Thursday morning federal newscast – August 4

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Unless Congress heeds White House calls to come back from recess, the FAA semi-shutdown will last into September. Senate negotiators were unable to reach agreement before they left for their home districts Tuesday, which means 4,000 FAA workers will remain furloughed and some 200 airport construction projects will stay idled. An FAA engineer in Renton, Wash., told Federal News Radio employees have been unable to access their offices or agency computer systems. (Federal News Radio)
  • Federal senior executives can expect a new job performance system as early as September 30. An interagency working group in the President’s Management Council is putting the issue on the fast track. OPM Director John Berry said the working group will look at existing best practices in performance management within the government and will recommend effective management practices from the private sector. Additionally, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) is expected to re-introduce SES reform legislation this fall. (Federal News Radio)
  • The White House has chosen a new new chief information officer for the federal government. The New York Times reports that Steven VanRoekel will take over that position. The former Microsoft executive joined the Obama administration in 2009 as managing director of the Federal Communications Commission. The White House is expected to make the formal announcement later today. (The New York Times)
  • Nearly 600 small and disadvantaged companies will share in the latest governmentwide acquisition contract. The General Services Administration has awarded contracts to 599 companies under the STARS II GWAC. The companies are eligible to compete for up to $10 billion worth of IT contracts over the next five years. Steve Kempf, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquistion Service, said STARS II will be open for business in mid-August. (Federal News Radio)
  • Federal officials want kids to know that hacking can be fun – if they do it for the federal government. The first-ever Defcon Kids hacker conference kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas, Nextgov reports. Computer-savvy kids will hear from the Army’s computer crime investigative unit, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, which is the Pentagon’s code-cracking division. (NextGov)
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development is launching a Geospatial Intelligence Center, NextGov reports. The new office will merge satellite imagery and on-the-ground surveys and reports. The goal is to give the agency a bird’s-eye view of where its development dollars can do the most good. Shadrock Roberts, a center designer, said the GeoCenter will launch before the end of the year. (NextGov)
  • President Obama has nominated Ashton Carter to be the next deputy secretary of defense. Carter is the deputy under secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. If confirmed, Carter will replace William Lynn, who is retiring. (Federal News Radio)
  • Security vendor McAfee has released details on Operation Shady Rat, the firm’s name for its five-year research effort that has exposed national cybersecurity lapses. reports that the analysis identified 72 compromised parties that are important to the national security posture of the U.S. and other countries. (Search Security)
  • IT contractor NCI has slashed its full-year sales forecast, according to The Washington Business Journal. The company has blamed a slowdown in contract awards and costs on fixed-price contracts. NCI installs and maintains networks for government agencies. The company reported higher revenue for its latest quarter, but saw profits decline on acquisition costs. (Washington Business Journal)