Wednesday Federal Newscast – July 6, 2011

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.

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory will reopen today. It’s been closed for the past 10 days due to the huge wildfire that blasted through parts of New Mexico. A lab spokesman tells Next Gov it will be a few days before some of the lab’s main supercomputers are back online but all of its other IT systems are running again. The lab is asking employees to bring their patience with them over the next few days as the lab gets up to full speed. More than 120,000 acres were affected by the blaze. (NextGov)
  • The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission is heading to Capitol Hill. Mary Schapiro and SEC Inspector General David Kotz will appear before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management this afternoon. They’ll be answering questions about the agency’s real estate leasing program. The Washington Business Journal reports an earlier hearing was rough for the agency but the SEC has already implemented one important change since then – Sharon Sheehan was reassigned. She was the associate executive director of the Office of Administrative Services, which oversees the agency’s real estate. (House press release, Washington Business Journal)
  • Several agencies are opening access to wage data on federal service contracts in one easy to use web portal. It’s all in an effort to help contracting officers. The Government Printing Office, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and the Labor Department are now using the site. The Federal Acquisition Regulation’s Wage Determination Online web portal, or, has a list of wage determinations issued by Labor on rates and fringe benefit rates. (Federal News Radio)
  • New York City wants its $600 million back. The Washington Business Journal says Mayor Michael Bloomberg is demanding SAIC reimburse the city for a software project called CityTime, which was supposed to overhaul the city’s payroll system. The Journal quotes Network World, saying that Science Applications International Corp. was supposed to upgrade the software for its CityTime project within a reasonable time and within budget. Bloomberg said it didn’t do that. Now, two people with SAIC who are connected with the CityTime project, are under indictment for kickbacks, wire fraud, and money laundering. (Washington Business Journal)
  • The Office of Personnel Management is battening down the hatches for an active hurricane season. OPM director John Berry is reminding personnel managers to prepare for more teleworkers at alternative sites. Berry’s memo urges telework planning in advance. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting more potential hurricanes this season than last year. The hurricane season runs until November 30. People on the Atlantic coast are most likely to be affected. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Government Accountability Office has upheld protests from three losing bidders for a Health and Human Services office space contract. Protesters are One Largo Metro, Metroview Development Holdings, and King Farm Associates. They protested after the General Services Administration awarded the contract to Fishers Lane-JBG in 2010. It was a 15-year lease for nearly one-million square feet. The protestors said that GSA failed to properly consider the criteria it outlined when soliciting bids. The winning bidder wanted to renovate the Parklawn building in Rockville. The other bidders submitted proposals for new buildings. GSA must re-award based on best value. (Federal News Radio)


White House to lift ban on military suicide condolences (CNN)

Twitter comes to White House for Obama town hall



Coming up today on In Depth with Francis Rose:
Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu steps into the anchor chair while Francis Rose enjoys vacation. On today’s show, lessons on saving money from the Defense Department. Plus, what will raising the debt ceiling mean for feds? Join Jared from 3 to 7 p.m. on 1500AM or listen on your computer.