Monday Morning Federal Newscast - June 14th

Monday - 6/14/2010, 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 users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The comparisons between private-sector pay and public-sector pay continue. This time, the Asbury Park Press is giving it a shot - looking at the bonuses handed out to federal employees in 2009. Through a freedom of information act request, Asbury Park Press says it acquired data from OPM that shows more than $400-million dollars in bonuses for about 65 percent of the federal workforce. Then, Asbury Park Press compares that with bonuses handed out at Goldman Sachs - which added up to more than $16 billion dollars. The Heritage Foundation concedes that federal employee bonuses are very small portions of their compensation. The American Federation of Government Employees says that there isn't enough cash to go around to "alter the incentive structure in the pay system." Often, bonuses in the federal government consist of incentives other than cash like extra days off.

  • Adult children of some feds may have to wait for health coverage in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program until next year. The Senate has voted down an amendment that would have filled in a theoretical gap in extended coverage for dependents from age 22 to 26. That extension is required under the new healthcare reform law beginning next year. Federal Daily reports that both chambers of Congress are working on other measures to prevent a gap in coverage.

  • A congressional panel has given the Defense Department a list of steps for saving nearly $1 trillion dollars over the next decade. The Sustainable Defense Task Force recommends, among other things, that DoD reduce its active-duty force by more than 200,000 troops. The panel also suggests the military reform its health system and reduce unneeded weapons systems. The task force says federal discretionary spending has nearly doubled since 2001, and more than one-third of that is because of defense-spending.

  • The Defense Department may reduce civilian employees and military member staffing, in order to meet a mandate for money savings. DoD comptroller Robert Hale telling Federal Times his department hopes to generate $68 billion dollars in savings over the next five years. On top of staff cuts, DoD will look to streamline business functions and reduce overhead. This mandate to save came from the top: Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

  • Veterans Affairs has a $12 billion dollar contract it needs filled. The VA's five-year technology and telecommunications program will span a range of work from supporting facilities to cybersecurity. The Washington Post reports the draft solicitation, known as Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology, or T4, will select companies to be chosen for future awards. The government plans to award up to 15 prime contracts for the program. The T4 solicitation is set for release June 30th, and awards are planned for late September.

  • So, you're a vendor, and you want to land a hot federal contract. Navigating those waters can be tricky. INPUT is launching a new service that claims to help contractors do their homework on major federal programs. It is called "Capture Intelligence" and promises balanced, non-public insight and actionable information into large-scale federal programs. It focuses on defense and civilian program opportunities valued at more than $100 million dollars. The service isn't free, though. You have to subscribe. But for the cost of your subscription, INPUT promises access to its ability to track nearly $2 trillion dollars in federal opportunities.

  • It's a first for the government's bank bailout. The Troubled Asset Relief Program receiving more money in pay backs than it has in outstanding loans. The Treasury Department says that at the end of May, TARP recipients had repayed $194 billion dollars. That number surged last month when Treasury sold 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup. Treasury pegs the total cost for TARP near $105 billion dollars, after all paybacks and returns on investments are tallied.

  • Housing and Urban Development is getting help with its money management systems. ATS Corp, based in McLean, Virginia, has won a nearly-$14 million dollar HUD contract. The Washington Business Journal reports the contract runs for five years. ATS will provide application systems support for HUD's systems for program accounting, lines-of-credit, and bond payments. ATS has worked with HUD before, providing mission-critical software development and maintenance for nearly 30 years.