Friday morning federal headlines – Aug. 24, 2012

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Transportation Department Chief Information Officer Nitin Pradhan is stepping down at the end of this month. A DoT press release said Pradhan will advise technology companies looking to do business with the federal government. He joined DoT three years ago, arriving from a post in Fairfax County Schools. Deputy CIO Tim Schmidt becomes acting CIO. The Transportation Department has an annual IT budget of about $3 billion. (Federal News Radio)
  • A gaggle of smart software programmers arrived in Washington to start temporary assignments with the federal government. The 18 Presidential Innovation Fellows were selected by a panel of federal executives. They were introduced yesterday by Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. Seven hundred programmers applied for the program. One project the fellows will work on attempts to make it easier for new technology companies to connect with agencies. Another aims to spread adoption of so-called blue button technology for electronic health records. The Fellows will spend six months working on their projects. (Federal News Radio)
  • The White House has issued guidance for agencies thinking of letting employees use their own smartphones and tablets for work. The practice is known as bring-your-own-device or BYOD. A new online toolkit developed by the Office of Management and Budget gives tips and pointers for BYOD policies. But it says no agency is under obligation to have BYOD. The guidance describes two agencies with experience in implementing BYOD. They are Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The toolkit is part of the White House digital government strategy. (Federal News Radio)
  • Regulators have approved the Postal Service’s plan to cut hours at thousands of post offices nationwide. The Postal Regulator Commission said it was OK, even though it might be harder on customers. Under the plan, some post office retail windows would be open to the public for just two hours a day. The plan would impact 13,000 post offices nationwide. The Postal Service said it needed to pare down labor costs to match the reduced demand for services. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Justice and Interior departments are stepping up efforts to prosecute sex crimes in Indian Country. They hosted tribal and federal law enforcement officers at a training seminar this week. Officials hope it will help address high rates of sexual assault on tribal lands. The three-day event focused on investigation and prosecuting cases. Justice officials said the federal government and tribal organizations needed to coordinate their response to the high rates of violence. (Justice Department)
  • One General Services Administration official fired after the scandal surrounding a lavish conference has found a new job in the private sector. Bob Peck, former commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, has joined the architectural firm Gensler. Architect Magazine reports, Peck will head up the company’s Washington, D.C.-based regional workplace consulting group. Gensler, based in San Francisco, describes itself as a global architecture, design, planning and consulting firm. It has designed large sports stadiums and airports. Peck will head up Gensler’s Washington, D.C.-based regional workplace consulting group. He’ll help clients in the southeast United States improve their real estate efficiency. (Federal News Radio)