The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear institutionalized across the Defense Department. The goal, he says, is to force all DoD agencies and organizations, to save enough money in their management, personnel policies and logistics to guarantee 3-percent real growth each year in the accounts that pay for combat operations.
Northrop Grumman has had to pay $700,000 to settle U.S. attorney’s civil claims for fraudulent and improper billing under two defense procurement contracts. The government charged Northrup with submitting false claims and with improperly charging for lodging expenses for Northrop employees who actually stayed in accommodations provided by the government.
An FBI information technology manager faces prison time for possessing child pornography. Investigators say 64-year-old Samuel Kaplan, of Gainesville got their attention after he sent explicit emails on the FBI’s unclassified network, while he worked at the a facility in Chantilly, Virginia. Later, investigators say they found over a dozen disturbing images on his home computer. Kaplan has pleaded guilty to the charges. He could get ten years in prison when he is sentenced in August.
The Gulf oil slick is headed up the east coast this summer. That’s according to a supercomputer simulation run by scientists at two federal facilities. Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado collaborated on the study. They said the oil could travel thousands of miles up the East Coast, according to the Wall Street Journal. The simulation combines many variables, including wind speed, current patterns, temperatures and past weather patterns. Each simulation takes 24 hours to run.
Lots of questions about whether agencies should offer prizes for ideas on improving government. The White House is asking agencies to coordinate their online contests but some lawmakers aren’t so sure about prizes in the first place. NextGov reports, Representatives. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Pete Olson of Texas say the prizes are a misuse of federal funds. They cite a $2,500 prize offered by Regulations.gov to the winner of a video contest for increasing public participation federal rulemaking. Prizes are part of President Obama’s open government initiative.
The public has weighed in on what the federal government should or should not outsource. More than 100 individuals and groups submitted comments on proposed new rules for which government functions ought to be done by contractors, according to GovExec. The comment period, which opened in March, closed earlier this week. Those with opinions include trade groups, labor unions, contract lawyers and individuals. In all, they submitted 118 comments.
Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Edolphus Towns is asking the Justice Department and Homeland Security to explain some serious charges contained in a 2009 Inspector General’s report. The report charges the U.S. National Central Bureau with not providing critical information to U.S. law enforcement, and with not ensuring that information from Interpol was being given to domestic law enforcement agencies in an accurate, complete and timely manner. The USNCB coordinates and transmits requests for criminal investigative assistance between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and their foreign counterparts, and is co-managed by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.
The same video technology the NFL uses for instant replay during football games could soon help the troops in Afghanistan. Harris Corporation, the company behind instant replay for professional football and baseball games, has teamed up with the military on an analysis system to help make more sense of what’s going on on the field… the battlefield. The amount of intelligence and surveillance video coming in from drones has been overwhelming analysts who simply can’t keep up. Wired.com reports the system has already been deployed to several bases.