Wednesday Morning Federal Newscast – October 13th

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.

  • Al Qaeda is calling on supporters to set their targets on federal workers in Washington, D.C. The terror group’s latest edition of its “Inspire” magazine focuses on D.C. restaurants at lunch hour. Published reports say the magazine advocates an attack using firearms. It says that would attract widespread media attention. The magazine is produced by an American originally from North Carolina.
  • The Defense Department is transforming its electronic ID card into an electronic wallet that officials hope can eventually be used as a transit card, a debit card and an ATM card, reports NextGov. Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget has started using a new tool for federal employees to navigate multiple secure websites with one instance of entering their credentials. The process is called single sign-on. NextGov reports, the tool was developed by a web services company, XaaS. OMB staff use it for working on their information-sharing site known as Max.
  • Senior federal executives may get a few nice perks, but lately, no big raises. A new report from OPM shows that in 2009, Senior Executive Service members receives raises averaging 2.7 percent, the lowest in at least five years, according to FederalTimes. The survey showed, the average pay increase came to about $4,500 dollars. Top management seems to think SESers are doing a good job. Almost 49 percent of senior executives received the highest performance rating.
  • Lockheed Martin has found a buyer for its business unit that advises government agencies on military platforms. The sale of Lockheed’s Enterprise Integration Group could generate about $1 billion. The company’s decision to sell was prompted by a tightening of Pentagon rules on organizational conflicts of interest. No word on who the buyer is. But Lockheed is expected to make a formal announcement later today.
  • GeoEye is moving its headquarters to Fairfax County. It also plans to spend ten million dollars on the move, and create 100 new jobs over the next three years. The Washington Business Journal reports that the company currently has 230 workers at its offices in Dulles. It will move those workers to an expanded headquarters early next year, putting it in the same county as its biggest customer, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. The NGA is currently building a new campus at Ft. Belvoir. It awarded a $3.8 billion contract to GeoEye back in August to enhance its satellite imaging capabilities.
  • The administration has lifted the moratorium on deepwater drilling, but Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu will not lift her hold on Jack Lew’s nomination to lead OMB. Landrieu says the decision to allow drilling is a good start. But she needs time to decide whether the move will put people back to work. She’s also calling on the administration to speed up the process for granting drilling permits and to provide more certainty about rules for industry.
  • The prosecutors in the Ted Stevens case won’t be penalized for failing to comply with a judge’s order. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan yesterday lifted his contempt finding against three Justice Department attorneys. Sullivan had held them in contempt last year after they missed a deadline to give documents to attorneys representing the late Alaska Senator. Stevens was found guilty on corruption charges, only to have his conviction thrown out because of prosecutor misconduct. But the judge ruled the prosecutors won’t be punished because they eventually did turn over the documents.
  • Stimulus reporting has reached high gear. Nearly 100 percent of Recovery Act award recipients in the most recent quarter filed their spending reports. That’s the highest compliance rate since passage of the Recovery Act early last year. GovExec reports, for the period ending June 30, the government awarded recovery grants or contracts to 74,000 recipients. Only 352 failed to report their spending. That translates to a compliance rate of 99.5 percent.

More news links

U.S. intelligence agencies ‘wasted’ billions (WashingtonTimes)


Army warns troops about Internet romance scams (press release)