The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.
The Parklawn HHS building in Rockville has a bedbug problem. TBD.com reports pest control specialists have been called in after two separate bedbug incidents in the building. An official complaint about the bugs has been filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is for waiting more information from Health and Human Services before deciding if they need to send an inspector to the site.
Forest Service employees living in domestic partnerships are getting new federal benefits. That agency has agreed to give those employees time off to care for partners with serious health conditions. They get 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. The agreement comes in a new collective bargaining agreement with the National Federation of Federal Employees. That contract also gives gives employees time off to care for newly-born or adopted children.
The Army is taking new steps to slash its hiring time for civilians. Undersecretary Joseph Westphal says the service will use staffing software from OPM to speed up onboarding. He’s also calling for changes to Army job descriptions, so the military branch can better attract the right people. GovExec reports the plan is part of the service’s new Civilian Workforce Transformation Plan. The announcement comes on the heels of news from OPM that the government has reduced the average hiring time to 110 days. For the Army, that number is 130 days. The goal is 80.
Do you have a plan for hiring more people with disabilities? If not, the Office of Personnel Management wants to help. It just held the first of a series of training sessions on hiring the disabled. Federal Times reports, nearly 300 hiring managers and H-R professionals attended. OPM must come up with a model recruitment and hiring program to fulfill a July presidential order to hire 100,000 people with disabilities. Once the model is developed, each agency will have to come up with its own hiring plan.
House Democrats are turning up the heat on subcontracting at the Defense Department. Five lawmakers, led by New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate DoD’s Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. Clarke says the program hasn’t been formally reviewed since it was set up 20 years ago. She wants to make sure small businesses are actually receiving the contracts they’re due. GovExec reports that DoD has launched its own review of the program.
CACI is posting record earnings. The contractor had fiscal first-quarter net income of $28.7 million. Compare that to nearly $24 million a year ago. It won nearly $1.5 Billion in new contracts last quarter. That’s more than double its new contracts in fiscal 2010. The Washington Business Journal reports CACI ends the quarter with a total backlog of $7.5 Billion. It has raised its fiscal 2011 sales forecast to $3.6 Billion. That’s more than its previous high of $3.4 Billion. You may recall it announced two acquisitions last quarter that move it into the geospatial arena, buying TechniGraphics and Applied Systems Research Inc.
Police say a Pakistani-born Virginia man spent six months casing Washington, D.C., are subway stations, sizing up how to kill the most people in a bomb attack. The FBI says 34-year-old Farooque Ahmed thought he was working for al-Qaida operatives, but it was a set-up and his contacts were federal agents. The FBI says the public was never in danger.
The Education Department is tightening the rules for career colleges. Now the for-profit schools will have to disclose their graduation and job placement rates. They’ll have to end misleading advertising and pay closer attention to who receives federal student aid. The New York Times reports, Education made 82 rules changes after receiving 90,000 public comments. The new rules will be published tomorrow and go into effect in July. The department plans more changes to cover graduates who borrow too much and earn too little to repay their loans.
The United States is about to lose its lead in super computing. A new super computer in China will run at faster speeds than the current champ, operated by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Super computing is used by federal agencies and the scientific community to solve complex problems such as predicting weather or modeling nuclear weapons. The Wall Street Journal reports, the new machine was designed by China’s National University of Defense Technology. It runs at 2.8 petaflops, 40 percent faster than the Oak Ridge machine.