Friday morning federal headlines – Oct. 19, 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 CIA wants to expand its fleet of armed drone aircraft. CIA director David Petraeus is making the plea directly to the White House. The Washington Post reports, if approved, the CIA would get up to 10 new drones. That would bring its fleet to between 40 and 45. Plus it would signal an extension of the CIA’s transformation into a paramilitary force. Petraeus argues that more planes would let the CIA sustain campaigns against terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen while also hunting them down in North Africa. Anonymous officials told the Post, the Pentagon has not opposed the CIA plan. (The Washington Post)
  • The head of the FBI’s Washington field office is retiring after two years on the job and 25 years with the bureau. James McJunkin emailed colleagues about his decision. McJunkin is a former Pennsylvania state trooper who joined the FBI in 1987. During his career rise, he became an expert on counterterrorism, violent crime and government corruption. He worked in the San Antonio and Atlanta field offices before coming to Washington. (Federal News Radio)
  • What is a terrorist worth? The Obama administration is offering up to $12 million for information leading to the location of two al-Qaida bosses in Iran. The administration believes the pair are crucial in sending extremists to Iraq and Afghanistan. So the State Department said it will provide up to $7 million for information on Muhsin al-Fadhli and $5 million for information on Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi. The Treasury Department has frozen al-Harbi’s assets in the United States. (Federal News Radio)

    Federal employee unions are urging Congress to put caps on contractor salaries eligible for reimbursement. They want contractor pay capped at $230,700. That’s the maximum civil service compensation. Existing law caps contractor pay at $763,000. The unions have written to the House and Senate Armed Services committees. They called high contractor salaries fiscally irresponsible. They said a lower cap would save $5 billion a year. A Congressional Budget Office analysis found capping contractor pay would have no effect on federal spending. (Federal News Radio)

  • The Office of Management and Budget is renewing a year-old effort to give chief information officers more control over technology spending. It plans to require departments to give their CIOs authority over agency and bureau-level IT spending. Federal CIO Steve Van Roekel called these the dark corners of spending. He issued a memo a year ago calling for more CIO authority. But he said agencies are moving too slowly to consolidate CIO power. (Federal News Radio)