compete for task orders. NextGov reports the agreement consolidates several expiring IT contracts and it expands a seven-year initiative called the CDC Information Technology Support Project, originally won by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in 2003. At that time, CDC operated about 200 information systems. Now it operates about 400.

More news links


Federal IT chiefs slow to try out CyberScope (WashingtonTimes)

Federal Reserve Board announces delay in the issue date of redesigned $100 note (press release)

Navy scrambles after subs shed stealthy coating

Text of US warning about Europe threats

Navy offers sailors online help to quit addictions

Sikorsky cuts 200 jobs, citing commercial slump

Bannister Federal Complex study finds 11 former workers not sensitized to beryllium (Kansas City Star)

SpaceX fined for hazardous waste violations


Coming up today on The DorobekInsider:

** In our Greening of Government series, we’re going to talk about hydrogen. Can a hydrogen car replace that polluting gas vehicle — and what role does government play?

** And how did your Thrift Savings Plan perform in September? We’ll check in with Tom Trabucco of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

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