Wednesday morning federal headlines – Nov. 21, 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.

  • Today is the last day to donate to a governmentwide campaign to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Office of Personnel Management told agencies earlier this month that they could collect checks or cash from employees. Agencies picked the charities to receive the contributions. It was not part of the regular Combined Federal Campaign that continues to go on. Contributions made through the CFC may benefit the same charities, but they won’t reach victims as quickly. (
  • Federal personnel chiefs say they’re feeling the pinch. Budget constraints have put a damper on recruiting, training and retaining employees. One agency chief human capital officer told Federal News Radio they cannot recruit new hires in a timely manner. They’re leaving vacant positions open longer, which makes everyone else in the office work harder. But most said low morale was their biggest challenge. Pay freezes and budget uncertainty have taken their toll on employees’ attitudes. But there’s also good news: they report better relations with employees’ unions and progress on diversity initiatives.(Federal News Radio)
  • Federal workers have given enough. That’s according to a bipartisan group of lawmakers representing the Washington Metro area. In a letter to President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and others involved in the fiscal cliff negotiations, the group says, when you factor in the 2-1/2 years of pay freezes, plus increased retirement contributions, federal workers have already contributed $103 billion toward deficit reduction. That’s more than $50,000 per federal employee. The lawmakers are asking negotiators to keep that in mind during their budget talks. Signatories include Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Frank Wolf (R- Va.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Gerry Conolly (D-Va.), plus Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) (Federal News Radio)
  • Technology whizzes have launched a new website designed to help the rest of us figure out the government. It’s called MyGov, and it’s only in beta form now. Boosters hope it will revolutionize the way citizens interact with government, i.e, cut the red tape. The software programmers who built the site are Presidential Innovation Fellows. They’ve been working at federal agencies since August on various projects. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park promoted the fellowship as a way to bring fresh ideas and innovation to federal IT. (MyGov)
  • Attorney General Eric Holder will stay for one more year in President Obama’s second term. Holder will remain after a request from the president to stay temporarily and prevent a leadership vacuum. Fox News reports potential replacements could be Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) and Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano. (Fox News)