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1:59 am, July 12, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

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

Why feds keep losing their furlough appeals

So far, all of the initial decisions stemming from the Merit Systems Protection Board gigantic caseload of furlough appeals have "affirmed the furlough action taken by the agency," according to MSPB's annual report for fiscal 2013 released last week.

Wednesday - 06/04/2014, 03:04pm EDT

Vacancy at patent office 'untenable,' senator says

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Finance Committee, is calling on President Barack Obama to nominate a permanent director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The top spot at the patent agency has remained vacant since former director David Kappos departed the agency in February 2013. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Hatch said the vacancy "hampers the agency's ability to influence policy and make long-term plans."

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 01:44pm EDT

TSP sails through May

For only the second time this year, all of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan finished the month in positive territory, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. It was the strongest month for the TSP and Wall Street since February

Monday - 06/02/2014, 03:56pm EDT

NGA head Letitia Long to retire; Robert Cardillo named to lead GEOINT agency

The director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Letitia Long, announced she's retiring after 35 years of government service, the last four of which were spent leading NGA. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Monday he has selected Robert Cardillo, currently deputy director of national intelligence for intelligence integration, to succeed Long at the agency responsible for collecting and creating geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT.

Monday - 06/02/2014, 11:12am EDT

CFPB, union go back to the drawing board on performance ratings

Following complaints of widespread discrimination, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is overhauling its system for evaluating employee performance. The financial watchdog's performance-appraisal system resulted in "systematically lower ratings" for black and Hispanic employees, employees over the age of 40, employees located in field offices and those employed at lower pay scales, according to report on the performance-appraisal system published by the agency earlier this month.

Friday - 05/30/2014, 04:09pm EDT
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With budget deadline still months away, should agencies start prepping for CR?

The Sept. 30 deadline for Congress to deliver a complete fiscal 2015 budget plan is still about four months away. But with a lengthy summer recess spanning nearly the entire month of August, that leaves fewer than 40 working days for the appropriation committees on Capitol Hill to finalize agency spending levels. That has some budget watchers already raising the possibility of a stopgap continuing resolution to fund government operations.

Thursday - 05/29/2014, 05:09pm EDT
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OPM Director Katherine Archuleta on phased retirement, boosting morale and diversity

The Office of Personnel Management hopes to complete final regulations for phased retirement by October, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said during an exclusive online chat with Federal News Radio. Archuleta also joined Your Turn with Mike Causey, where she discussed employee morale and engagement and strengthening federal diversity initiatives.

Thursday - 05/29/2014, 11:27am EDT

Survey reveals gaps in agency planning for next-generation workforce

Agencies are struggling to fill gaps in their succession-planning efforts, according to a new survey. Many of the HR professionals surveyed said their agencies aren't planning to invest in key succession-planning initiatives. And even where they are taking action, too many agency managers are taking a piecemeal, "siloed" approach, according to experts.

Wednesday - 05/28/2014, 02:48pm EDT

Survey: Feds' satisfaction with TSP grows

Nearly nine out of 10 federal employees are satisfied with the Thrift Savings Plan, according to a new survey published by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages feds' 401(k)-style retirement accounts. Meanwhile, the TSP board is inching forward on a decision on whether to adopt a mutual-fund window.

Tuesday - 05/27/2014, 04:50pm EDT

House bill would let federal law-enforcement officers access retirement funds early

A bipartisan House bill would reform federal tax law so that federal law-enforcement officers and firefighters can access funds from their 401(k)-style Thrift Savings Plans when they're eligible to retire without facing a penalty. Jon Adler, national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, called the current situation "one of those glaring inequities that needed to be addressed and fixed."

Tuesday - 05/27/2014, 01:22pm EDT
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OPM expanding HRstat to help agencies parse workforce data

In a memo to agency chief human capital officers, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said eight additional agencies have signed on HRstat. The data-driven review sessions aim to help agencies better parse out HR data and trends and use them to assess their performance.

Monday - 05/26/2014, 02:05pm EDT

Are tight budgets straining trust between agencies, industry?

Are federal budget and staffing shortfalls particularly among the federal government's acquisition workforce fueling a climate of mistrust between the government and its contractors? Experts told Federal News Radio as part of the special series, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees explore the importance of communication in building trust.

Friday - 05/23/2014, 08:30am EDT
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House bill extends agency authority to rehire retired feds

A measure included in the massive Defense policy bill approved by the House Thursday would ensure agencies maintain the flexibility to bring federal retirees back on board on a part-time basis. An amendment to the 2015 Defense Authorization Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), extends the authority for agency heads to rehire retirees without specific approval from the Office of Personnel Management.

Thursday - 05/22/2014, 05:06pm EDT

Panel: How rank-and-file feds, managers can restore trust in the workplace

As part of Federal News Radio's special series, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees three federal employees at different stages in their careers one a newer, younger employee, another who recently came from the private-sector, and the third a 40-year veteran shared their views with Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on how to restore in the federal workplace.

Thursday - 05/22/2014, 03:00pm EDT
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Lawmakers worried DHS losing faith in Federal Protective Service

The Federal Protective Service will no longer coordinate security at DHS headquarters on Nebraska Avenue in Northwest D.C. according to a May 1 memo from the agency's chief security officer to the undersecretary for management. The memo was brought to light Wednesday by members of a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee at a hearing on the security of federal buildings. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, cited the DHS memo as a possible sign that "confidence in FPS may be eroding" from within DHS.

Wednesday - 05/21/2014, 04:40pm EDT

House NDAA amendment preemptively blocks some DoD furloughs

A proposed amendment to the House version of the annual bill setting policy for the Defense Department would preemptively protect DoD employees paid through working-capital funds from potential furloughs. The measure was introduced Monday by Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.).

Tuesday - 05/20/2014, 04:00pm EDT

Is hike in whistleblower claims a sign of progress or growing mistrust?

The heads of both the Office of Special Counsel and Merit Systems Protection Board tell Federal News Radio as part of our special report, "Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees," that their increasing workloads could actually be a sign of progress, and that more employees feel protected enough to make whistleblower disclosures. However, an exclusive Federal News Radio survey reveals a wide chasm of trust remains when it comes to feds blowing the whistle at work.

Tuesday - 05/20/2014, 02:10am EDT
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Feds fast-tracking new system for keeping tabs on cleared personnel

In Part 4 of the special report, Questioning Clearances, Federal News Radio examines the government's plan to use new technology to keep better tabs on cleared personnel on a near, real-time basis. But some experts wonder whether such a plan could be implemented successfully in the swift timelines sought by the government.

Sunday - 05/18/2014, 08:44am EDT
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Concerns over quality continue to plague OPM's background investigations

Ten years ago, the federal government was faced with a crisis in managing security clearances: costly delays and backlogs in performing background investigations. The Office of Personnel Management stepped in and tremendous progress clearing the backlog and meeting strict new timelines mandated by Congress. But some critics now worry too much focus has been put on speed in the process and not enough attention has been given to quality. In our special report, Questioning Clearances, Federal News Radio examines why efforts to measure the quality of background investigations have stalled.

Wednesday - 05/14/2014, 02:00am EDT

OPM restarts awards program for senior executives

OPM will accept nominations for the 2014 Presidential Rank Awards through June 5, according to a memo to the heads of federal agencies from OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. Last year, the Obama administration canceled the awards program, which recognizes members of the Senior Executive Service for extraordinary service, citing tight budgets.

Tuesday - 05/13/2014, 01:40pm EDT
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