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.
IRS tax assistance centers are poorly located help Americans rushing to finish their taxes. That according to an new Inspector General’s report. The report found that while there are more than 400 tax assistance centers around the nation, more than a third of taxpayers have to travel at least half an hour to find one. The centers are supposed to provide a way for people to get in-person help from the IRS. But the report finds the agency hasn’t kept up with geographic and demographic changes.
The U.S. Postal Service is expected to detail today how it plans to cut about 7,500 administrative jobs. The job eliminations are expected to impact about 2,000 postmasters – and another 5,500 supervisors and administrative staffers. Cutting postmasters may prompt USPS to close the post offices they operate. On average, about 22,000 postal workers leave the agency through attrition. The Washington Post reports Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe says between attrition and cuts his goal is to have 30,000 fewer employees working for the Postal Service by the end of its fiscal year, but that buyouts are “an option on the table.”
The Pentagon is expected to issue a stop-work order on the second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter later today. The alternate engine is made by General Electric and Rolls-Royce, and the Pentagon has labeled the project unnecessary and wasteful. Today’s Defense reports funding for the alternate engine has been eliminated in the 2011 and 2012 budgets, but because of continuing resolutions of the 2010 budget, the project has continued to receive funding.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to extend its lease in Alexandria. The Washington Business Journal reports about 600 SEC workers will fill the nearly 150,000 square foot space, known as the agency’s “Ops Center.” This latest decision will replace the plan to move the workers to DC. The agency has not yet determined how many workers will fill its remaining 340,000 square feet in Constitution Center.
Federal regulators voted Wednesday to review safety measures at all of the U.S.’s nuclear power plants, in the wake of the nuclear crisis in Japan. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has launched a two-step review process. A task force made up of senior staff and former NRC experts, will conduct short-term and long-term analyses of lessons learned from Japan. Their reports will then address how those lessons can be applied to the104 U.S. nuclear reactors. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said it was important to examine the crisis caused by the earthquake and tsunami to determine whether policy changes are needed in this country. The short-term review is to be completed within three months, with updates after 30 days and 60 days. The longer review should be completed by the end of the year.
The Justice Department has given 20 companies a license to hunt for more than a billion dollars in technology contracts. The vendors are the winners of the IT Support Services-Four contract. Under ITSS-Four, the businesses will compete for task orders to provide all aspects of the system’s lifecyle, including the development, support, training and cybersecurity. It is a year-long contract with six one-year options.