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Shows & Panels
Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.
The size and cost of the Defense Department's portfolio of major weapons acquisition programs have fallen to their lowest levels in five years, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. DoD's major weapons portfolio decreased by 10 programs in 2012 -- to 86 programs -- while the total cost of DoD's big-ticket procurements fell by $152 billion to $1.6 trillion.
In a reversal of course, U.S. Customs and Border Protection now says it is postponing employee furloughs and will continue to authorize overtime pay. The agency said it is "reevaluating" both the planned furloughs of its 60,000 employees and the elimination of administratively uncontrollable overtime, or AUO, because of new funding granted in the 2013 appropriations bill Congress passed last month.
After a modest showing so far this year, Thrift Savings Plan funds were buoyed by recent record highs on Wall Street and finished the month with solid gains. All five regular funds, in addition to the target-date Lifecycle Funds, finished March in the black for the first time since November.
The promise of a single a joint electronic health record system has long stymied the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. And now it's drawn the attention of late-night comedy show "The Daily Show."
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has written to Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, saying the office should take steps to offload federal workers and contractors who don't show up for work, aren't performing official duties or "are simply not working at all." In the letter, Coburn, the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said doing so could prevent the need to furlough critical employees under sequestration.
A new report says a law requiring the online posting of senior federal executives' financial information would likely impinge on employees' privacy and wouldn't do much to deter conflicts of interest. The National Academy of Public Administration was tasked by Congress with studying the STOCK Act — short for "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge" — in response to concerns about privacy and identify theft.
The Office of Management and Budget is telling agencies to stop building costly, agency-specific systems when they modernize their financial management systems. Instead, going forward, agencies must use a federal shared-services provider when updating their accounting systems, according to a new memo from OMB Controller Danny Werfel.
John Gingrich, the chief of staff for the Veterans Affairs Department, is retiring and will leave the agency by the end of the month after 37 years of federal and military service.
The Office of Special Counsel is "deeply concerned" about the implications of a federal court ruling that stripped low-level Defense Department employees of their ability to appeal suspensions and demotions outside the agency. OSC, which filed an amicus brief earlier this month with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, is worried the ruling could have a chilling effect on whistleblowers.
Federal employees in the Washington, D.C. region took to Twitter to vent their frustration with the Office of Personnel Management's decision to open federal offices on time Monday, even as snow blanketed the area.
The Office of Personnel Management is in talks with six additional health care providers to join the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, according to John O'Brien, OPM's director of health care and insurance. OPM has been working over the past few years to add plans to the FEHB program in a bid to increase competition, O'Brien said in a keynote address at the 2013 FEHB Carrier Conference in Arlington, Va.
The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service announced last month it would end Saturday delivery of first-class mail. But a new legal decision from the Government Accountability Office seemed to offer more questions than answers.
The House voted today to approve a measure to fund federal agencies through the remainder of fiscal 2013. The bill averts a government shutdown but extends the freeze on federal employees' pay through the end of 2013. The bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters this week President Barack Obama has asked Acting OMB Director Jeff Zients to stay on until his successor is named. But for about the last six months, Zients was not the acting OMB director because his initial interim role quietly expired last year.
When it comes to the federal workforce, the competing House and Senate budget plans differ greatly in tone and style. But when it comes to making the federal government run more efficiently and finding cost-savings in federal operations, the two plans are more alike than you might think.
Military pay is exempt from the automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, that went into effect earlier this month. But scores of military programs that impact service members in their everyday lives, such as tuition assistance and family programs, are not protected from the across-the-board budget reductions. Officials from the Defense Department and the military services testified before the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on military personnel on the impact of the budget cuts on training, retention and family-assistance programs.
Many contracting reform efforts over the past few years have focused on building up the federal acquisition workforce. Now, faced with near-crippling budget uncertainty, agency acquisition officials are worried the progress of the past few years could stall. Nick Nayak, chief procurement officer at the Homeland Security Department, discusses Federal News Radio's exclusive survey of chief acquisition officers on In Depth with Francis Rose.
Congress missed the deadline to avert sequestration last week. And now a deadline to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the month is barreling toward lawmakers. But members of both chambers and from both sides of the aisle say they're confident they can work out a deal to keep the government running.The likely sticking point is how the the automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, will continue to play out. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R- Okla.) discuss the continuing resolution and sequestration on In Depth with Francis Rose.
Over the past few years, unimplemented agency inspector general recommendations that could potentially save the government billions of dollars have piled up. Now, with $85 billion in automatic budget cuts kicking in, lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are telling agencies there's no excuse for them to further delay implementing the cost-saving measures and best practices identified by their IGs.
The number of federal employees filing retirement claims last month spiked to more than 20,000 -- nearly four times what the Office of Personnel Management projected, according to new OPM data released Tuesday.