Friday morning federal headlines - July 29

Friday - 7/29/2011, 8:48am EDT

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 FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Department of Homeland Security has a new chief human capital officer, GovExec reports. Catherine Emerson joined DHS two weeks ago. Before that, she served as assistant administrator for human resource management at the FAA. She replaces Jeff Neal, who retires next week. (GovExec)

  • A new Senate proposal would open more of your agency's reports to public scrutiny. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), would require the Government Printing Office to put all congressionally-mandated reports online. GPO would publish the reports on a searchable website 30 days after agencies submit them, according to the plan.

  • An assistant secretary at the Labor Department has resigned after an internal investigation found he improperly steered contracts to friends and former colleagues, The New York Times reports. The department's inspector general said Jefferson used his position to coerce or intimidate other employees to award contracts without open competition. (The New York Times)

  • A new law has all but killed a Pentagon mentoring program, USA Today reports. The number of retired generals DoD hired to serve as mentors and to advise the military has dropped substantially from 158 a couple of years ago down to 20. It turns out some of the mentors had been earning up to $330 an hour, and many had ties to defense contractors. However, the new law limits their income and requires the retired officers to disclose outside income. (USA Today)

  • Furloughed FAA workers will get paid, if Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, both Maryland Democrats, have their way. They've sponsored a bill that would keep pay and benefits coming to the workers until Congress passes a full FAA extension. The money would come from the Aviation Trust Fund.

  • Social media can be an effective communications tool for many agencies. But it can also have privacy implications. The Government Accountability Office looked at 23 major agencies and found some struggling to update policies for protecting privacy and computer systems. GAO also found problems with records management. The watchdog agency recommended the U.S. Archivist to come up with guidance for preserving records generated on social media.