Federal News Countdown: Shrinking agency staffs and sequestration anxiety

Friday - 6/22/2012, 9:23pm EDT

Today's guests on the Federal News Countdown:
- John Kamensky, senior fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government
- Tim McManus, vice president for education and outreach, Partnership for Public Service

John Kamensky's stories
#3 Obama reorganization plan alive but not necessarily well
From GovExec:

President Obama devoted a portion of a recent campaign speech in Cleveland to talking up his request, formalized in January, for revived legislative authority to consolidate duplicative agencies and programs."I've asked Congress for the authority to reorganize the federal government that was built for the last century -- I want to make it work for the 21st century," he said last week, calling for "a federal government that is leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the American people."

#2 Shrinking staffs imperil missions at key agencies
From Federal Times:

The 0.5 percent decline in the federal workforce last year - the first in five years - may not seem like much. But at the agencies where the cuts are most pronounced, the impact is big. The Social Security Administration - which saw its staff shrink 6 percent last year - warned Congress last month it cannot keep up with swelling workloads as baby boomers retire and more Americans file for benefits.

#1 Lockheed CEO warns of increased government costs from sequestration
From Federal News Radio:

As federal contractors try to figure out how to brace for the impact of sequestration in January, one thing about the potential $1 trillion in cuts over 10 years is becoming clearer. The government will end up paying more for products and services currently under contract. Robert Stevens, the retiring-Lockheed Martin CEO, said Tuesday one consequence of sequestration that few have talked much about is vendors will likely ask the government for an "equitable adjustment" to their contracts


Tim McManus' stories
#3 Despite reform, federal hiring process could be simpler
From Federal News Radio:

More than two years after President Obama's memorandum to reform federal recruitment and hiring, the progress agencies have made is clear. But the biggest remaining challenge is for agencies to continue to make the hiring process as straightforward as possible. Ventris Gibson, executive consultant for the North Highland Company and former Assistant Administrator for human resources at the Federal Aviation Administration, said the federal hiring process needs to be simplified to mimic private sector procedures.

#2 Spending bills silent on federal raise
From The Washington Post:

Although the Senate and House have taken sometimes widely differing approaches this year to federal personnel issues, a key spending bill advancing in both chambers shows some areas of agreement-including no movement, at least for now, toward granting a federal employee pay raise in 2013.

#1 Shrinking staffs imperil missions at key agencies
From Federal Times:

The 0.5 percent decline in the federal workforce last year - the first in five years - may not seem like much. But at the agencies where the cuts are most pronounced, the impact is big. The Social Security Administration - which saw its staff shrink 6 percent last year - warned Congress last month it cannot keep up with swelling workloads as baby boomers retire and more Americans file for benefits.