Friday morning federal headlines – Dec. 7, 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 Office of Management and Budget is forcing agencies to adopt money-saving strategic sourcing contracts. It has given a group called the Interagency Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council until March to come up with a strategy for consolidating IT buys. OMB Acting Director Jeff Zients wants the resulting contracts to become mandatory, and he wants each department to set up its own strategic sourcing plan. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Interior Department said it made $12 billion in revenue from energy production on federal lands. More than half of that goes to federal coffers, making the program one of the biggest non-tax money makers. States and tribal governments get the rest. The total figure is $1 billion more than in fiscal 2011. The department said that was mostly because of bonus bids received for new oil, gas and coal lease sales. It also credited reforms within its Office of Natural Resources Revenue. It said employees came up with solutions like a data-mining effort to find companies in real time that were making reporting errors. (Interior)
  • One federal employee union is removing barriers for parents of children with autism. The American Federation of Government Employees wants all federal health plans to cover a treatment known as Applied Behavior Analysis. It applauded the Office of Personnel Management for softening its stance on the treatment. The agency runs the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Next year, for the first time, OPM will let plans cover the treatment if they want to. OPM has long said that the autism treatment was educational rather than medical. As such, it did not qualify for insurance coverage. (AFGE)
  • The Senate passed a bill that creates new requirements for agencies to track their energy and water use. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act is all about measurement. It directs federal facilities to measure their consumption of energy and water building by building, and post the information online. It also requires agencies to create an implementation plan for the latest best practices in metering. That job goes to a consortium of the Defense Department and General Services Administration. The bill was sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) (Sen. Portman)
  • Thieves broke into the California home of Rep. Darryl Issa (R-Calif.). They made off with an estimated $100,000 worth of jewelry, including watches, earrings, rings and bracelets. The North County Times reports, more than 50 items were taken. The home is located in Vista, a town in San Diego County. Issa is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He is one of the wealthiest members of Congress. Spokesman Fred Hill said Issa was upset because many of the missing pieces are family heirlooms. (North County Times)
  • The Navy and National Park Service are hosting a memorial ceremony at Pearl Harbor today. They will honor the 2,400 service members and 49 civilians who died in the attack 71 years ago. They’re paying special tribute to members of the Women Air Force Service Pilots who flew non-combat missions during World War II. Ceremonies start with a moment of silence at 7:55 Hawaiian time. That’s the moment the bombing began in 1941. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Postal Service says add blue to brown and you get green. It formally has launched a partnership with rival delivery service UPS, the folks in brown. The Postal Service has to provide door-to-door service, which isn’t profitable for companies. It is carrying many UPS packages through its so-called last-mile network. In turn, UPS is letting the Postal Service ship mail on company airplanes and trucks. The Postal Service said the partnership helps customers, the environment and the agency’s bottom line. (USPS)
  • Once again, Congress has extended a deadline for senior federal executives to make their personal financial information available online. Congress earlier this year passed the STOCK Act to curb stock trading by members of Congress and political appointees on privileged information. But the law also applies to 28,000 senior career executives. Tomorrow would have been their deadline. Now it’s April 15. The Senior Executives Association applauded the move. (SEA)