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2:23 am, July 10, 2014

OPM News

Officials cite progress in labor-management forums

Federal-employee unions say they're having more of a voice in the agency decisionmaking process, thanks to a four-year-old directive from President Barack Obama calling for greater collaboration between labor groups and agency leadership. Despite a slow start last year, the creation of partnerships between federal-employee unions and agency leadership known as labor-management forums ramped up throughout the course of 2013, according to Bill Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees.

Wednesday - 01/08/2014, 05:29pm EST

By the numbers: 2013 federal retirements

The exodus of employees from the federal workforce was a big story this past year: More federal employees retired in 2013 than the year before, providing grist for the mill for predictions of a coming federal retirement wave. Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management's efforts to clear a longstanding backlog of new retirement applications faced hurdles because of the steep sequestration budget cuts that hit government. Federal News Radio parsed through the data over the past year. In the series of charts and graphs below, track the latest trends.

Wednesday - 01/08/2014, 09:55am EST

Senator sues OPM over health care regulations

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has filed a lawsuit against Katherine Archuleta, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, seeking to overturn an OPM regulation that allows lawmakers and their staffs to continue receiving government contribution toward their health insurance premiums. Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, lawmakers and their staffs were booted from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), under which the government typically kicks in about three-fourths of the cost of federal employees' premiums, and required to purchase health insurance on the federal exchange.

Monday - 01/06/2014, 02:56pm EST

Federal retirements taper off in December

Fewer federal employees filed for retirement in December than in any month in nearly the last two years, according to updated statistics from the Office of Personnel Management. Just 4,952 federal employees filed for retirement in December. But even with fewer employees retiring in December, OPM's retirement processing failed to keep pace with projections. The agency had expected to process 11,500 retirement cases but actually ended the month clearing a little more than 6,440.

Monday - 01/06/2014, 10:51am EST

OPM wants to know who's in charge of agency records management

The Office of Personnel Management is calling on federal managers to help streamline the records management process by identifying which positions do what.

Friday - 01/03/2014, 04:30pm EST

OPM: D.C. feds can take unscheduled leave, telework Friday

With snow blanketing the Washington, D.C., area, the Office of Personnel Management has announced federal workers in the region will be able to take unscheduled leave and telework Friday.

Thursday - 01/02/2014, 09:51pm EST

OPM seeks changes to feds' benefits, insurance opportunities

The Office of Personnel Management recently filed two proposals to change how feds enroll in the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program and to expand the regulations of the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance.

Thursday - 01/02/2014, 01:25pm EST

Will OPM allow flexible-spending rollovers?

Under federal "use it or lose it" rules, any unspent money employees set aside last year to pay for out-of-pocket health costs, such as prescriptions or co-pays, is forfeited at the end of the year. But a group of senators from states surrounding the Washington, D.C., area, wants to change that. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) along with Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) wrote to Katherine Archuleta, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, requesting the agency implement new regulations that would allow federal employees to roll over as much as $500 in unused funds from year to year.

Monday - 12/30/2013, 01:06pm EST

CIO shuffle continues at SBA, DHS, OPM

SBA, OPM have new CIOs as the carousel in government IT spins once again.

Friday - 12/20/2013, 06:09pm EST

People with disabilities make up larger share of federal workforce, but agency hiring still lags

The federal government now employs a record number of people with a disability. The Office of Personnel Management says agencies are making progress toward the President's 2010 hiring goals.

Thursday - 12/19/2013, 03:20pm EST

OPM staffs up, reshuffles senior leadership

A little more than a month into Katherine Archuleta's tenure at the Office of Personnel Management, the agency is staffing up and reshuffling a handful of leadership positions. Archuleta, who most recently worked as the national political director for President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection effort, is bringing on board two fellow campaign staffers to serve as top advisers. The agency is also getting a new chief operating officer from within the ranks of the agency. Angela Bailey, the former associate director of employee services, has been named the agency's new COO.

Thursday - 12/19/2013, 02:52pm EST

Why some feds are skeptical of new self-plus-one FEHBP option

Thanks to the bipartisan budget deal passed by Congress and on its way to the President's desk, though, federal employees will soon have a new health-insurance coverage option: "self plus one." Federal employees have long clamored for the couples-only option, but the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the FEHBP, has always demurred, citing concerns it would disrupt the risk-sharing inherent in large group plans. Now, with the self-plus-one option enshrined in law, at least one federal-employee union finds OPM's recent change of heart "problematic."

Thursday - 12/19/2013, 10:37am EST
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Report: Nearly half of the federal workforce eligible to telework

The number of federal employees deemed eligible to telework nearly doubled last year. All told, nearly half of the entire federal workforce - more than 1 million employees - has been determined to be eligible to telework, according to an annual report to Congress from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM's report, the second since President Barack Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, also noted sizable gains in the number of agencies with telework policies in place, in the number employees who signed telework agreements governing their work outside the office and in the frequency with which they telework.

Wednesday - 12/18/2013, 01:03pm EST

Pay gap between federal employees, private-sector workers continues to grow

The gap in pay between federal employees and private-sector workers widened slightly this year, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the Federal Salary Council. On average, federal employees earn 35.37 percent less than their private-sector counterpart, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management and the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tuesday - 12/17/2013, 02:38pm EST

Kathryn Medina to step down from CHCO Council post

Medina's last day at the Office of Personnel Management will be Jan. 3. She is leaving to join public relations firm APCO Worldwide as a senior human resources executive.

Tuesday - 12/17/2013, 02:01pm EST

Phased retirement: Who, when, how?

When you approach a swimming pool for the first time, do you dive straight in or dip your toe first to test the waters? Before you retire, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says, wouldn't it be nice to have the toe-dipping option?

Wednesday - 12/11/2013, 02:00am EST

POLL: How does a DC snow day affect outside-the-Beltway feds?

When the Office of Personnel Management makes the decision to close federal offices in the Washington, D.C. region because of snow, federal employees outside the area often deride inside-the-Beltway feds for their weather wimpiness. But with hundreds of thousands of federal employees spread across the country, Federal News Radio wants to know: Does a D.C. snow day impact the work that you do wherever you are?

Tuesday - 12/10/2013, 09:31am EST

Federal offices in DC closed Tuesday

Due to inclement weather, federal offices in the Washington, D.C., area are closed today. Emergency and telework-ready employees must follow their agency's policies.

Tuesday - 12/10/2013, 04:07am EST

Even as federal retirements continue declining, OPM processing nosedives

The number of federal employees filing for retirement is on a downward swing. For the fifth month in a row, fewer federal employees than expected filed for retirement, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. However, OPM's efforts at processing federal-employee retirement applications also took a nosedive last month. OPM processed just 5,700 claims in November, less than half of what it predicted it would and nearly half the number of cases the agency cleared last month.

Thursday - 12/05/2013, 05:32pm EST

OPM tweaks snow-closure policy, with added push for telework

With the official start of winter just two weeks away, the Office of Personnel Management is tweaking its closure and dismissal guidelines. The updated policy changes the way OPM will communicate delayed arrivals and continues to call on agencies to ensure all federal employees who are telework-ready actually do so when OPM gives the say-so during inclement weather.

Thursday - 12/05/2013, 01:23pm EST
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