Friday morning federal headlines – Sept. 14, 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.

  • The conservative Heritage Foundation is claiming federal employees work a month less per year than other Americans. It said feds work 38.7 hours a week on average. Private-sector workers, Heritage said, work 41.4 hours a week. That adds up to nearly four months a year. The group used Bureau of Labor Statistics data on time use. Federal employees’ groups are up in arms. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association said “It’s unlikely the researchers reviewed the timesheets of the federal team that landed the Curiosity Rover on Mars, prepared the United States for Hurricane Irene and are currently responding to the crises in Syria and Egypt.” (Federal News Radio)
  • A federal judge has hit pause on a new financial disclosure law that impacts about 28,000 federal executives. The Senior Executives Association had sued the government over the STOCK or Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. It requires members of Congress and senior federal officials to post their financial transactions to a public website. The SEA said the law violates feds’ right to privacy and may even be dangerous. Judge Alexander Williams found the group had a good case. His temporary injunction means the parts of the law that pertain to career feds won’t be implemented until next month. But lawmakers are considering changing the law and may take it up next week. (Federal News Radio)
  • The government isn’t doing so well at making technology accessible to employees with disabilities. The Justice Department has found that just half of agency components have so-called Section 508 policies on the books. It said there was a lack of resources, awareness and training on this part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It recommended agencies train staff, review procurement policies and test their products and websites. This is the first time in nine years that the Justice Department has conducted the survey. (Federal News Radio)
  • There’s room for improvement in an Internal Revenue Service program designed to investigate tax fraud. That’s according to a new report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. It said that the Collection Fraud Referral Program, which is a joint venture between IRS’ Fraud and Collection Policy offices, successfully developed criminal fraud referrals. But it also said many officers were deterred from investigating because of the complexity of fraud cases and the additional work required. It also said officers don’t have enough. IRS has agreed to implement the recommendations in the report. (Federal News Radio)
  • Will the Office of Management and Budget blow past its second deadline for that sequestration report? That’s the question on Capitol Hill today as the clock runs out again. According to the Sequestration Transparency Act the President signed last month, OMB was supposed to release a report last Friday, detailing the potential implementation of the sequester. But it didn’t.On Monday, the Obama administration said it would release the report this week. On Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said it would likely send the report to Congress today. (Federal News Radio)