Friday federal headlines – June 27, 2014

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.

  • A short bill could have big implications for federal hiring. Two Senators introduce a bill to let federal agencies share information on job candidates. The Competitive Service Act is sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska). Tester calls it a common sense bill to make the government more efficient. As things stand now, agencies that might have common hiring requirements can’t share their assessments of candidates with one another. The bill would let one agency check another agency’s application pool. (Senate)
  • The Army’s chief information officer is looking to reduce the number of enterprise computer applications it maintains and operates. Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell wants to virtualize the apps it keeps and move them to a Defense Department cloud. The Army has identified 10,000 applications and recently retired about 750 of them. Ferrell says, ideally, the Army would get rid of half its applications. It’s also closing hundreds of its own data centers. Ferrell says the effort will take until about 2018. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Senate confirms two nominees who’ve been waiting six months for Defense Department jobs. Federal Times reports, Jamie Morin is confirmed to head the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office. He’s been the Air Force comptroller since 2009. Other DoD civilian appointees are still to be confirmed. They are Jo Ann Rooney for Navy undersecretary, David Shear for assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security, Brian Patrick McKeon to be principal deputy undersecretary for policy, Eric Rosenbach for assistant secretary of defense for homeland security, and Laura Jean Junor to be principal deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness. (Federal Times)
  • The motto might be, if you like your health care insurance, we won’t kick you out. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell wants to make sure people who bought insurance through the federal exchange don’t lose it. She says the department will commit to automatic re-enrollment when the first year anniversary rolls around in the fall. Burwell says most people keep the same insurance year-to-year. She cites the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. 88 percent make no changes each year. (Health and Human Services)
  • While it battles the commercial drone industry, the FAA has picked another fight. It’s proposing lowering the maximum height for buildings and other structures near airports. That’s riled up real estate and municipal interests. Some members of Congress also object. Airports and airlines generally support the measure. FAA safety officials worry that if an airliner loses one engine while taking off, it won’t be able to climb as fast. Too many tall structures would limit the number of ways out. (Associated Press)