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6:56 am, September 21, 2014

House News

Robert Goldenkoff, Director of Strategic Issues, GAO

Restructuring the way the federal government organizes its employees is all of a sudden a big focus on Capitol Hill. Bills to change or kill the General Schedule are already floating around, and more may come. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census looked at the future of the General Schedule with witnesses from the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Managers Association, the American Federation of Government Employees and the Government Accountability Office. Robert Goldenkoff is Director of Strategic Issues at the GAO. He told the committee HR management in the Federal government has been on the GAO's High Risk list since 2001, but he said not all the news is bad on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 07/21/2014, 04:10pm EDT
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As cyber attackers get more sophisticated, so must agencies' protections

Cyber criminals are adjusting so quickly that it's become an 'arms race' between them and agency technology officers trying to guard against threats. During a recent Federal News Radio panel discussion, officials shared expertise and tactics for protection.

Friday - 07/18/2014, 02:29pm EDT

Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow, CSBA

The Defense Department's overseas contingency budget might survive the end of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wednesday, two of the Pentagon's top civilian and uniformed leaders asked the House Armed Services Committee to keep authorizing an OCO budget even after the U.S. finishes the draw-downs in the region. DoD's latest OCO request came late in the year, and it's less than Congress anticipated. The House set aside $79 billion for OCO funding when it passed DoD's baseline budget for fiscal 2015, but now the Pentagon is only asking for about $59 billion. Todd Harrison is senior fellow for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He explained how the budget deliberations on Capitol Hill might unfold on In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu.

Thursday - 07/17/2014, 04:47pm EDT
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EPA union objects to Administrator's call to make firing employees easier

The Environmental Protection Agency's administrator recently mentioned the administrative obstacles of firing employees and suggested Congress change the law. One of the unions representing EPA employees is now responding in a letter that blames management, not employees for agency problems.

Thursday - 07/17/2014, 04:12pm EDT

House spending bill calls for deep cuts to IRS budget

The House has approved a massive spending bill that would slash funding for the Internal Revenue Service by more than $1 billion next year. The agency, which has been under fire for the improper targeting of conservative groups, would see its current $11.3 billion budget decline by 13 percent under the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for fiscal 2015 passed by the House Wednesday. But that's just one of the the provisions of the bill drawing the ire of the Obama administration, which issued a notice earlier this week threatening to veto the legislation.

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 05:43pm EDT

Work: DoD to experience 'trough' of readiness as it resets force

Robert Work, the new deputy defense secretary, told members of the House Armed Services Committee that the Defense Department will experience a two-year trough in readiness as it resets its force,

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 05:22pm EDT

GSA to be 'more forceful' in real-estate decisions

The General Services Administration needs to step up its leadership to take advantage of cost-saving real estate opportunities, according to House members participating in a recent round table discussion.

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 02:10pm EDT

Senate derails Army bid to take Guard helicopters

Army bid to take Apache helicopters from Guard loses first Senate test after states resist

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 12:30pm EDT

SBA delays in implementing rule changes costs small contractors millions

Lawmakers and small business contractors are wondering why the Small Business Administration has not implemented the procurement reforms that President Obama signed into law 18 months ago.

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 12:14pm EDT

Lawmakers, OPM seek facelift for aging GS system

There's growing consensus on Capitol Hill and from the Obama administration that the pay and personnel system used by the federal government since 1949 and infrequently updated is showing its age and due for a major facelift. Lawmakers probed the General Schedule system Tuesday during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census.

Tuesday - 07/15/2014, 06:11pm EDT

VA cites progress on backlog; Congress disagrees

VA cites progress on benefits backlog, but congressman accuses agency of 'hiding' numbers

Tuesday - 07/15/2014, 05:02pm EDT
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House easily passes TSP restructuring bill

The Smart Savings Act would make the Lifecycle Funds the default investment option in the Thrift Savings Plan for new federal employees.

Tuesday - 07/15/2014, 03:55pm EDT

Get rid of the ATF? Why one Congressman wants it gone

A top House overseer of federal law enforcement thinks that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should be dissolved.

Tuesday - 07/15/2014, 12:25pm EDT
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Army Corps of Engineers looks to private sector to hasten waterway improvements

Congress has approved $8 billion for 26 inland waterway improvement projects. But, many of those projects won't be completed for another 50 to 60 years. The Army Corps of Engineers is looking to speed up the process through public private partnerships.

Monday - 07/14/2014, 06:20pm EDT

Jon Adler, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

The House's top overseer over federal law enforcement agencies thinks the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has outlived its usefulness. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he plans to introduce legislation that would abolish the ATF -- and fold its current responsibilities into other federal agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. His argument: the ATF has been marred by high-profile blunders and it has missions overlap with other agencies. Jon Adler is national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. He took a different view on In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu.

Friday - 07/11/2014, 04:44pm EDT
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House panel debates merits of Senior Exec Service, comes down hard on VA

In examining the viability of the Senior Executive Service, House members called out the Veterans Affairs' compensation program, with a pledge to introduce another piece of legislation to take back bonuses. The Senior Executives Association relayed concerns that talent is fleeing senior executive positions.

Friday - 07/11/2014, 02:08pm EDT

Why a do-nothing Congress is good news for feds

The mid-term elections are upon us, and some people are complaining about political fatigue and gridlock. But for federal and postal workers - and retirees - these may be the good old days, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 07/11/2014, 02:00am EDT

House panel probes DoD's acquisition workforce

The size of DoD's civilian acquisition workforce has grown by some 20,000 employees over the past five years and now numbers about 135,000 personnel members, according to Stephanie Barna, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management. That's thanks to an effort by DoD begun in 2009 to recapitalize its acquisition workforce. But the department's focus on the acquisition workforce has been strained by a slew of competing priorities and congressionally-mandated belt-tightening, Barna said.

Thursday - 07/10/2014, 06:14pm EDT

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)

For the Department of Homeland Security, making its 22 components' radio systems interoperable with one another has been an objective since the department was created in 2003. But today, DHS still can't account for all of its communications assets -- let alone get them to talk to each other. Last night, the House passed legislation designed to get things moving. Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness and the prime sponsor of the DHS Interoperable Communications Act. He explained the details of the bill on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 05:06pm EDT
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House passes bills tackling DHS communications during disasters

Legislation passed by the House creates a social media working group for the Department of Homeland Security, and adds in requirements and accountability processes to improve interoperability across the agency.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 12:53pm EDT
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