Tuesday Morning Federal Newscast - Nov. 9th

Tuesday - 11/9/2010, 9:03am EST

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.

  • Here's your chance to pick a winner for the 2010 White House SAVE award. The administration has chosen four finalists. Those entries would: Stop the agriculture department from using express mail for empty containers. Require mine operators to send safety reports online instead of thru the mail. Post public notice of seized property online instead of in newspapers. And end the mailing of federal registers to government employees. Voting has started.

  • CIA director Leon Panetta is warning workers at his agency against leaking classified information. He says the agency will fully investigate a spate of leaks made in recent months. A memo to workers isn't specific about all the cases the agency will probe, but it does cite WikiLeaks as an example. Panetta says leaks could jeopardize lives and that they'll be referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.

  • His plan was to bomb Metro. Today he is expected in federal court. The Pakistani-born U.S. citizen was arrested last month after being targeted in a federal sting operation. Authorities say Farooque Ahmed plotted with people he thought were al-Qaida members to conduct bombings at D-C Metrorail stations. Ahmed is expected to enter a not guilty plea at today's arraignment, and a judge will set a trial date.

  • Major private security contractors have signed a code of conduct. They're pledging to respect human rights and the rule of law in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Early signers include DynCorp International, G4S and Xe Services, formerly Blackwater Worldwide. Signings took place yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland. The code was developed by industry and government representatives. It requires companies to ensure their employees try to avoid the use of force. It also forbids mistreatment of detainees, sexual exploitation and forced labor. Signatories, non-governmental groups and governments who employ them still have to agree how compliance will be monitored and by whom.

  • Trouble for GSA in Kansas City. A scathing report by the Office of the Inspector General of the General Services Administration says the agency misled the public about the safety of one of its buildings, and that there was lax oversight at the Bannister Federal Complex in Kansas City, Missouri. The Bannister Federal Complex has a history of contamination problems. For decades, a wall has separated GSA offices from the area where nuclear-bomb parts are manufactured. The Kansas City Star reports that the I-G found several instances in which the region's Public Building Service knew about hazards at the site but was slow to fix them. The report finds that not only did PBS fail to keep workers safe at the complex before 2010, it released incorrect information about the safety of the facility. Former regional administrator Brad Scott, who was in office during the years that the report covers, had no direct comment about the report.

  • Just because you have to follow a mandate doesn't mean your agency - or your office - is making it a priority. That's the finding of a new survey by CDW, which finds that energy efficiency might be a top driver for IT this year. But not all federal managers are investing in green IT first. The report from CDW shows that 75-percent of the federal IT professionals surveyed said that they have programs in place, or are developing programs, to manage energy use in IT. But dig a little deeper and the survey shows that managers feel they don't have the budget to invest in green IT systems. They also find that senior management gives higher priority to investments in other areas of the organization.

  • NASA has selected 13 companies to come up with ideas for how to get people and equipment into space. The companies were given a total of $7.5 million in grants to develop their ideas for heavy lift systems. From the 13 submissions, NASA will later choose companies to further analyze and test their ideas. Doug Cooke is associate administrator of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. He says NASA is looking for affordable propulsion systems to reach the moon, asteroids and other destinations beyond low earth orbit.