The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear new federal hiring process today. The announcement from OPM and the Office of Management and budget expected at noon. No firm details yet, but OPM Director John Berry has advocated for ridding the early hiring process of essays on knowledge, skills and abilities. He also believes that applicants who are rejected for one job should be qualified for consideration at other agencies. For the latest on the new hiring process, check back with FederalNewsRadio.com
Senior Defense Department leaders are warning that rising personnel costs could bankrupt operations and acquisition funds. The Pentagon estimates this year one-third of military spending will be on personnel costs like the ballooning cost of military pay, benefits and health care. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says attempts to reduce the federal bill, including modest increases in premiums and co-pay for Tricare, the military health care system, have been defeated by a furious response from Congress and Veterans groups. Defense analysts in Federal Times say military compensation reform is not likely on Capitol Hill for the remainder of the year with midterm congressional elections this November.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has been slapped with a lawsuit demanding disclosure of names of employees who viewed pornography on government computers. The law firm Steese, Evans and Frankel filed the lawsuit after documents it received from a FOIA request had the names redacted, according to Washington Times. The SEC recently answered an inquiry from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, saying that 33 employees or contractors had been found viewing porn sites in the past five years, half of them senior staff.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will propose splitting up the Minerals Management Service, an administration official, who asked not to be identified because the plan is not yet public, told The Associated Press. One agency would be charged with inspecting oil rigs, investigating oil companies and enforcing safety regulations, while the other would oversee leases for drilling and collection of billions of dollars in royalties. Expect the official announcement around 1 o’clock this afternoon.
New concerns about the computers and other electronics agencies recycle. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns says the contractors who do the recycling are not held accountable. The government has set up certification standards and environmental rules to make sure equipment is disposed of safely. But Towns says only two of the 60 recycling contractors on a GSA schedule meet EPA standards. Towns has asked the EPA and GSA for details on plans get contractors to follow the rules.
American citizens are on the move, but they aren’t going far. That’s the main finding from a new Census Bureau report. It showed 37.1 million Americans, or 12.5 percent of the population, changed their addresses between 2008 and 2009. That’s up slightly from the year before. But two thirds of the people who moved, stayed within the same county. Census enumerators are currently visiting tens of millions of homes seeking data from people who didn’t return their forms by mail.
The White House will unveil a new drug control strategy today. It will emphasize community anti-drug programs while expanding treatment to mainstream health care facilities. Gil Kerlikowski, the administration’s drug control chief, said the policy is aimed at reducing demand for illegal drugs by treating drug use more as a public health issue than a criminal justice one. He hopes to reduce youthful drug use by 15 percent over five years. The drug control budget request includes a 13 percent increase for alcohol and drug prevention programs.