Wednesday Morning Federal Newscast - July 28th

Wednesday - 7/28/2010, 8:44am 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 person in charge of the Capitol Visitors Center has been fired. Terri Rouse joined the center as CEO in 2007, the year before it opened to the public. The Hill Newspaper reports that Rouse's tenure was marked by low staff morale. But there's still no official word on why she was fired.

  • Layoff notices have been sent out to 1,394 employees of United Space Alliance, reports SPACE.com. The NASA contractor intends to cut 15 percent of its 8,100-person workforce ahead of the shuttle fleet's retirement next year. According to the letter sent to employees, the layoffs will take effect October first. The Houston-based United Space Alliance is a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company says if an extra shuttle flight is approved, it will not affect the impending Oct. 1 layoffs.

  • The Defense and Energy departments get together to test renewable energy and conservation technologies. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Energy Secretary Steven Chu signed a memorandum of understanding. Federal Times reports, they will jointly test technologies such as smart electric grids, conversion of garbage into usable energy, even building nuclear power plants on or near military bases.

  • Soon everyone will know what your agency is doing to go green. The White House will post online the plans agencies have crafted to comply with a presidential order to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. GovExec reports that more than 50 plans have been submitted submitted. The executive order issued last October sets a goal for the government to reduce emissions from direct soruces by 28 percent in the decade.

  • The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee votes 11-5 to keep a second F-35 jet engine in the 2011 Defense spending bill. Next year's tab: $485 million. Subcommittee chairman Norman Dicks of Washington tried to stop the measure, reminding members the President would veto the bill if the engine is included. But House Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., introduced the amendment to add the funding for the engine, according to Congress Daily.

  • The Justice Department is investigating whether hundreds of FBI agents cheated on a test of new surveillance rules. In some instances, agents took the open-book test together instead of alone, as required. Others seemed to have finished the long exam way too fast, sources tell the Associated Press. In Columbia, S.C., agents printed the test ahead of time so they could study it, according to a letter to the inspector general from the FBI Agents Association. Depending on the outcome of the IG investigation, agents could be disciplined or fired. Director Robert Mueller was scheduled to testify Wednesday before Congress.

  • Army private first class Bradley Manning, already under investigation for passing classified military documents to WikiLeaks, is now under new suspicion. Earlier this week, 92,000 classified reports from Afghanistan were posted to the WikiLeaks site. Military officials emphasize, Manning is not a formal suspect in that leak. But a source tells the Wall Street Journal, circumstantial evidence points to Manning. The Maryland native is being held in connection with an earlier leak of videos showing a U.S. helicopter attack. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says documents his site receives are sent anonymously.

  • Can CFOs ever truly go on vacation... leaving work behind? For most of them the answer seems to be 'no.' A recent survey of 1,400 CFOs finds that more than two-thirds typically check in with work at least once or twice a week during summer vacations. That is a dip, though, from the 74-percent that responded similarly five years ago. Only about a quarter said they don't check in at all. The survey was conducted by Robert Half Management Resources and reported by CFO.com.

More news links

More Than 1,300 Space Shuttle Workers Get Layoff Notices (SPACE.com)

IRS is Mostly Prepared for a Flu Pandemic (WebCPA)

Top arms control official diagnosed with cancer

US att'y general: Probe seeking Afghan leak source

THIS AFTERNOON ON FEDERAL NEWS RADIO

Coming up today on The DorobekInsider:

** The Defense Department is looking cut its own budget. We'll talk to an expert about five steps to put the Pentagon on sustainable path

** We've been talking telework for years and yet still only a small percentage of federal workers are teleworking. Why? We'll talk to the authors of the book Making Telework Work.

Join Chris from 3 to 7 pm on 1500 AM or on your computer.