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7:12 am, April 20, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

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

Obama presses for smarter, more innovative government

In a Cabinet meeting this morning, the president will ask new OMB Director Sylvia Burwell to lead this reinvigorated effort to help agencies find more innovative ways to deliver better results. OMB is missing key leaders, including a deputy director for management, to shepherd this revised push to improve agency management.

Monday - 07/08/2013, 12:00pm EDT

Sequestration snarling 2014 budget process

The annual appropriations process is a complex and arduous Washington practice. But sequestration has snarled the process this year. As appropriators work to set agency funding, the House and the Senate disagree about how to account for the cuts in next year's spending plans.

Sunday - 07/07/2013, 09:48pm EDT

Sequestration slowing OPM's efforts to clear retirement backlog

OPM processed just 8,683 claims last month about 2,800 fewer than it had initially expected to. That's the second month in a row OPM fell behind in processing monthly claims according to new OPM data. The agency was forced to eliminate overtime for employees in its Retirement Services operation at the end of April because of the automatic budget cuts.

Friday - 07/05/2013, 01:53pm EDT

Incomplete data, missing deadlines hinder agencies' telework goals

The Office of Personnel Management needs to beef up its role in helping agencies set goals for increasing telework, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a new report. Under the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act, agencies are required to take new steps to increase the number of employees who telework -- and OPM is required to report to Congress on agencies' goals for doing so. But GAO found many new mandated reporting requirements went unmet in OPM's 2012 report to Congress, the first since the telework law went into effect.

Tuesday - 07/02/2013, 03:19pm EDT
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TSP takes a tumble in June

Every TSP fund -- with the exception of the ever-reliable government-securities G Fund -- finished last month in negative territory, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

Monday - 07/01/2013, 02:33pm EDT

Feds in same-sex marriages given 60 days to update benefits

Federal employees in same-sex marriages have until August 26 to make changes to their health and life insurance among other benefits, according to a new memo from acting OPM Director Elaine Kaplan. Same-sex spouses of federal employees are now eligible for coverage under under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), and Federal Long-term Care Insurance.

Friday - 06/28/2013, 06:50pm EDT

Senate confirms GSA's Tangherlini, others to key agency posts

The top spots at a few key federal agencies are now officially filled following Senate confirmation votes this week. The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve Dan Tangherlini to be the administrator of the General Services Administration and Howard Shelanski to serve as the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget. Senators also OK'd Brian Deese to serve as OMB deputy director for budget.

Friday - 06/28/2013, 04:26pm EDT

Industry fears 'chilling effect' in GSA review of acquisition managers

In a letter to Tom Sharpe, the commissioner of the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service, three industry groups -- the Coalition for Government Procurement, the Professional Services Council and TechAmerica -- wrote that restricting communication between managers and contractors could have a "chilling effect" on managers' role in the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program.

Thursday - 06/27/2013, 05:53pm EDT

Talkin' 'bout your generation

Teens who once thrilled to The Who's "My Generation" have entered the workforce, grown older and are, in many cases, high-ranking employees and managers. In other words, they are the old fogies they once railed against. "Federal Report" readers react to the office age-gap in this guest column.

Thursday - 06/27/2013, 02:00am EDT

What do you want from your TSP plan? Board wants to know

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is setting the stage for a major new multiyear initiative to study the needs of Thrift Savings Plan participants and improve its services. The first step in the process will be determining benchmarks for how the board currently operates and communicates with participants, said Kim Weaver, the board's director of external affairs.

Wednesday - 06/26/2013, 06:29pm EDT
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Generation whine?

They're entitled, narcissistic, "free spirits," who chafe at the confines of ordinary desk work. They grew up in the era of Little League trophies for everyone, are tied to their smartphones and live out much of their lives on Facebook. At least that's what some of you think about millennials. We're talking Generation Y in today's guest column. Even if you're not part of the under-30 crowd, we bet you have an opinion.

Tuesday - 06/25/2013, 02:00am EDT

OPM expanding vision, dental options under FEDVIP next year

OPM is planning to add four new insurance carriers to the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) for 2014. Premium rates and benefits coverage of the new plans would be announced later this year ahead of the annual federal health-insurance Open Season.

Friday - 06/21/2013, 05:18pm EDT

Contractor conducting background checks under investigation prior to NSA leak

Patrick McFarland, the inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management, confirmed to a Senate subcommittee Thursday that his office has been investigating USIS, the government's largest contractor for background-investigation services, since late 2011. He said at least 18 security clearance investigators have been convicted of falsifying investigations since 2007. McFarland said there may be "considerably more" fraud that hasn't been uncovered due to "alarmingly insufficient oversight" of the security-clearance process.

Thursday - 06/20/2013, 09:02pm EDT

Small businesses largely immune to reduced contractor pay cap

Reducing the contractor compensation cap to the level of the salary drawn by the President ($400,000) or the Vice President ($230,700), as suggested by some lawmakers and the White House in the past, would dramatically increase the number of employees who earn compensation above the allowable limits GAO said. But the changes would mostly affect large companies, auditors said, because few of the small companies it surveyed pay their employees more than the amount earned by the President and Vice President.

Wednesday - 06/19/2013, 09:03pm EDT

Postal Service closing Capitol Hill post offices in 'symbolic' move

USPS issued final determinations Wednesday to close three Capitol Hill post offices by July 21, which is expected to save about $2 million over the next 10 years. That's only a drop in the bucket in the agency's stretched-thin budget, but top House Republicans on the Administration and Oversight and Government Reform Committees hailed the move for sending a strong message.

Wednesday - 06/19/2013, 04:57pm EDT

BRAC-like commission proposed to hunt down government cost savings

A new commission, proposed by David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, would recommend ways to streamline government by removing duplication and extraneous spending from government agencies. Federal-employee unions criticized the proposal and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee lawmakers expressed skepticism that such a proposal could gain congressional approval.

Tuesday - 06/18/2013, 06:47pm EDT
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Whistleblower suit leads to $12M false claims settlement by SAIC

The lawsuit, filed by Richard Priem, a 16-year SAIC employee and Army veteran, alleged the company inflated contract costs by claiming the training program would be staffed by full-time SAIC employees. However, according to the lawsuit, SAIC instead used cheaper part-time employees and pocketed the difference.

Monday - 06/17/2013, 04:36pm EDT
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ICE Director John Morton stepping down

The director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday he is stepping down next month to work in the private sector. John Morton, who has served as ICE director since May 2009, made the announcement in an email to staff, obtained by Federal News Radio.

Monday - 06/17/2013, 02:11pm EDT

GAO: Agencies should expand TechStat reviews to all high-risk projects

Federal agencies need to step up their use of TechStat sessions, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a new report. The face-to-face meetings of IT officials and agency leaders have been put to use by the Office of Management and Budget and individual agencies to turn around or terminate dozens of failing IT projects. But only about a third of the agency projects deemed most at risk of cost overruns or schedule slips have undergone the reviews, GAO reported.

Friday - 06/14/2013, 07:49pm EDT

Issa's postal reform proposal OKs 5-day delivery, modifies prefunding

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released a draft postal reform bill that supports ending Saturday mail delivery and would modify how the agency pre-funds retiree health-care payments that now threaten to sink the agency into financial insolvency. Congressional postal reform efforts have remained dormant so far this year, even as the Postal Service's financial outlook has worsened.

Thursday - 06/13/2013, 07:37pm EDT
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