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1:05 am, April 21, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

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

Citing sequestration, OPM pushes back retirement processing goal

The Office of Personnel Management now estimates it will not be able to clear a longstanding backlog of retirement claims until next summer. OPM Associate Director for Retirement Services Ken Zawodny told Federal News Radio the suspension of overtime in late April has left the agency essentially treading water when it comes to processing retirement applications.

Monday - 08/05/2013, 10:00am EDT
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Fed furloughs leave imprint on procurement process, contractors say

In contrast to federal employees, who are facing furloughs, many contractors are encountering more elusive sequestration symptoms. Along with reduced government contract spending, federal-employee furlough have also trickled down through the procurement process, resulting in delays, contractors say. This article is part of Federal News Radio's special report, Private Side of Sequestration.

Thursday - 08/01/2013, 06:46pm EDT
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Obama picks restructuring expert Koskinen to take over IRS

President Barack Obama is nominating retired corporate restructuring expert John Koskinen to take over the Internal Revenue Service, which is under fire for its screening of political groups.

Thursday - 08/01/2013, 03:39pm EDT

Panel: Contractors adapting to post-sequestration environment

With continuing resolutions and fiscal showdowns running rampant the last few years, government contractors have gotten used to near perpetual budget uncertainty clouding the marketplace. And the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that kicked in March 1 only complicated contractors' efforts to manage their bottom lines. A panel of experts discuss how contractors are coping with the cuts as part of Federal News Radio's special report, Private Side of Sequestration.

Wednesday - 07/31/2013, 08:43pm EDT
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Hagel lays out options for dealing with sequestration beyond 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says service members will have to share in the pain of sequestration if the automatic budget cuts continue into next year. In a Pentagon press briefing Wednesday, Hagel laid out a "menu of options" for dealing with sequestration in 2014 and beyond, including changes to military pay and benefits, consolidating headquarters staff and a potential modest reduction in military force structure.

Wednesday - 07/31/2013, 04:29pm EDT
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Planning for the worst: Companies aim for sequestration-easing strategies

Sequestration threatens to squeeze some companies out of the industry. Federal News Radio's special report, Private Side of Sequestration, examines the long-term planning and short-term coping mechanisms companies can take to better manage through the cuts.

Wednesday - 07/31/2013, 02:01am EDT

House committee moves forward on postal reform

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved major postal reform legislation Wednesday. The 22-17 party-line vote moves the 2013 Postal Reform Act, introduced by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), to the full House for consideration.

Wednesday - 07/24/2013, 10:53pm EDT

Embattled DHS IG convinced Senate probe will clear his name

Charles Edwards, the Homeland Security Department's deputy inspector general and acting IG, calls recent allegations of nepotism and improper travel "baseless" and says he's convinced a Senate subcommittee investigation will clear his name. Speaking exclusively to the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp, Edwards said he has provided complete documentation to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight.

Tuesday - 07/23/2013, 05:04pm EDT
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Issa releases long-awaited postal reform legislation

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released long-anticipated legislation Friday aiming to reform the finances of the ailing U.S. Postal Service. Issa updated an earlier discussion draft of his bill with several proposals originally floated by Democrats.

Friday - 07/19/2013, 07:40pm EDT

GSA, Treasury officials decry House committee budget shortfalls

Top officials at the Treasury Department and the General Services Administration say budget cuts being considered by House lawmakers - and that have since adopted by the House Appropriations Committee - would erode their agencies' missions. In sharply divided vote mostly along partisan lines Wednesday, the committee approved the fiscal 2014 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill.

Thursday - 07/18/2013, 06:25pm EDT

Postal Service reform making significant progress in House

In the past few weeks, competing draft proposals have been circulating on Capitol Hill. But at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took a step toward compromise. Issa agreed to make changes to his draft plan, including adopting several measures proposed by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in postal reform legislation he separately introduced Wednesday.

Wednesday - 07/17/2013, 09:01pm EDT

IRS cancels 1 furlough day

The Internal Revenue Service is canceling one of its planned furlough days. In an email to staff obtained by Federal News Radio, acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced the agency is forgoing the scheduled furlough day on July 22.

Tuesday - 07/16/2013, 04:49pm EDT

Sequestration Q&A: Who are the DoD civilians exempted from furloughs?

Furloughs for some 650,000 Defense Department civilian employees kicked in last week.Still, about 15 percent of the civilian workforce is exempt from furloughs. In this Q&A, Pat Tamburrino, chief of staff to the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, discusses federal furlough exemptions and DoD decision-making.

Tuesday - 07/16/2013, 02:12pm EDT
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Sequestration threatens public defender program with 'complete destruction'

Federal public defender offices have been slammed by across-the-board budget cuts so far this year. But as damaging as sequestration has been for the federal defender program this year, it faces virtual extinction if the cuts continue into next year, according to Michael Nachmanoff, the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Monday - 07/15/2013, 06:22pm EDT
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OPM hopes cyber-job database will help agencies fill workforce gaps

As the cybersecurity workforce gets older and closer to retirement age, the Office of Personnel Management is trying to help agencies find new talent. It's creating a new database of cyber positions that it hopes will help agencies identify the cyber skill sets needed to meet their missions. The Obama administration has made reducing critical cyber workforce gaps one of its top "cross-agency" goals.

Friday - 07/12/2013, 04:24pm EDT

Will DoD's 2014 sequestration plan jolt Congress into action?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put the ball in Congress' court this week when he released details of how the Pentagon would manage billions of dollars in cuts if sequestration continues into fiscal 2014 and beyond. But, there's not yet anything close to a winning strategy in Congress to avert or replace the automatic budget cuts.

Thursday - 07/11/2013, 06:31pm EDT
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Charities bristle at OPM's proposed changes to CFC program

The Office of Personnel Management's proposed changes to the Combined Federal Campaign, the annual federal fundraising drive, are getting a frosty reception from local charities. OPM wants to do away with the local volunteer coordinating committees and put in place a set of more centralized regional committees established by OPM. It also wants to require charities to pay an application fee and eliminate cash and check donations in favor of electronic donations. However, some charities say the proposed changes would likely lead to fewer charities joining the program -- and fewer total donations.

Wednesday - 07/10/2013, 07:57pm EDT

House subcommittee approves 24 percent cut to IRS budget

The embattled Internal Revenue Service faces a 24 percent cut to its budget next year, under a spending plan introduced by the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday. The IRS funding was included in the committee's Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which also includes funding for the Treasury Department, the General Services Administration and the Executive Office of the President. The subcommittee is set to mark up the proposal Wednesday.

Tuesday - 07/09/2013, 08:35pm EDT

DoD says it has legal authority to furlough working capital fund employees

Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale says the Pentagon has the legal authority to furlough DoD civilians paid out of working-capital funds. Hale was responding to an earlier letter from Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), and more than two dozen other lawmakers, who wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month requesting the legal rationale for furloughing working-capital fund employees.

Tuesday - 07/09/2013, 05:56pm EDT

Furloughs have feds singing the sequestration blues

Furloughs for civilian Defense Department employees officially kicked off this week. That has many employees singing the blues -- literally.

Monday - 07/08/2013, 07:58pm EDT
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