Monday federal headlines – June 3, 2013

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 White House launched an online inventory of everything the federal government does. It’s housed at An early look shows the site may need some work. Among agencies and departments under the Chief Financial Officers Act, there is no mention of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Federal Program Inventory is supposed to be a comprehensive source for more than 1,600 programs, including how they overlap. The Office of Management and Budget started the inventory with the 24 CFO Act agencies. It was called for in the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act. (Federal News Radio)
  • Top military leaders are pushing back against some proposals in Congress to deal with sexual assault in the armed services. While open to legislation, they worry it could go too far. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs, spells out his concerns in a letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). Dempsey says trimming commanders’ discretion too much could undermine efficiency and effectiveness. Evidence of the assault problem keeps mounting. On Friday Naval Academy football players were accused of sexually assaulting a female midshipman. (Federal News Radio)
  • Don’t mow the lawn. That’s a relatively painless way to save money and one of the Navy’s tactics for dealing with sequestration. Hampton Roads installations in southeast Virginia are letting the grass grow a foot tall before it’s trimmed. The move is expected to save the Navy nearly $2 million this year. The Virginian-Pilot reports: there’s a downside — an unsightly front yard. It reports thigh-high weeds at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. The Navy is facing a $4 billion spending cut because of sequestration. (Virginian-Pilot)
  • The IRS has a new potential scandal on its hands. An inspector general report to be released today shows the agency spent $50 million on 220 conferences over a three-year period. The report comes as three Congressional committees are investigating charges of politically motivated enforcement. At one conference in California, some of the 2,600 attendees received baseball tickets and stayed in fancy suites worth more than a $1,000 per night. The agency spent $135,000 on more than a dozen outside speakers. Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel calls the spending an unfortunate vestige from a prior era. (Federal News Radio)
  • An inspector general report reveals, budgeting mistakes led to the temporary halt of new enrollments in a federal job-training program. The IG says the Labor Department did not have a sound budget or spending plan for the Job Corps program. The assistant Labor Secretary in charge of the program, Jane Oates, has resigned. Her last day was Friday. The department has agreed to the auditors’ recommendations. When it discovered a $60 million deficit earlier this year, the program had to turn away about 10,000 applicants, all at-risk or disadvantaged youth. (Federal News Radio)
  • A long-time GSA stalwart is leaving the agency but not leaving government. Kathleen Turco is stepping down as the associate administrator of governmentwide policy at the General Services Administration. She will become the chief financial officer of the Veterans Health Administration. Turco says she wanted to move back into financial work and serve veterans. While at GSA, Turco oversaw a reorganization of the office of governmentwide policy. She headed the group as it led e-government initiatives like (Federal News Radio)
  • Despite sequestration, Congress is offering staffers courses on chatting at cocktail parties, managing their credit score and how to get a good night’s sleep on the taxpayer’s dime. In our Congressional Spotlight sponsored by CenturyLink, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is asking Democratic and Republican leaders to cut it out. In letters to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and others, Coburn says Congress needs to lead by example. He notes Congress gave itself a 72-percent budget increase in fiscal 2012, although it’s done less work in Washington. He takes issue with the Capitol’s on-site barber, shoe shine and gift shops. (Federal News Radio)