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4:52 am, October 2, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

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

OPM defends 2007 background check of Navy Yard shooter

The same company that performed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's background investigation also performed a check of Aaron Alexis, the IT contractor who shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard Monday. The Office of Personnel Management said it believes Alexis' background check was complete and that the Defense Department signed off on the results of the background check.

Friday - 09/20/2013, 01:45pm EDT

Postmaster says Senate bill a good start to postal overhaul

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says a Senate bill aiming to overhaul the Postal Service's financial structure by providing the agency more flexibility to price its products is a good first step. Donahoe has been calling on Congress to approve comprehensive postal reform for much of the last two years. In that time, the cash-strapped agency has posted losses of $20 billion and defaulted on more than $11 billion in payments to prefund retiree health care costs. USPS is set to default on a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30 payment, Donahoe said.

Thursday - 09/19/2013, 06:00pm EDT

Military focuses on return to normalcy as Navy Yard reopens

Most of the Washington Navy Yard reopened this morning, with an increased security presence at the gates and in the facility. The Navy's goal is to provide whatever counseling and support is necessary to its employees to return the base to normalcy.

Thursday - 09/19/2013, 03:30pm EDT
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Senators seek probe into how Navy shooter got clearance

Key senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are seeking answers into how the contractor employee responsible for the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people obtained his security clearance. In a Sept. 18 letter, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), requested the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general look into what type of clearance the shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, held as well as what federal agency conducted his background investigation.

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 04:20pm EDT

Bill puts contract spending on the hook if Pentagon misses audit deadline

New legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pushes the Pentagon toward being ready for a full financial audit by restricting spending on major weapons programs if DoD fails to get its books in order.

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 02:22pm EDT

Obama, DoD order reviews of security procedures

In the wake of the shooting in which 12 civilian and contract employees were gunned down at the Washington Navy Yard Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a review of security procedures at all Defense Department bases worldwide.

Tuesday - 09/17/2013, 07:17pm EDT
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IG cites major flaws with Navy's vetting of contractors

In an effort to reduce costs, officials at the Navy put in place a system for granting contractors access to installations that ended up allowing as many as 52 convicted felons access to bases, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released Tuesday. The IG found the system, called Rapidgate, failed to comply with federal standards and that background checks were conducted using only publicly accessible databases. The security of Navy installations was thrown into the spotlight Monday after 34-year-old contractor Aaron Alexis entered the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning where he shot and killed 12 people.

Tuesday - 09/17/2013, 06:31pm EDT

13 dead after shooting at Washington Navy Yard, shooter identified

Thirteen people are dead and more are injured after a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning. The shooter, who was killed during the incident, has been identified as Aaron Alexis of Texas.

Monday - 09/16/2013, 02:35pm EDT

Payroll snafu leads to delayed paychecks for many feds

Employees at multiple federal agencies, who would normally receive a direct deposit electronic paycheck today, will have to wait until Tuesday because of a mix-up by the Interior Business Center, one of the largest federal payroll processors. Affected agencies include the National Archives and Records Administration, NASA, the National Transportation Saftey Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Friday - 09/13/2013, 04:13pm EDT

House Dems plan CR that replaces sequestration

House Democrats have crafted their own plan to temporarily fund federal agencies when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee announced Thursday he plans to introduce a Democratic alternative to the GOP continuing resolution that would replace automatic budget constraints set to continue into fiscal 2014.

Thursday - 09/12/2013, 06:40pm EDT

Obama's second-term management agenda to focus on people power

Speaking before the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology at the National Academy of Sciences Thursday morning, Steven VanRoekel, the federal chief information officer, said the President's second-term management agenda is building on past successes to make lasting change ordinary American citizens can feel in their everyday lives.

Thursday - 09/12/2013, 03:39pm EDT
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Size of the federal workforce dips as number of new hires tumbles

Federal hiring declined last year, with new government hires dropping to fewer than 90,000 in fiscal 2012. The dip in hiring caused the size of the federal workforce to retract slightly to about 2.1 million federal workers about on par with 2009 levels, according to new government data compiled by the Partnership for Public Service.

Wednesday - 09/11/2013, 05:47pm EDT

House CR funds gov't through Dec. 15, gives agencies flexibility to avoid furloughs

The House Appropriations Committee unveiled a stopgap spending measure late Tuesday that would fund agencies slightly below current budget levels through Dec. 15. The bill gives agencies some additional spending flexibilities and includes a measure that could help agencies stave off furloughs in the first few months of fiscal 2014.

Wednesday - 09/11/2013, 01:05pm EDT

Lawmakers question officials' use of personal, secret email accounts

Current and former Obama administration officials' use of personal email addresses and secret, secondary email accounts to conduct official business came under scrutiny Tuesday at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said her use of a secret account was to do her job more efficiently.

Tuesday - 09/10/2013, 05:14pm EDT

Bill Tracker 2013: Proposals affecting fed pay, benefits and more

There's been no shortage of legislation introduced this year affecting the federal workforce. Federal News Radio's Bill Tracker follows the bills that would affect federal pay and benefits, the size of the workforce and more.

Monday - 09/09/2013, 03:57pm EDT

Government charge card abuse a firing offense under new OMB guidelines

Federal employees who make illegal or improper purchases with government charge cards could face dismissal under new guidelines from the Office of Management and Budget. In a memo to the heads of agencies, OMB Director Sylvia Burwell laid out new steps to curb charge-card violations as part of the implementation of the 2012 Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act.

Monday - 09/09/2013, 01:33pm EDT

Congress' to-do list crowded with budget headaches

Congress returns to work today with a crowded agenda and little time. Lawmakers must come to agreement on 2014 funding before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30 or risk a government shutdown. Also on the agenda: coming up with an alternative to the automatic spending constraints known as sequestration and negotiating a raise in the government's borrowing limit. There are also other measures affecting federal employees that remain to be worked out, including legislation to overhaul the cash-strapped Postal Service and a potential 1 percent pay raise for civilian federal workers.

Friday - 09/06/2013, 06:50pm EDT

Downward trend in service contract spending continues

Federal spending on services contracts continued a slow downturn last year, according to a new analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Contract spending on services fell 7 percent -- from $332 billion to $308 billion between 2011 and 2012. And the downward trend is likely to continue, given budget constraints that are likely to intensify in the coming years, according to David Berteau, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Thursday - 09/05/2013, 05:25pm EDT
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Retirement backlog falls in August after OPM restores employee overtime

The Office of Personnel Management processed more retirement applications than expected last month -- for the first time since April. The enhanced processing power is thanks to a year-end budget review that allowed OPM to restore limited overtime for employees working in its Retirement Services Offices, OPM said. The agency had suspended employee overtime beginning in April, citing the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Thursday - 09/05/2013, 12:34pm EDT

Connolly: Budget uncertainty has 'insidious impact' on feds, contractors

A bevy of issues has piled up on lawmakers' to-do list, including fiscal 2014 funding and a pay raise for federal employees. But they don't have much time to act. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), whose district includes many federal employees and contractors, tells Federal News Radio the climate of uncertainty is having a negative impact on both groups.

Wednesday - 09/04/2013, 02:34pm EDT
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