The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Legionnaires disease in a federal workplace is being called an “isolated incident.” One worker at the Social Security Administration’s Philadelphia offices has been diagnosed with the disease, while a second has tested positive for the bacteria but is not showing any symptoms. A spokesperson for SSA says the building has been tested, but no Legionella bacteria were found. About 1,500 people work in the building.
A parliamentary squabble delays work on a Senate telework bill. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has reportedly put a hold on the Telework Enhancement Act over a provision related to travel reimbursements at the Patent and Trademark Office. The amendment was offered by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. And The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the telework bill last May. But a staffer cited in Government Executive says Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, believes the provision falls under his jurisdiction.
A number of changes afoot at the General Services Administration. The Office of Citizen Services and Communications is reportedly being transformed into the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technology. Associate Administrator Dave McClure will receive two deputies — Martha Dorris will lead the citizen services arm. And Interior Department CIO Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia will leave his post to become GSA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Innovative Technologies. That role includes running GSA’s cloud computing initiatives and Data.gov. The shuffle is part of a bigger move to help GSA improve its services.
GSA tries again to launch a big cloud-computing contract, but this time the RFQ asks for a little more protection from hackers. The new request targets vendors who can provide storage, virtual machines and Web hosting with a moderate level of security. GSA cancelled its first RFQ in February. Vendors have until June 15th to submit responses to the new one.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says North Korea’s sinking of a South Korean warship has created a “highly precarious” security situation in the region. She says the Obama administration is working hard to prevent an escalation of tension that could lead to conflict. Clinton says all of North Korea’s neighbors, including its chief ally China, understand the seriousness of the matter and want to “contain” it.
An Ohio man with anti-government beliefs has been identified as one of two people who allegedly gunned down two officers during a traffic stop in Arkansas. Jerry Kane Jr. and his 16-year-old son were later killed in a shootout. Kane had used the Internet to question federal and local governments’ authority over him. Kane had a long history with police and recently complained about being busted at a “Nazi checkpoint” on I-40 in New Mexico. Court records show he was charged with driving without a license and concealing his identity.
** Ever been confronted with a question about government ethics? This afternoon, you’ll meet Sabrina Segal. She is one of Federal News Radio’s Causey Award winners — and she came up with an innovative way of sharing ethics lessons.
** And after a wild week on Wall Street, we’ll check in with Tom Trabucco about your Thirft Savings Plan.