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9:47 pm, October 22, 2014

Emily Kopp Reports

Emily Kopp covers civilian agencies in the federal government with a focus on workforce issues. Emily's reports can be heard Monday - Friday on the Federal Drive and In Depth.

Moran crafting bill to shake up Senior Executive Service

The federal government's top career folks would have to move out of their "comfort zones," under a bill that Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va) plans to sponsor to overhaul the Senior Executive Service. A new report shows nearly half of federal senior executives have never changed positions, contrary to what lawmakers envisioned when they created the SES in 1978.

Wednesday - 02/29/2012, 06:14pm EST
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Congress blames itself for duplicative programs

Faced with a 423-page report from the Government Accountability Office detailing potential duplication, fragmentation and overlap in nearly every corner of government, lawmakers pointed a finger at themselves for reducing oversight of federal programs and trying to fix problems without understanding what solutions the government already offered.

Tuesday - 02/28/2012, 05:57pm EST

GAO: 'Virtually all' agencies may have overlapping programs

From food safety to economic development, federal programs are filled with potential duplication, fragmentation and overlap, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. GAO identified 51 new areas that need attention at a time when Congress is debating department budgets and the White House is calling for greater authority to reorganize agencies.

Tuesday - 02/28/2012, 08:00am EST

VA issues stop-work order on crucial element of e-health record system

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a stop-work order on a key component of the integrated electronic health record system it isdeveloping with the Defense Department. Virginia-based ASM Research won the $103 million contract.

Monday - 02/27/2012, 05:07am EST
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USAID using childcare subsidy as another way to retain employees

The U.S. Agency for International Development has joined more than 30 other agencies in offering a childcare subsidy for lower-income employees. The program has been shown to help retain employees for relatively little money but many agencies still do not offer it, said Steve Bauer, executive director of the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, which is managing the USAID program.

Friday - 02/24/2012, 05:10am EST
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Outside experts see White House merger plan hitting choppy waters

There's waste and confusion among the six trade- and business-focused agencies that the White House wants to consolidate. That's the conclusion of four panelists who debated the merits of the proposed merger at the American Enterprise Institute, a free-market Washington think tank. They disagreed, however, on the best solution.

Thursday - 02/23/2012, 02:39pm EST
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GAO's Rich Stana reflects on a career he never anticipated

Former Government Accountability Office Director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues Rich Stana never aspired to public service. As a newly-minted business school graduate, he interviewed for jobs at banks and companies, but didn't find them appealing. Then his dean suggested applying to GAO, where he could apply his business knowledge to auditing government programs. Stana never looked back. He retired in December after 35 years.

Tuesday - 02/21/2012, 11:54am EST
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Agencies finalize diversity plans

Most agencies are on track to implement new diversity strategies by March 16, Office of Personnel Management Director of Diversity and Inclusion Veronica Villalobos told Federal News Radio. Five months ago, President Barack Obama directed agencies to improve the diversity of their ranks through strategic plans.

Friday - 02/10/2012, 07:27am EST
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Postal Service posts $3.3B loss for the quarter

The Postal Service said large losses would continue until the agency can trim its workforce, close some facilities, and restructure its healthcare program. The Postal Service posted a total loss of $5.1 billion in fiscal 2011.

Thursday - 02/09/2012, 02:12pm EST
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VA comes under fire for telework policy

AFGE has accused the Department of Veterans Affairs of failing to expand telework opportunities despite a new law designed to encourage the practice. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has demanded an explanation. Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration John Sepulveda said managers aren't convinced that telework is good for the agency.

Thursday - 02/09/2012, 05:30am EST
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Lawmakers continue battle over federal retirement benefits

In the latest attempt to cut federal retirement benefits, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has reported out legislation that would make feds contribute more of their salaries to their pensions and end the FERS annuity supplement for people who retire before age 62.

Wednesday - 02/08/2012, 05:41am EST

Section 508 revision nears home stretch but compliance problems remain

The Access Board hopes to publish new accessibility standards this fall, known as Section 508, which agencies use to buy tech products. The agency has been working on the standards for six years. But some advocates of disabled employees say the update, while necessary, doesn't address the real problem: lack of enforcement.

Monday - 02/06/2012, 03:18pm EST
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Survey: Telework still elusive at many agencies

Many agencies are not as gung-ho on telework as the Obama Administration or lawmakers would have it, according to a recent Congressional Research Service survey. The Department of Veterans Affairs allows just one-tenth of its employees to telework. At other agencies, most workers who are eligible to telework do not.

Friday - 02/03/2012, 06:50am EST

Senators take OPM to task over long wait for pensions

The Office of Personnel Management has a new strategy for tackling its backlog of 62,000 retirement applications. But, after 25 years of hearing such promises, lawmakers are skeptical. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Subcommittee on Oversight brought agency director John Berry to Capitol Hill to explain why this strategy is different.

Thursday - 02/02/2012, 01:51pm EST
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OMB gives more details on agency consolidation plan

President Barack Obama will send Congress a bill in the coming weeks to reinstate the president's authority to consolidate agencies, said Lisa Brown, the Office of Management and Budget executive leading the government reform effort. She said the bill would require proposals to "reduce the number of agencies or save costs."

Tuesday - 01/31/2012, 08:20pm EST
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Senate committee to vet OPM annuity processing strategy

The Office of Personnel Management's new strategy to catch up on its backlog of retirement claims will be vetted publicly during a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management.

Tuesday - 01/31/2012, 08:06pm EST

OPM: Fixing retirement backlog 'vitally important'

It's not the easiest time to tackle the growing backlog of retirement applications from federal employees. The Office of Personnel Management has received more than 15,000 new applications this month, which is more than double the normal load, said Retirement Services Director Ken Zawodny.

Tuesday - 01/24/2012, 08:49pm EST
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OPM to extend viewpoint survey to all feds

All federal employees will have the opportunity to participate in this year's Employee Viewpoint Survey. The Office of Personnel Management's annual survey of federal workers' opinions often is used to set administrative policies at agencies. In past years, only a third of the workforce had been asked to participate.

Tuesday - 01/24/2012, 03:14pm EST

Obama to push spectrum development for first responders

The White House will push Congress to "finish the job" on spectrum policy, Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said. First responders still are using analog communications to talk to each other during emergencies.

Tuesday - 01/24/2012, 05:09am EST
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OPM online training course aims to make telework more accessible

The Office of Personnel Management has updated the telework training offered through Telework.gov. Agencies must provide telework training to employees who are able and willing to work outside the office before the two parties sign a telework agreement. The upgrades will allow agencies to track which employees use and complete the training, according to the memo.

Monday - 01/23/2012, 04:05pm EST
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