Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since 2008, the Office of Personnel Management has been on a crusade to root out falsification in background investigations using the courts. Nearly two dozen background investigators for either OPM or one of its contractors have been criminally prosecuted for misconduct ranging from outright falsifying reports, known as "ghostwriting," to performing sloppy checks that failed to adhere to OPM's standards.
Federal employees are growing increasingly frustrated with budget cuts, stagnant pay levels and a negative perception of the federal bureaucracy, government surveys reveal. At a townhall event hosted by the Partnership for Public Service, the heads of the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and Labor say they're getting the message.
Less than two weeks ago, a federal judge approved the transfer of the case alleging USIS with improperly conducting thousands of background-check reviews to Washington, D.C. An investigation conducted by the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general remains ongoing. OPM says it has confidence in the reforms put in place by the company.
When the House votes Thursday to approve fiscal 2015 budgets for a slew of legislative-branch agencies, lawmakers will get a chance to resurrect the small technology agency that once provided Congress with expert technological and scientific advice. A floor amendment from Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) would siphon off about $2.5 million from the House historic buildings fund to provide start-up funding for a reboot of the Office of Technology Assessment
The agency that runs federal employees' (401)k-style Thrift Savings Plan needs to do a better job monitoring potential cyber incidents against its website, strengthen security at its data centers and come up with a plan for tracking all of its technology hardware. That's according to recent audits of the TSP program undertaken by the Labor Department, which were presented to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Monday.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the chairman of a key congressional panel with oversight of the federal workforce says he wants President Barack Obama's pick for White House budget director to "possess a background in federal workforce and governmental oversight issues." Earlier this month, Obama nominated the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sylvia Burwell, to take over for Kathleen Sebelius as the head of the Health and Human Services Department.
The Thrift Savings Plan could stand to collect more than $500,000 in unpaid debt thanks to expanded authority to garnish employees' pay even after they leave federal service. A final rule published in the Federal Register Wednesday will allow the Treasury Department -- on behalf of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which runs the TSP -- to garnish the wages of nonfederal employees who owe the TSP money.
In a report issued Thursday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, says Edwards altered or delayed reports to accommodate senior DHS officials, sought outside legal advice in violation of the laws governing agency IGs and failed to recuse himself form some audits despite concerns over conflicts of interest involving his wife, who was also employed by the agency.
Following a year of widespread budget uncertainty, federal contract spending fell by 11 percent, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg Government. All told, agency contract spending tumbled from $516.3 billion in fiscal 2012 to $462.1 billion last year, the report found.
In a recent audit made public Tuesday, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that between Oct. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31 2012, more than 2,800 employees disciplined within the past year for misconduct collected a total of $2.8 million in monetary awards. That included more than $1 million in cash awards for 1,100 IRS employees who had failed to pay federal taxes.
Budget cuts and a steep drop in the size of the Internal Revenue Service's workforce have resulted in "uneven" performance by the agency, according to the Government Accountability Office. In the wake of reduced staff and shrinking budgets, IRS service levels decreased, the agency was forced to delay two major IT projects and spending on employee training has been slashed by more than 80 percent, according to GAO.
The General Services Administration is spending nearly $70 million on a major effort to consolidate federal-agency office space nationwide, the agency announced Monday. GSA has plans to continue or start renovations on 19 federally owned buildings across the country.
New regulations published this week by the Office of Personnel Management aim to overhaul the Combined Federal Campaign, in part by eliminating cash donations in favor of online giving and requiring charities to pay fees to cover the administrative costs of the program. But some charity groups say OPM's regulations are too focused on wringing more efficiencies out of the annual fundraising drive instead of on re-energizing a workplace-giving program that has seen declining donations in recent years.
In the coming months, the federal government will release a detailed plan for implementing more than a dozen recommendations to improve the security clearance process, said Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert. The government's recommendations, which were included in an interagency report published by OMB last month, call for "continuous evaluation" of clearance holders and strengthened oversight of the background-investigation process.
The Office of Personnel Management is preparing to take the temperature of the federal workforce. The annual survey tracking federal workers' job satisfaction across an array of factors will be sent to employees later this month, according to a memo to agency heads from OPM Director Katherine Archuleta.