Thursday morning federal headlines - May 17, 2012

Thursday - 5/17/2012, 8:37am EDT

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp discuss throughout the show each day.r

  • The Office of Personnel Management is expanding its relationship with General Dynamics Information Technology. GDIT has been awarded two IT Blanket Purchase Agreements that have a combined potential value of $500 million with a one-year base and four one-year options. They will provide a range of support services that include network engineering, telework and help-desk support. This builds on a 27-year relationship OPM has with GDIT. (GDIT)

  • The end is is sight for the Air Force to complete the transition to a résumé based system. The final phase is expected in late July. The USA staffing web-based system, automates civilian employee recruitment, assessment, referral and notification processes. Requiring a résumé means the hiring managers receive more information on the job-seeker rather than the jobs he's filled. Air Force officials hope that comparing résumés instead of job briefs will help them fill vacant positions, with stronger candidates, faster. (Air Force)

  • Two diverse issues cleared a Senate committee. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee approved a bill extending federal benefits to same-sex domestic partners. Four members voted against the measure, three Republicans and one Democrat. The committee also approved a bill called Keeping Politics out of Federal Contracting. The bill was launched to stop a White House order for federal contractors to disclose their political contributions. Only Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) opposed. Both bills now head to the full Senate. (Federal News Radio)

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a growing problem for the military. Now the Army has launched a review of how it evaluates soldiers who might have PTSD. The review followed complaints that some diagnoses were overturned to save money. The reversals occurred at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington. The psychiatric unit there may have overturned diagnoses based on the cost of caring for those with PTSD. The Army said it would review PTSD diagnoses at all of its medical facilities going back to 2001. (Federal News Radio)

  • Joe Jordan is a step closer to becoming the next White House procurement chief. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination, which now goes to the full Senate. Only Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) voted against Jordon. Ranking committee member Susan Collins (R-Maine) noted what she said was Jordan's relative lack of experience in federal procurement. If confirmed, Jordan would succeed Dan Gordon at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Gordon left the government for academia. Lesley Field is the acting OFPP administrator. (Federal News Radio)

  • The Postal Service rolled out details today on a revised plan for mail-processing facilities. It had slated 250 cites for closure. In a letter to the American Postal Workers Union, the agency said it would begin consolidating plants this summer. It also planned to roll back overnight delivery and offer employee buyouts. It said it was working out the details with its unions. Under pressure from lawmakers, the Postal Service backed away from a plan to close 3,700 post offices, but these plants operated out of the public's eye and did not get as much attention on Capitol Hill. (APWU)

  • A big annual General Services Administration conference has a more modest look this year. Visitors estimated attendance at the annual GSA Expo was down 80 percent from last year. The event is going on now in San Antonio. A GSA spokesman said about 5,000 people were at the show, 2,500 of whom are government employees, including 357 from GSA itself. Procurement consultant Larry Allen is a regular attendee. He said in past years, the Expo drew nearly 10,000 people. Many federal agencies are curtailing travel in the wake of revelations about a costly GSA conference in Las Vegas. (Federal News Radio)

  • The White House cybersecurity coordinator is stepping down. Howard Schmidt will leave his job at the end of the month. Schmidt joined the Obama administration 2-1/2 years ago. He helped craft cybersecurity legislation, but Congress has been unable to agree on a comprehensive cyber bill among several competing bills. Schmidt said he wants to spend more time teaching cybersecurity. He'll be succeeded by Michael Daniel, now chief of the Office of Management and Budget's intelligence branch. (Federal News Radio)