The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Among other issues facing the D.C. Metro Subway system, the Pentagon is worried about security. POLITICO reports the Defense Department wants $12 million from Congress to build a new employee screening facility at the entrance above the Pentagon Station Metro stop. Congress can’t agree on the matter though, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee John McCain (R-Ariz.) said DoD has not made a compelling enough argument for the project, while the House supported the project in its version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. (POLITICO)
The White House warned Congress in a new report on sequestration that one version of the government’s discretionary budget for 2017 could cause the return of spending cuts. The administration said the spending bills under consideration from the House would bust discretionary spending caps by $17 million in 2017. The Senate’s versions of the spending bills would come about $2 million under the caps. (Federal News Radio)
President Barack Obama’s new policy to hold federal contractors to labor standards is getting some push back. Some federal contracting attorneys are calling it a solution in search of a problem, saying the final rule for the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order is not only a burden to businesses and contracting officers, but opens the door to due process complaints. The rule goes into effect in October, with full implementation in two years. (Federal News Radio)
The American Federation of Government Employees is not happy with new labor-management relationship guidelines released by the Transportation Security Administration. In a press release, AFGE said it “fails to address the union’s main concerns and does little to improve the falling employee morale.” AFGE represents TSA officers, and is currently in the middle of a contract negotiation period with the agency. (American Federation of Government Employees)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is transforming data into high resolution pictures to track the country’s water flow. NOAA is getting some new tools to better understand the flow of water throughout the country. The agency is partnering with ESRI to add visualization software to NOAA’s recently released National Water Model. Through these high resolution interactive maps, NOAA will be able to give its customers including emergency responders, reservoir operator and floodplain managers, a better view of the country’s 2.7 million stream segments. The tools will provide detailed information so users can anticipate flood and drought conditions. ESRI uses National Weather Service data to populate the interactive maps with hourly updates and forecasts for up to 10 days. (ESRI)
The General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General is looking for a specialist to lead its IT team. According to the USAJobs posting, the work would primarily be programming, but also managing and assigning duties to the Information Technology sector. The application closes Sept. 8. (USAJobs)
The Government Accountability Office told the Air Force and Defense departments, if you want to phase out the A-10 Warthog, you at least need a plan for filling the role it plays in missions. GAO said neither the Air Force nor DoD have quality information on the full implications of A-10 divestment. It said they needed to identify mission gaps before moving forward. (Government Accountability Office)
Federal prosecutors say a Commerce Department employee defrauded state and local agencies out of $750,000 worth of veterans benefits by claiming combat injuries he never actually received. Prosecutors in Washington state said Darryl Wright, a former National Guardsman, falsified statements from fellow soldiers to get himself a Purple Heart in combat action badge, then used those awards to obtain disability benefits. Claiming he was so disabled, he couldn’t focus on any one task for more than a few seconds. In reality, prosecutors said he was holding down his job with Commerce just fine, while also coaching a basketball team and chairing a local planning commission. Wright pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud. The U.S. Attorney has asked for a five-year prison term. (Associated Press)
Fort Belvoir announced it will conduct a mass casualty exercise on Sept. 13. The exercise will simulate an active shooter scenario. The exercise will be conducted in the morning. Local residents should expect an increase in emergency vehicles and aircraft in the area through one p.m. Fort Belvoir said the training exercise is vital to the base’s readiness.