Thursday Morning Federal Newscast - June 10th

Thursday - 6/10/2010, 8:46am 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 users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Pentagon will cut pay raises in half for more than 11,000 civilians moving out of its cancelled pay for performance setup -- the National Security Personnel System. That coming from John James, the person in charge of managing the transition. NSPS is being phased out, under a mandate in the 2010 Defense Authorization Act. The civilian workers are moving to the General Schedule. John James, in Senate testimony Thursday, said the employees are not getting their full pay raises, because they already earn more than their new General Schedule grades allow.

  • Among the costs to run the House of Representatives for a year are $30 million for Members and staff to travel around the country, $4 million for office temps, $400,000 for bottled water and $3 million for buffet lunches, doughnuts and pizza. A new database built by the Sunlight Foundation in cooperation with Roll Call puts spending data into a single, sortable, searchable spreadsheet for the first time. According to the Sunlight data, the top vendor doing business with the House in the last six months of 2009 was CDW-Government. The second-highest-paid vendor was postage giant Pitney Bowes. Other major vendors include Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Cisco Systems.

  • Federal News Radio told you a little bit about this yesterday -- The Senate vote on intelligence chief could be delayed. Lawmakers have been concerned about a memo from James Clapper, President Obama's nominee for national intelligence director. That memo, written about a month before he was tapped for the DNI job, details Clapper's objections to 17 provisions of the 2010 intelligence authorization bill. That bill provides a larger budget and more executive power to the DNI. The chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has already voiced misgivings over Clapper as intelligence director. She says she wants his views on the bill's provisions, and whether he believes a stronger DNI would weaken the authorities of the secretary of defense.Clapper is scheduled to meet privately with lawmakers at the end of this week, but now it doesn't look as though Clapper will be confirmed by July.

  • The Office of Management and Budget considers a temporary halt on new projects to modernize federal financial management systems. A draft memo Federal News Radio has obtained would be the latest step in the administration's attempt to reshape federal financial management. The temporary pauses would give OMB time to approve implementation plans that agencies have crafted. They would apply to projects worth at least $10 million dollars and to existing development task orders worth more than $500-thousand dollars.

  • GSA names its first Chief Greening Officer. Eleni Reed will step into that post. There, she'll be in charge of reducing the environmental footprint of more than 9,000 federal buildings. Those buildings are owned or least by GSA.

  • It is a $900-million dollar contract to help the Air Force with software. And it'll be split between some major players in the Defense Contracting world. Northrup Grumman, Boeing, DCS, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin all get a piece of the $919-million dollar contract to provide software development of mission planning systems. The software will provide the warfighter with the tools to plan missions and transfer required data to the aircraft avionics.

  • It was only a matter of time, really. Twitter is hiring a government liason. The social media site posted a job listing, looking for an experienced, entreprenurial person to make Twitter better for policymakers, political organizations and government officials and agencies. The new hire would be the first D.C.-based employee and will be responsible for helping Twitter understand how government works.

  • The Feds want to make it a little more expensive to become an American. Under a proposal by immigration officials, the price of green cards, business visas and other immigration red tape would go up. The fee hikes would help close a projected $200-million dollar budget gap for next fiscal year. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department has already cut $160-million dollars from its budget, but that wasn't enough. USCIS is a fee-based organization with about 90 percent of its budget coming from fees paid by applicants and petitioners to obtain immigration benefits. Your comments about the proposals are requested on the Federal Register.