Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government
- Consolidating Mission-critical Systems
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- Government Cloud Brokerage: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
- Government Mobility
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- Mobile Device Management
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
Shows & Panels
Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.
After a turbulent 2013 that saw sequestration budget cuts and a two-week government shutdown, the largest federal-employee union is hoping to flex more political muscle this year. The American Federation of Government Employees says union membership is at its highest level in decades.
The U.S. Postal Service announced Friday its quarterly losses fell sharply in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, boosted by revenue growth in package delivery and agency cost-cutting. Still, the agency's $354 million loss for the quarter ending Dec. 31, marked the 19th of the last 21 quarters that USPS posted a loss.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee gave its stamp of approval Thursday to a sweeping overhaul of the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service. In a bipartisan 9-1 vote, the committee approved the 2014 Postal Reform Act and sent the measure to the Senate floor. The bill, which is the brainchild of Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), presents a laundry list of proposals to revamp the financially troubled Postal Service.
Track which agencies are offering early retirement incentives and buyout offers in 2014.
The number of federal employees filing for retirement in January swelled to more than 17,000, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. But that's actually about 2,600 fewer than expected. In fact, this past month marked the first time in at least two years that the number of federal workers filing for retirement in January fell below 20,000 claims.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued targeted early-retirement and buyout offers to hundreds of employees nationwide, according to an American Federation of Government Employees local. EPA officials are planning to offer early-outs at 19 different offices within the agency, spanning all 10 regions. Workers who sign up can receive up to $25,000 and will have to be off the rolls by early April.
Returns for nearly all of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan trended downward in January following a rocky month on Wall Street. The largest declines came in the stock funds. The large-cap C Fund fell by 3.45 percent, the small-cap S Fund inched down 1.91 percent and the I Fund, made up of international stocks, plunged by more than 4 percent, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
The head of the Internal Revenue Service said the agency isn't planning any employee furloughs this year, even though Congress decided not to restore funding to the agency that had been lost due to the across-the-board sequestration cuts. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the budget crunch, though, would mean taxpayers will see a decline in services.
Last month the Homeland Security Department published its updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan, a governmentwide framework for securing critical infrastructure on a wide scale. The aim of the updated plan is to make all sectors of critical infrastructure more "resilient" -- better able to absorb and recover from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, cyber intrusions and other adverse conditions.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee debated an updated version of postal reform legislation Wednesday that would allow the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to restructure its health benefits program. Included in the revised postal reform bill from Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is a proposal that would create a new postal-only health plan within the broader Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
For the first time since 2010, citizen satisfaction with federal government services dropped last year, according to a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The average overall citizen satisfaction with the government's services fell 3.4 percent in 2013 to a score of 66.1 points (on a 100-point scale). Much of the decline is attributable to a "deterioration in satisfaction" with federal websites, which users found "more difficult to navigate, less reliable, and the information provided less useful" than in years past, according to the report.
Fueled by budget cuts and pay freezes, federal employee satisfaction and engagement across the government plunged last year, according to the Office of Personnel Management's annual Employee Viewpoint Survey. Now, OPM says it's here to help agencies turn around those sagging satisfaction scores.
More Thrift Savings Plan participants withdrew money from their accounts early in 2013 than in any other year over the past decade. The board processed a total of 291,000 loans and about 138,000 hardship withdrawals last year, according to statistics presented at the board's monthly meeting Monday. More than 14,000 of the hardship withdrawals taken last year came during the month of October, when partisan gridlock led to a 16-day government shutdown and financial uncertainty and delayed paychecks for thousands of federal employees.
GSA is axing its annual Expo conference, citing the current fiscal climate. It's the second year in a row the agency's signature conference has been called off. Meanwhile, GSA is also phasing out its traditional SmartPay training conference in favor of a virtual forum, which will be held in the spring or summer of this year.
The Justice Department has accused the company that performed background investigations of both National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis of defrauding the government, making false statements and breach of contract. DoJ's civil complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Alabama alleges the company, which is the government's largest contractor for background-investigation services, submitted at least 665,000 background investigations to the Office of Personnel Management that hadn't been properly reviewed.
The National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) says the agency blamed lack of funds when it implemented a hiring freeze last March. But the union says NWS budget documents posted to its website show the agency actually ended fiscal 2013 with $125 million in unspent funds. NWS officials dispute the union's contentions that they agency left money on the table. The union's concerns over agency vacancies were the focus of recent arbitration hearings.
New bipartisan legislation is aiming to rebrand the 153-year-old Government Printing Office. But that doesn't mean you'll stop seeing the GPO initials stamped on government documents any time soon. The bill, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) last week, would retain GPO's familiar initials, but change the official name of the agency to the Government Publishing Office.
The U.S. Postal Service's financial woes are forcing the agency to put off vital maintenance and repair work of facilities across the country, according to a recent inspector general report. Between 2009 and 2012, the Postal Service's budget for capital improvements and facility repairs fell by $382 million, and some 19,000 planned repairs were left uncompleted.
The General Services Administration says it will finally be able to begin digging out of a backlog of deferred maintenance of federal buildings thanks to a boost in funding from the recently passed bipartisan spending bill. The spending bill, passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last week, authorizes GSA to spend about $9.3 billion from the Federal Buildings Fund.
A group of federal scientists is concerned that proposed restrictions on federal employees attending conferences could put scientific research behind the curve. The Assembly of Scientists wrote to the two top senators on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee last week, arguing that the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act would likely lead to a "decline in the productivity, creativity, morale, recruitment and retention" of many of the government's top scientists.