Federal News Countdown: pay freeze amendment sinks, mixed results for flexible fed schedules

Friday - 3/16/2012, 4:11pm EDT

Federal News Countdown

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Today's guests on the Federal News Countdown are:
Jennifer Mattingley, director of governmental affairs, Shaw, Bransford & Roth
Josh Sawislak, senior fellow, Telework Exchange

Jennifer Mattingley's stories
#3 Interior Proposal to Cut 7% of its Workforce
From Federal Times:

The Interior Department is developing a plan to cut almost 5,000 jobs by September 2013, according to a memo this week from a top agency official, but a spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget downplayed the likelihood that the plan will take effect.

#2 Senate Rejects Pay Freeze Amendment
From Federal News Radio:

The Senate has defeated an amendment to a transportation bill that would have extended the federal pay freeze through 2013.

In a 57-41 vote, lawmakers rejected the amendment, introduced last week by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). The measure needed 60 votes to pass.

#1 Senate Passes Transportation Bill
From Federal Times:

The Senate passed a transportation bill Wednesday that would allow federal employees to retire part-time and work part-time at the end of their careers.

The bill, S 1813, easily passed the Senate, 74-22. It will now head to the House, where House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has pledged to bring it up for a vote.

Josh Sawislak's stories
#3 Keys to better cyber security
From China Daily:

Having your password stolen or having it publicly released can cause more than just inconvenience.

#2 OPM ends flexible-schedules experiment after mixed success
From Federal Times:

Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry on Tuesday said his agency will not continue its experiment with extremely flexible work schedules because the program ended with mixed results.

The Results-Only Work Environment pilot program allowed about 400 OPM employees in Washington and Boyers, Pa., to decide on their own when and where they would work, as long as their work got done. OPM launched ROWE to much fanfare in June 2010, and Berry frequently spoke that year about his hope that it would radically overhaul the federal government's workplace culture, and lead to a new way of managing employees.

#1 Fed says 15 of 19 major US banks able to pass stress test; Citibank, 3 others fail
From Washington Post:

All but four of 19 major U.S. banks got a green light Tuesday from the Federal Reserve to boost their dividends and take other steps that will make their stocks more attractive to investors. The Fed declared them strong enough to survive a downturn worse than the Great Recession.

The Fed's findings signaled its confidence that the financial system, which nearly collapsed 3˝ years ago, is healthy again.