News in Brief

Contracts OK'd, drone crashes, leave bill introduced

A small drone that crashed Jan. 26, 2015, on the White House grounds.  (Photo: U.S. Secret Service)

DOD IG oks Marine, Navy IT contracts

A Defense Department inspector general's review of 66 non-competitive IT contracts awarded by the Marine Corps and Navy found that all were awarded properly.

The IG conducted the report, which determined that the Navy and Marine Corps complied with the Federal Acquisition Regulation in awarding the contracts, in anticipation of the pending fiscal 2015 defense authorization act, which requires the DOD IG to review non-competitive IT contracts.

Drone crashes on White House grounds

A small drone crashed onto the White House grounds before dawn on Jan. 26, according to multiple media reports. The drone did not appear to be dangerous, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

The New York Times reported that a government employee told the Secret Service that he did not intend to fly the quadcopter drone over the White House. The employee said he was operating the drone for recreational purposes when he lost control of it around 3 a.m.

House Dems push bill backing parental leave for feds

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) announced plans to introduce legislation that would require six weeks of paid leave to federal employees to care for a child after birth or adoption.

Maloney has been introducing this legislation going back to 2000, and a version of the bill passed the House twice when Democrats controlled the chamber. The move comes in the wake of President Barack Obama's executive memorandum requiring agencies to advance six weeks of paid sick time to feds seeking parental leave. The bill is designed to work in concert with Obama's order, allowing feds to take six weeks of paid leave by extending the existing Family and Medical Leave Act, and permitting feds to use six weeks of advanced or accumulated sick time, for a total of 12 weeks parental leave.

The bill, which is unlikely to get much attention in the Republican-controlled Congress, would cover federal employees as well as congressional staff and employees of congressional agencies. Currently, individual members of Congress set paid parental leave policies for their offices.

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