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Shows & Panels
Future investments in science and technology projects may be at stake if Congress doesn't reduce the federal deficit, Maryland lawmakers said at a townhall at NASA's Goddard Space Center. Nonetheless, the center emerged a winner in 2012 budget negotiations, with full funding for its James Webb Space Telescope.
The Postal Service has hired Evercore Partners, a New York-based investment bank, to evaluate proposed changes to its operations, compensation and benefits. Evercore has advised General Motors and other large, troubled companies. USPS said it needs to cut annual expenses by $20 billion by 2015.
The Office of Personnel Management has published an onboarding framework that agencies can use to ease the new-job jitters for members of the Senior Executive Service. Thorough orientation can increase retention, said OPM deputy associate director Steve Shih.
None of the legislation moving through Congress would provide the Postal Service the speed and flexibility it needs to cut annual costs by $20 billion, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe said Monday. He said they would give USPS "a couple of years of profitability and at least many decades of steep losses." He argued for quicker resolution to the agency's cash crisis.
Agencies have four months to develop diversity and inclusion plans under a broad, brief governmentwide strategy released Thursday. Proponents say, by making the President's Management Council responsible for progress, the strategy will succeed where past measures have failed.
Congress gave Department of Housing and Urban Development programs to help homeless vets a slight boost in fiscal year 2012, in what may be a sign that Secretary Shaun Donovan's plan to turn around an agency once called the "poster child for scandal-ridden, dysfunctional bureaucracy" is working. Donovan said he is emphasizing performance based on data, and demanding that HUD staff increase collaboration among themselves and with other agencies. He spoke Thursday at the Excellence in Government conference in Washington.
The widespread frustration over the Office of Personnel Management's handling of USAJobs.gov has caught lawmakers' attention. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce has invited OPM, government inspectors and Monster, the company that previously ran the federal jobs site, to testify at a hearing Tuesday.
A plan to cut the Postal Service's costs so it can stay in business has passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Relations Committee. Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised a vote on the Senate floor as soon as possible, according to committee leaders.
Agency chief human capital officers showed support for the latest version of the federal jobs website despite its rocky launch. They thanked the Office of Personnel Management for frequent updates on fixes. The council gathered Tuesday for its annual public meeting.
Nearly two years of negotiating has led to a stalemate between the Social Security Administration and its largest union, the American Federation of Government Employees. The protracted dispute mars the Obama administration's otherwise productive attempts to collaborate formally with federal unions.
Some call the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's approval of a 10 percent cut in the federal workforce is a political statement. Others worry it portends cuts in federal pay, benefits or jobs. Federal employees' groups have stepped up lobbying efforts.
Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said the federal jobs website USAJobs.gov is headed in the right direction after a rough debut three weeks ago. OPM has added server capacity and refined features to make the site easier to use. OPM Director John Berry said the agency's response is an example of "government working." But OPM now faces a congressional hearing and public outrage over the botched rollout.
Senators announced a bipartisan plan Wednesday to help keep the financially ailing Postal Service solvent while offering incentives to trim its workforce.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will vote on legislation to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), proposes replacing only one of every three employees that leave. The committee also will mark up several other bills including the civilian property disposal act and a data transparency act.
The government's new strategy on electronic stewardship said no federal electronics should end up in a landfill. Agencies should make sure their computers, monitors and other equipment is reused whenever possible and eventually recycled by a certified company. The Government Services Administration will publish guidance in February.
The Department of Homeland Security expects an audit of its IT systems will bring relatively good news in two weeks. Last year's audit found 161 issues in technology systems throughout the agency. Those problems ranged from a lack of disaster recovery plans to the inability to block former employees from accessing department IT systems.
A rare public hearing of the supercommittee suggests members aren't close to developing a plan to cut more than $1 trillion from the federal deficit over 10 years. Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf warned them that cuts to discretionary funding, including feds' pay, would not solve the problem.
The Office of Personnel Management is finalizing changes to the federal snow policy. Director John Berry won't share details yet, but he said telework shows the resiliency of government during bad weather.
Lawmakers charged with reducing the federal deficit should look to contractors' compensation rather than reduce government workers' pay and benefits, a coalition of federal unions and management associations wrote in a letter to supercommittee leaders.
FEMA has recovered just $3 million of $643 million in potentially improper disaster relief aid since Hurricane Katrina. But its attempts to recoup the money are setting off one senator and threatening to erupt into a public relations snafu.