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2:50 am, April 25, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.

Senator wants next OMB director to be familiar with federal workforce

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the chairman of a key congressional panel with oversight of the federal workforce says he wants President Barack Obama's pick for White House budget director to "possess a background in federal workforce and governmental oversight issues." Earlier this month, Obama nominated the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sylvia Burwell, to take over for Kathleen Sebelius as the head of the Health and Human Services Department.

Thursday - 04/24/2014, 04:16pm EDT

New rule allows TSP to garnish wages of former feds to recover debt

The Thrift Savings Plan could stand to collect more than $500,000 in unpaid debt thanks to expanded authority to garnish employees' pay even after they leave federal service. A final rule published in the Federal Register Wednesday will allow the Treasury Department -- on behalf of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which runs the TSP -- to garnish the wages of nonfederal employees who owe the TSP money.

Thursday - 04/24/2014, 03:08pm EDT

Former DHS IG placed on administrative leave following release of Senate report

In a report issued Thursday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, says Edwards altered or delayed reports to accommodate senior DHS officials, sought outside legal advice in violation of the laws governing agency IGs and failed to recuse himself form some audits despite concerns over conflicts of interest involving his wife, who was also employed by the agency.

Thursday - 04/24/2014, 12:52pm EDT

Budget pressures shrink federal contract spending by 11 percent

Following a year of widespread budget uncertainty, federal contract spending fell by 11 percent, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg Government. All told, agency contract spending tumbled from $516.3 billion in fiscal 2012 to $462.1 billion last year, the report found.

Wednesday - 04/23/2014, 02:21pm EDT
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Report: IRS employees disciplined for misconduct still received bonuses

In a recent audit made public Tuesday, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that between Oct. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31 2012, more than 2,800 employees disciplined within the past year for misconduct collected a total of $2.8 million in monetary awards. That included more than $1 million in cash awards for 1,100 IRS employees who had failed to pay federal taxes.

Tuesday - 04/22/2014, 05:37pm EDT

GAO blames 'uneven' IRS performance on budget cuts, staffing decline

Budget cuts and a steep drop in the size of the Internal Revenue Service's workforce have resulted in "uneven" performance by the agency, according to the Government Accountability Office. In the wake of reduced staff and shrinking budgets, IRS service levels decreased, the agency was forced to delay two major IT projects and spending on employee training has been slashed by more than 80 percent, according to GAO.

Tuesday - 04/22/2014, 09:48am EDT

GSA plans $70M effort to consolidate agency office space nationwide

The General Services Administration is spending nearly $70 million on a major effort to consolidate federal-agency office space nationwide, the agency announced Monday. GSA has plans to continue or start renovations on 19 federally owned buildings across the country.

Monday - 04/21/2014, 01:47pm EDT

Charities, lawmakers voice concerns over OPM's rewrite of CFC rules

New regulations published this week by the Office of Personnel Management aim to overhaul the Combined Federal Campaign, in part by eliminating cash donations in favor of online giving and requiring charities to pay fees to cover the administrative costs of the program. But some charity groups say OPM's regulations are too focused on wringing more efficiencies out of the annual fundraising drive instead of on re-energizing a workplace-giving program that has seen declining donations in recent years.

Thursday - 04/17/2014, 04:09pm EDT

OMB: Plan for implementing security-clearance fixes coming soon

In the coming months, the federal government will release a detailed plan for implementing more than a dozen recommendations to improve the security clearance process, said Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert. The government's recommendations, which were included in an interagency report published by OMB last month, call for "continuous evaluation" of clearance holders and strengthened oversight of the background-investigation process.

Wednesday - 04/16/2014, 10:45am EDT
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OPM to begin survey of feds later this month

The Office of Personnel Management is preparing to take the temperature of the federal workforce. The annual survey tracking federal workers' job satisfaction across an array of factors will be sent to employees later this month, according to a memo to agency heads from OPM Director Katherine Archuleta.

Monday - 04/14/2014, 05:36pm EDT

Pay gap shrinks between female and male feds

Female federal employees earn on average 87 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, according to a new review from the Office of Personnel Management. Still, the pay gap between men and women in the white-collar federal workforce has dropped significantly over the past 20 years. And across many individual occupations and grades, men and women now earn comparable levels of pay, according to OPM's new report. OPM's review found much of the continued pay disparity between male and female feds can be explained by their presence in different occupational categories.

Friday - 04/11/2014, 12:16pm EDT

McCaskill drafting new IG bill with focus on small agencies

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told a panel of agency IGs that she's currently drafting legislation that would pool together resources and establish an IG office specifically for the dozens of small agencies that fall outside the scope of the 1978 IG Act.

Thursday - 04/10/2014, 04:18pm EDT

OSC targets Hatch Act violations at IRS, improper hiring at CBP

A customer service representative at the IRS who repeatedly greeted taxpayers calling a help-line with a chant urging President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 could now be facing significant disciplinary action, according to the Office of Special Counsel. It's one of three cases of improper political activity at the agency recently uncovered by OSC. Meanwhile, three career officials at Customs and Border Protection are under fire by OSC for allegedly manipulating the hiring process to install job candidates favored by political leadership into career appointments.

Wednesday - 04/09/2014, 03:45pm EDT

Issa embraces White House plan for postal reform

The Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is starting over on postal reform legislation and taking as its template a surprising source the White House's fiscal 2015 budget request. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told members of the committee and the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget that he intends to "embrace to the greatest extent possible" the entire slate of legislative proposals for overhauling the Postal Service included in the President's budget request.

Tuesday - 04/08/2014, 03:32pm EDT

Retirement backlog shrinks for first time this year

Thanks to better than expected progress in processing federal retirement claims last month, the Office of Personnel Management's backlog of pending claims is shrinking for the first time this year. By the end of March, the number of backlogged claims shrank from more than 23,500 claims to about 18,500.

Monday - 04/07/2014, 12:02pm EDT

House to vote on bill making it easier to fire VA senior execs

The House will soon vote on a measure making it easier for the Veterans Affairs secretary to fire or demote senior career executives at the department, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a Capitol Hill briefing Thursday. The VA Management Accountability Act allows the VA secretary to remove or demote members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) based on their performance.

Thursday - 04/03/2014, 05:19pm EDT

Civil-service reform needs more than 'Band-Aid approach,' experts argue

A legislative attempt to reform the aging federal personnel system will face a difficult path in Congress even if it's able to muster the support of key stakeholders, including the White House and federal-employee unions. Experts discussed proposed reforms to the civil-service system outlined in a new report published Tuesday by the Partnership and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Wednesday - 04/02/2014, 05:13pm EDT

Report calls for broad overhaul of federal personnel, pay systems

A new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton calls for essentially throwing out the 65-year-old General Schedule system, comprised of 15 separate grade levels, and replacing it with five broad work levels. The report also calls for changes to the way federal pay is calculated and recommends setting up a governmentwide pay-for-performance process.

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 06:07pm EDT

TSP performance mixed in March

With gains on Wall Street hitting some headwinds in March, the performance of funds in the Thrift Savings Plan last month lagged behind February's advances. Three of the TSP's five regular funds ended the month in negative territory.

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 01:34pm EDT

House budget seeks to up feds' retirement contributions

The budget blueprint unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Tuesday includes a handful of proposals affecting the federal workforce that Ryan and House Republicans have championed in the past. Among them, the recommendation that federal employees contribute more of their salary toward their pensions and a proposal to shrink the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition.

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 12:54pm EDT
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