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5:08 am, November 29, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

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

DOJ joins whistleblower suit against company that vetted Snowden, Alexis

The Justice Department has joined a whistleblower False Claims Act suit against the federal government's largest provider of background investigations. Filed under the False Claims Act, the suit alleges that USIS, which currently has a multimillion-dollar contract with the Office of Personnel Management, failed to properly review its casework before providing it OPM.

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 04:21pm EDT

Will new budget negotiations unravel the sequestration riddle?

For the first time since the government shutdown ended two weeks ago, House and Senate lawmakers are sitting down at the table to negotiate about the fiscal 2014 budget. At the top of the agenda will be what to do about the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration that have ensnared what remained of the traditional budget process this year. However, budget experts and insiders say sequestration is likely to stick around -- at least in some form -- and about the best agencies can hope for is a small-bore deal that grants them some greater flexibility in implementing the cuts, these experts said.

Tuesday - 10/29/2013, 03:12pm EDT

Thousands of feds turned to TSP to weather shutdown

Hardship withdrawals shot up in the first few weeks of October and thousands more employees opted to shift their investments out of higher-risk areas and into the G Fund, TSP officials said at at the board's monthly meeting Monday. During the shutdown, some 8,200 participants requested hardship withdrawals, compared to 5,500 during the same period of time last year.

Monday - 10/28/2013, 05:17pm EDT

HealthCare.gov contractors point fingers at CMS for site bottlenecks

The House Energy and Commerce Committee called representatives from four contractors including prime contractor CGI Federal to the committee to investigate the bumpy launch of the health care website. Contractors responsible for key parts of the website told lawmakers that the federal government was responsible for comprehensively testing the site and that a late decision to require logging into the system before browsing for insurance plans created bottlenecks that crippled the site.

Thursday - 10/24/2013, 03:35pm EDT

After the shutdown: Federal employees cite drain on morale

Eighty-three percent of respondents to a Federal News Radio online poll said morale at their workplace is now worse than before the shutdown. Another 5 percent of respondents said they didn't feel personally affected but the morale of their co-workers had worsened. Federal workforce experts and employees, themselves, say the the two-week government shutdown has opened up a rift of resentment between groups of federal employees which, in part, is fueling the morale drain.

Tuesday - 10/22/2013, 02:03pm EDT
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Navy Yard task force focusing on return to normal

A month after IT contractor Aaron Alexis gunned down a dozen colleagues at the Washington Navy Yard, the Navy has assembled a team of experts to handle every aspect of the recovery effort, from restoring operations at the facility to continuing to care for those affected by the tragedy. Dennis McGinn, the assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installation and Environment (EI&E) has been tasked with leading the recovery task force.

Monday - 10/21/2013, 02:24pm EDT
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OMB anticipates challenges in returning from shutdown

The Office of Management and Budget is anticipating agencies will face some logistical challenges in reopening the government after a 16-day partial shutdown. But Brian Deese, OMB's deputy director, told Federal News Radio employees are eager to get back to work and to begin tackling those challenges.

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 06:10pm EDT
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Funding bill includes back pay for furloughed feds, clears way for potential January pay raise

The bill passed by Congress reopening the federal government after a two-week shutdown grants retroactive pay for furloughed federal workers and clears the way for all federal employees to receive a 1 percent pay raise in January. The continuing resolution, which funds government operations through Jan. 15, also grants agencies some spending flexibilities to avoid sequestration-related furloughs over the next few months.

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 12:06pm EDT

FAQ: Federal pay and benefits questions answered as feds return to work

The Office of Personnel Management updated its operating status early Thursday morning to "open." OPM says furloughed employees are expected to return to work Thursday, absent other instructions from their employing agencies. The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to department and agency heads early Thursday, instructing them to reopen offices promptly and recall all furloughed employees.

Wednesday - 10/16/2013, 11:30pm EDT

Debt ceiling default 'uncharted territory' for federal workforce

Two weeks into a government shutdown that has hamstrung federal agencies and sent large sections of their employees home without pay, Congress is heading for another last-minute showdown this time over raising the government's borrowing authority, known as the debt ceiling.

Tuesday - 10/15/2013, 04:29pm EDT

TSP's multimillion-dollar plan calls for more customized experience

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board kicked off this week a multimillion-dollar plan to revamp the Thrift Savings Plan. The $2.3 million initiative, which was approved by board members last month, calls for TSP officials to broadly survey participants on the services and offerings they desire as well as how the TSP stacks up against other plans, including those in the private sector.

Tuesday - 10/15/2013, 11:14am EDT
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Obama briefed on shutdown impacts

President Barack Obama is being updated by members of the White House about the impact of the government shutdown on key federal agencies and programs. Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough briefed Obama on the shutdown's impact on the government's research efforts, according to the White House.

Monday - 10/14/2013, 02:15pm EDT

OPM clarifies leave, holiday policies during shutdown

Federal employees who are "excepted" from furloughs have remained on the job despite the government shutdown, which is now stretching into its third week. OPM updated its shutdown guidance Friday to include instructions on how to handle "brief or intermittent unpaid absences" by excepted federal employees. Overall, OPM has made more than a dozen changes to its shutdown guidance since congressional appropriations for fiscal 2014 lapsed two weeks ago.

Monday - 10/14/2013, 11:24am EDT

Shutdown impact: How it affects agencies

With the shutdown of the federal government heading into its third week, Federal News Radio has prepared this snapshot of how federal agencies, programs, employees and contractors are faring.

Friday - 10/11/2013, 04:37pm EDT

Once shutdown ends, employee morale slump likely awaits

For every day that the government shutdown drags on, federal managers face a potentially growing morale crisis in the federal-employee ranks. For federal managers, returning from the shutdown, however, will offer them the opportunity to refocus on the "federal brand," the set of ideals and sense of mission that the federal government is uniquely suited to offer.

Friday - 10/11/2013, 12:09pm EDT
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DoD Deputy Ashton Carter to retire in December

Defense Department Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter will retire in December, the Pentagon announced Thursday. Carter plans to leave DoD Dec. 4, according to a statement from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Thursday - 10/10/2013, 03:24pm EDT

As shutdown stretches on, 3 things for contractors to consider

Government contractors have not been immune from the effects of the shutdown. From a flurry of stop-work orders to a heightened some say "cutthroat" sense of competition in contracts that have, so far, been unaffected by the shutdown. Top experts from the procurement realm address some of the effects and challenges of the shutdown.

Thursday - 10/10/2013, 02:24pm EDT
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House passes bill to pay 'essential' feds on time if shutdown continues

The House voted unanimously late Tuesday to pass the Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) Tuesday afternoon, ensures "essential" federal employees, who are working through the shutdown, are paid on time even if the government remains closed.

Tuesday - 10/08/2013, 03:25pm EDT

Shutdown effects continue to ripple through agencies

Congress' failure to agree on a short-term funding measure last week immediately threw agencies into shutdown mode, shutting offices and sending hundreds of thousands of federal employees home without pay. But as the shutdown stretches into its second week with no end in sight, a round of second-order effects is beginning to ripple throughout government.

Monday - 10/07/2013, 06:16pm EDT

Contractors' fate uncertain even as DoD civilians return from furloughs

With the announcement from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recalling most Defense Department civilians from furloughs, some large defense companies, which had been planning to furlough their employees, have canceled or scaled back their initial plans. However, DoD's move could wind up having only a limited impact on contractors more broadly.

Monday - 10/07/2013, 04:30pm EDT
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