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4:41 am, September 22, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

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

With fewer feds retiring, OPM back on track in retirement processing

About 5,800 federal employees filed retirement applications in September, according to new data provided from the Office of Personnel Management. That's some 2,600 fewer than OPM expected to receive and more than 6,000 fewer than submitted applications in September 2012. That unexpected drop allowed OPM to process more applications than it anticipated and to make significant progress clearing a longstanding backlog of cases.

Friday - 10/04/2013, 03:52pm EDT

House approves backpay for furloughed feds

The House approved a bill to ensure furloughed federal workers receive backpay once the government shutdown ends. The vote on the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act was 407-0. Twenty-five members didn't vote. The measure now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) had introduced a Senate version of the bill earlier this week.

Friday - 10/04/2013, 01:04pm EDT

How will the shutdown affect feds' benefits? 4 things to consider

Many feds are also confused and concerned about how the shutdown -- especially if it's prolonged -- will affect their benefits. Federal News Radio dug through guidance provided by the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies and consulted with the experts to bring you some of the answers to the most-asked questions.

Thursday - 10/03/2013, 04:03pm EDT

OPM final rule: Lawmakers, staff eligible for gov't contribution in exchanges

The Office of Personnel Management has made it official: Lawmakers and their staff members are required to purchase health insurance from one of the Affordable Care Act's health-insurance exchanges --but the government will still contribute toward their premiums. OPM issued the final rule, which goes into effect immediately, Wednesday.

Wednesday - 10/02/2013, 04:47pm EDT

TSP bounces back in September after end-of-summer slump

After tanking in August, all the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan bounced back last month, according to data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

Wednesday - 10/02/2013, 12:19pm EDT

Shutdown poll: How long will it last?

With Congress failing to agree on a funding deal by midnight Monday, the federal government is now closing its doors for the first time in 17 years, and a government shutdown is no longer a matter of if but how long. Take our poll, and let us know how long you think the shutdown will last.

Tuesday - 10/01/2013, 03:49pm EDT

Shutdown soundoff: Tell us how you really feel

Some 800,000 employees are being furloughed for however long the shutdown lasts, while skeleton staffs of "essential" federal workers stay on the clock also without pay. Many feds are clearly frustrated and discouraged by the uncertainty and have taken to social media to vent their frustrations. Let us know how you feel about the shutdown.

Tuesday - 10/01/2013, 03:39pm EDT
Listen

House bill ensures backpay for furloughed feds

Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced the "Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act" late Monday. The bill would guarantee both employees required to work through the shutdown and those placed on unpaid leave receive backpay.

Tuesday - 10/01/2013, 12:51pm EDT

Government shutdown: 4 things feds should know

For thousands of federal employees who head to work today, it won't be to execute their agencies' missions, but to shut down their computers, fill out a timesheet and, in some cases, hand over their BlackBerry smartphones. Here are four things feds should know as they prepare for the first government shutdown in more than 17 years.

Tuesday - 10/01/2013, 02:00am EDT

Lessons from shutdowns past

Despite coming close in 2011, a government shutdown hasn't occurred since 1996. Frank Reeder, who was director of the Office of Administration of the White House in the Clinton administration at the time, said one of the most challenging aspects was managing the morale of the federal workforce.

Friday - 09/27/2013, 07:20pm EDT
Listen

Bill Bransford, passionate defender of feds, dead at 66

Bill Bransford, one of the top lawyers in federal labor and employment law and a fierce advocate for federal employees died Friday after a long illness. Bransford practiced law as a partner at Shaw Bransford & Roth for 30 years. Bransford also served as the general counsel for a host of federal managers' groups, including the Senior Executives Association, and was a frequent lecturer and commentator on federal employment issues. For more than a dozen years, Bransford co-hosted FEDtalk, a biweekly show on Federal News Radio, 1500 AM.

Friday - 09/27/2013, 03:53pm EDT

Feds learn furlough status as shutdown looms

Federal employees began learning Friday whether they'll be forced to stay home if the government shuts down next week. Supervisors were tasked with informally telling employees today whether they are classified as "essential" or "nonessential," according to several federal-employee unions briefed by the Obama administration. Congress is prepared to work through the weekend, but the clock is ticking down for lawmakers to agree on a funding bill keeping the lights on at agencies beyond Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Friday - 09/27/2013, 01:29pm EDT

USPS says overhauling health benefits key to postal reform

The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service says it can return to being profitable and begin to pay down its debt if Congress gives it the authority to overhaul its health benefits structure. Postmaster General Pat Donahoe told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday that launching a postal-specific health care plan would help save the agency $8 billion annually through 2016.

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 05:45pm EDT

McCaskill wants more oversight of SES bonuses

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants to know whether many of the federal government's Senior Executive Service members are deserving of the bonus payments they receive. McCaskill, who chairs a Senate subcommittee on financial and contracting oversight, wrote to the head of the Government Accountability Office, asking the watchdog agency to investigate whether bonuses paid to SES employees involved in contract management are effective tools in reducing costs or improving contract performance.

Wednesday - 09/25/2013, 06:53pm EDT

Shutdown poll: Will they or won't they?

Partisan disagreements over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul have Congress lurching toward a deadline to fund federal agencies in the upcoming fiscal year -- or risk a government shutdown. So, what do you think? After all the political rhetoric and wrangling, is the government heading for a shutdown this time for certain? Take our poll and let us know what you think the odds are.

Wednesday - 09/25/2013, 01:39pm EDT

Quality not a priority in security clearance process, GAO says

Concerns over missed red flags in Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis's background have thrust the federal government's security clearance program into the spotlight. But the problem is likely bigger than one company. The Office of Personnel Management and its contractors which accounts for 90 percent of the federal government's background investigations, has faced persistent challenges with security clearances over the years, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 06:16pm EDT
Listen

Fewer feds, contractors attending conferences

Budget cuts and bad publicity have combined to put the kibosh on both the number of government conferences scheduled this year and the number of employees and contractors attending them, according to a new poll from Market Connections, Inc. and Boscobel Marketing Communications. Among federal employees, nearly 72 percent of survey respondents said they have attended fewer events in fiscal 2013 than they did last year.

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 02:01pm EDT

TSP board OKs budget increase, laying groundwork for overhaul

Members of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board approved a nearly 18 percent increase in the agency's budget for the coming fiscal year that will help lay the groundwork for a wholesale overhaul of the TSP participant experience, board officials say. The single, new initiative included in the 2014 budget is the first in a series of steps built around redesigning the entire participant experience, the board's executive director, Greg Long told board members.

Monday - 09/23/2013, 06:27pm EDT
Listen

TSP board updates rules to recognize same-sex marriages

Updated Thrift Savings Plan regulations would allow the same-sex spouse of a TSP participant to collect death benefits as long as they were married in a state that recognizes same-sex unions, regardless of where they live currently.

Friday - 09/20/2013, 06:51pm EDT

NAVSEA looks to temporarily relocate workers in wake of Navy Yard shooting

Naval Sea Systems Command leadership will work to find alternative work accommodations for the 3,000 employees who worked in the command's headquarters at the Washington Navy Yard facility. The building was the site of a mass shooting Monday in which 13, people, including the gunman, were killed.

Friday - 09/20/2013, 04:33pm EDT
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