Tuesday morning federal headlines – Dec. 11, 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 FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Supreme Court has streamlined the appeals process for federal employees challenging Merit Systems Protection Board rulings. It overruled a lower court decision that forced appeals to separate courts. As things stood, appeals on the merits of cases could go to federal district court. But appeals on procedural grounds had to go to the D.C. Court. The Supreme Court called this an obscure path to a simple result. Its ruling applies to mixed cases and complaints involving allegations of both wrongful dismissal and job discrimination. (Federal News Radio)
  • The General Services Administration is looking to establish the 21st century version of the typing pool. It wants to consolidate the support functions of several offices. Its asking for bids to take on running the CIO, chief finance officer, chief people officer and administrative services offices. The RFQ said the consolidation was the result of a top-to-bottom review of GSA operations by the acting administrator, Dan Tangherlini. (Federal News Radio)
  • Nearly one in eight postal workers eligible for an early retirement offer are taking it. The American Postal Workers Union told Federal Times more than 23,000 of its members are saying goodbye at the end of next month. They’ll get $15,000 for calling it quits. The Postal Service’s offer to APWU members was its largest of several early-out incentives this year. It is trying to cut more than 100,000 workers from its payroll. It’s also reducing retail hours at hundreds of post offices. (Federal Times)
  • The Government Printing Office has received a seal of approval for environmental friendliness. A non-profit group called the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership gave GPO its certification. The group includes representatives of the ink, paper and printing production industries. It said it certified GPO after reviewing the agency’s continuous improvement program for its procedures, equipment and production materials. GPO’s strategic plan names environmental stewardship as a priority. The partnership’s certification requires recipients to go beyond what is required by federal or local laws. (SGPP)
  • Have you ever wanted to know how wealthy your boss was? Workers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency did not even have to ask. Federal Times reported Director Arati Prabhakar has given employees a list of her financial assets in an effort to avoid conflicts of interest. She said if any companies on that list try to do business with DARPA, project managers must tell their supervisors right away. They have to make sure Prabhakar does not have a direct hand in the project. Her predecessor, Regina Dugan, was in the hot spot after revelations that DARPA awarded contracts to a company she co-founded. (Federal Times)
  • The Postal Service doesn’t just want to deliver your issue of Cosmo. Dead Tree Edition reports soon they’ll be offering magazine subscriptions for sale at retail locations and online. The announcement was made by the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee, a joint USPS-mailers groups. Posters with QR codes will be hung in some retail branches. The details haven’t all been decided, but more magazine deliveries should mean more business for the struggling Postal Service. (Dead Tree Edition)
  • With all the uncertainty on Capitol Hill and in the White House, federal employees want to know just one thing: Will they get off on Christmas Eve? Nearly 16,000 people have signed an online petition at WhiteHouse.gov. It asks President Obama to take pity. With the pay freeze and more attacks on pay and benefits, it says, giving federal employees an extra holiday would improve their morale, and it wouldn’t be the first time. President Obama let federal workers go home early on Christmas Eve 2009. (Federal News Radio)