The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Wednesday the 25th of April, 2012:
- The Secret Service agents in the center of the prostitution scandal say misbehavior on official trips is not unprecedented. The Washington Post reports a few of the secret service agents contend that their conduct doesn’t warrant dismissal because senior managers tolerated similar behavior before. If the agents come forward with their stories about rank and file employees and superiors partying the agency’s image could be tarnished forever.
- The House Appropriations Committee has released its allocation targets for its 12 subcommittees. The Washington Post says the appropriations committee has proposed a $1.028 trillion discretionary spending target for fiscal 2013. Last week, the Senate proposed a $1.047 trillion discretionary spending target. The Senate’s target was set by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
- The Senate has approved by voice vote an amendment that would reform spending and oversight for federal agency travel and conferences. Sen. Tom Coburn's measure would cap the total cost of individual events at $500,000 and slash the total amount spent on conferences annually by 20 percent. Roll Call says the amendment would also require agencies publish detailed spending reports online every three months on conferences supported or attended by agencies. The disclosures would have to include an explanation of how the conference advance the agency’s mission, the total attendance of the conference, a justification of the location, and the number of federal and non-federal employees who attended the event on the agency’s tab.
- Still no solution for the Postal Service’s budget problems. Government Executive reports a measure that would have required eligible postal service employees to retire without buyout incentives failed in the Senate.. The amendment would have reduced the cash-strapped agency’s expenses by reducing its large percentage of retirement-eligible workers.
- The Army private accused of the biggest leak of government secrets may go free. Federal news radio says a military judge will rule on a motion to dismiss the case against Bradley Manning. Defense lawyers requested it on the grounds that prosecutors had been too slow in sharing information. But prosecutors said it took a while to obtain documents from civilian agencies and go through them. They are accusing Manning of sending hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. He faces 22 separate charges.
- Did you know the government was behind the GPS technology...they were. Now NASA will use that technology to test the Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation Network (READI). Federal News Radio says the network uses real-time GPS measurements from nearly 500 stations throughout California, Oregon and Washington. Because it delivers high-precision, second-by-second measurement of ground displacements, scientists should be able to get more accurate information quicker than using traditional instruments that measure shaking.
- And on GovLoop, have you checked out our communications guide? It’s a really great resource that talks about all the changes happening in government communication -- and it’s not just social media. The report highlights the top ten trends for government communications.