The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 1st of May 2012
- Congress is getting closer to a fina transportation bill to maintain highway and transit aid. Unless the House and Senate can agree, funding ends June 30. But Federal News Radio says election year pressures are driving Republicans and Democrats to find compromises. Republicans are still insisting on the Keystone XL oil pipeline in their version. That’s a non-starter for the Obama administration. But lobbyists said the prospects were good for a final bill. A conference committee gets to work May 8.
- Need medical assistance — there’s an app for that. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for game developers to build a medical first responders training mobile application. The Washington Business Journal says DARPA wants to use the game for both medical training and in science classes.
- Small business contracting is changing. And it’s been hard for agencies to meet their small business goals. But the Washington Business Journal says the Small Business Administration thinks changing the size standards more often would be a win-win situation. But that’s easier said than done. The SBA has started reclassifying business sectors that have outgrown their small business stature. They’ve added “new” small businesses, by making larger companies small again.
- New federal employees could see a boost to their Thrift Savings Plan automatic contributions. The Federal Times says Senator Daniel Akaka’s “auto-escalation” bill would increase the amount that automatically-enrolled employees contribute to the G Fund. The Thrift Savings Plan Board says new employees currently set aside 3 percent of their pay — the bill would increase that by 1 percent each year for at least three years. This would mean automatically-enrolled employees would be contributing 6 percent within three years, and possibly more in the following years. And a new survey from the Washington Post finds that most people like the TSP but don’t really understand it.
- Despite a 2.5 billion dollars in funding a new survey say the smart grid is still prone to cyberattacks. Next Gov says the money from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was to help modernize the. electric system by digitizing the way power is distributed to consumers. But when asked if smart grid projects adequately addressed security, 67 percent of participants surveyed by the public-private group, EnergySec, said, no. The March 2012 survey questioned 104 energy security professionals.
- The General Services Administration has launched a federal social-media registry. Think of it like a wedding registry but for social media. Federal News Radio says when it’s completed it will list all verified government accounts on 22 different services, including You Tube, Facebook and Twitter. Without a “dot gov” or “dot mil” behind the name. But Federal Computer Week cautions that the registry was incomplete and was missing a lot of official Twitter handles.
- On GovLoop, you’ve probably seen the Partnership for Public Service’s employee satisfaction survey. In the survey we find that feds don’t like their agency leaders. So we’re asking you…do you agree with the findings?