Monday federal headlines – June 9, 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 former “Top Gun” pilot known for his ethics has been chosen to lead the Naval Academy. President Barack Obama has tapped Rear Adm. Walter Carter to head the school. Carter has received the Navy’s Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award for ethical conduct. Like the rest of the military, the Naval Academy is trying to stamp out sexual assault. In a high-profile case last year, three football players were accused of assaulting a classmate. None was convicted. Carter is now president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. (Associated Press)
  • U.S. forces in Europe need to “skinny down” says Gen. Philip Breedlove. He’s talking about losing acres, not pounds. The Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command says the military has excess infrastructure in Europe that it has to pay to maintain. He endorses the Defense Department’s recent decision to return 21 European sites to their host nations. The department estimates it will save $60 million a year. At the same time, Breedlove says the military should consider troop levels in Europe. He suggests they are too low. He spoke in France, where he was marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. (Defense Department)
  • The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council wants to know if the reporting requirements for some contractor ethics rules are too burdensome. The FAR Council issues a request for comments on an existing information collection requirement. The council wants to know if the 60 hours it takes for federal contractors to describe their code of business ethics and conduct, an internal control system to collect this data, and disclosure to the government of certain violations of criminal law, violations of the civil False Claims Act, or significant overpayments is still worthwhile. The council changes its estimate of time it takes to collect and detail this information to 60 hours from three hours after contractors said the government’s estimate was inaccurate. (Federal Register)
  • The General Services Administration, the Veterans Affairs Department and three other agencies expect to pay less for electricity in New Jersey in the coming year. The five agencies held an auction to purchase energy at lower costs. Six companies won two- to three-year contracts. GSA expects the government to save about $2.2 million a year. In 2014, GSA has teamed with World Energy to procure more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of power for federal facilities in New Jersey, New York and Texas at lower prices per kilowatt. (Telegram)
  • Federal agencies pledge to do more to protect chemical-industry workers and nearby communities from accidents. A federal working group releases a plan it calls a “milestone, not an endpoint.” It says agencies will create more safeguards around chemical plants. They will step up training for first-responders, and the EPA will upgrade its computers. President Barack Obama told the EPA, the Labor Department and the Homeland Security Department to lead the effort following the fatal fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas last year. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)