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10:58 am, December 19, 2014

Congressional Spotlight

Feds should not shoulder the burden of deficit reduction

Federal employees continue to be Congress' go-to resource for deficit reduction through pay freezes and increases in their retirement contributions, according to Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Van Hollen's column is part of Federal News Radio's special report, Now or Never: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 02:00am EST

Senate bill blocks background-check firms from reviewing own work

The Preventing Conflicts of Interest with Contractors Act would block the Office of Personnel Management from contracting with companies to perform final quality reviews if those same companies are also responsible for conducting initial investigations. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta announced in early February that, going forward, only federal employees would conduct final quality reviews. The new bill writes Archuleta's decision into law. Otherwise it could be reversed by a future OPM director.

Friday - 02/28/2014, 11:32am EST

The BGOV Defense Summit: The New Pentagon Reality

On this week's Capital Impact show, Admiral James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discusses Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's inaugural budget with Bloomberg Television's Peter Cook.
February 27, 2014

Thursday - 02/27/2014, 04:56pm EST
Listen

Will IRS budget pleas be ignored in Congress?

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government that budget and staffing reductions are impacting the agency's core missions of customer service and tax collection. The agency projects it will only be able to answer 61 percent of phone calls this year, meaning some 20 million phone calls will go unanswered. Meanwhile, taxpayers attempting to reach IRS offices are facing wait times that stretch past 20 minutes.

Thursday - 02/27/2014, 04:18pm EST

Key Senate panel to probe federal pay, morale issues

The Senate subcommittee with oversight of the federal workforce will take up the issue of federal-employee compensation and sinking employee morale. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the subcommittee chairman, said at the National Treasury Employees Union's annual legislative conference that the hearing would focus, in part, on making sure federal pay stays competitive with the private sector.

Wednesday - 02/26/2014, 06:39pm EST

Rep. Graves tries again to increase small business contracting goals

The chairman of the Small Business Committee plans to introduce two bills today. One will increase the governmentwide small business prime contracting goal to 25 percent from 23 percent. The other focuses on contract bundling and data transparency.

Wednesday - 02/26/2014, 09:04am EST

DoD ties another round of BRAC to sizable civilian personnel cuts

Defense Department officials said reducing and realigning bases and depots will help them achieve more savings that can be put toward readiness. Acting Defense Deputy Secretary Christine Fox said this round of BRAC would be different than in 2005.

Wednesday - 02/26/2014, 04:06am EST
Listen

Will there be acquisition reform in 2014?

Jon Etherton, president of Etherton and Associates, Inc., will discuss whether Congress will pass acquisition reform this year.
February 25, 2014

Tuesday - 02/25/2014, 09:28pm EST
Listen

DoD nominees face scrutiny over Pentagon plan to shrink compensation costs

Just a day after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed reductions in military end-strength and shrinking compensation costs as part of next year's budget plan, a slate of nominees to lead key offices at the Pentagon faced congressional scrutiny.

Tuesday - 02/25/2014, 03:29pm EST

Congress skeptical about plan to shrink military

Obama administration's plan to shrink US military faces sharp resistance in Congress

Tuesday - 02/25/2014, 01:26pm EST

DoD's 2015 budget envisions smaller military with less generous benefits

The Pentagon says its spending plan acknowledges defense spending is on a downward trajectory, and reduces force structure in order to balance other priorities such as readiness. If sequestration stays in place, the calculus will change, Defense officials say.

Tuesday - 02/25/2014, 04:35am EST
Listen

Draft bill would force DHS to change acquisition practices

Rep. Jeff Duncan releases a discussion draft of a bill to add more discipline and oversight to the Homeland Security Department's acquisition process.

Tuesday - 02/25/2014, 03:42am EST
Listen

Obama to propose 1 percent pay hike for feds in 2015

An administration official confirmed the decision to ask Congress in the fiscal 2015 budget request expected on March 4 for another slight increase.

Monday - 02/24/2014, 01:17pm EST

House revives IT reform bill with a few changes

As part of its "Stop Government Abuse Week," lower chamber lawmakers will vote on 12 bills this week to help bring more accountability and transparency to the government. An updated version of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act is expected to be among them.

Monday - 02/24/2014, 04:21am EST
Listen

White House issues new tools to fight patent trolls

Federal CTO Todd Park and other White House officials unveiled a new set of initiatives Thursday designed to help businesses and consumers avoid unnecessary and costly patent litigation.

Friday - 02/21/2014, 04:05pm EST

A $48K hit to your retirement? Pray For Gridlock!

Could political gridlock save you up to $48,000 in retirement? It could if it blocks a politically explosive plan to trim future cost-of-living adjustments for retirees, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 02/21/2014, 01:35pm EST

SES shakeup and more

Senior Executives Association President Carol Bonosaro, and Federal Timres reporters Sean Reilly and Andy Medici, will discuss legislation introduced in the U.S. House, that would make it easier for agency leaders to fire senior executives.
February 19, 2014

Wednesday - 02/19/2014, 05:39pm EST
Listen

House Dems, employee groups want Obama to chuck chained CPI

More than 100 members of the House and a dozen outside groups have signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama from Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) requesting that the upcoming White House budget not include a proposal to alter the way retirees' cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the American Federation of Government Employees and the Military Officers Association of American have signed on in support of the letter.

Wednesday - 02/19/2014, 02:58pm EST

House committee chairman wants VA middle managers held accountable

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is the author of new legislation that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs Department to fire its senior executives. Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says the agency is too shy about cutting loose middle managers who are performing poorly.

Monday - 02/17/2014, 03:44pm EST
Listen

Congress eyeing legislative fix for security clearances

President Barack Obama signed the OPM IG Act into law this week. The law provides the agency's top watchdog with an additional source of funding to conduct audits and investigations of the security-clearance process.

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 04:14pm EST
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