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5:41 am, September 18, 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.

Senate committee approves bipartisan Postal Service reform bill

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.

Wednesday - 11/09/2011, 07:22pm EST
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CHCO Council rallies around USAJobs

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.

Wednesday - 11/09/2011, 03:40pm EST
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SSA, AFGE still at negotiating impasse

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.

Tuesday - 11/08/2011, 05:08pm EST
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Proposal to cut federal workforce raises concerns

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.

Monday - 11/07/2011, 05:29am EST
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OPM says USAJobs recovered from 'death spiral'

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.

Friday - 11/04/2011, 05:52am EDT
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Senators' USPS plan cuts staff, refunds FERS overpayments

Senators announced a bipartisan plan Wednesday to help keep the financially ailing Postal Service solvent while offering incentives to trim its workforce.

Wednesday - 11/02/2011, 05:56pm EDT
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House committee to consider across-the-board cuts for feds

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.

Wednesday - 11/02/2011, 03:25pm EDT

GSA guide to ensure electronics are green to the end

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.

Wednesday - 11/02/2011, 02:11pm EDT
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Officials willing to 'bang heads' to bring DHS systems in line

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.

Friday - 10/28/2011, 03:05pm EDT
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Cuts to federal pay may hurt public services, CBO warns supercommittee

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.

Thursday - 10/27/2011, 07:54am EDT
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OPM may push telework harder in updated snow policy

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.

Friday - 10/21/2011, 06:28pm EDT
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Unions once again urge supercommittee to save feds' pay, benefits

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.

Friday - 10/21/2011, 02:15pm EDT

FEMA's attempts to recoup improper payments set off new problems

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.

Friday - 10/21/2011, 12:37pm EDT
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OPM working 'around the clock' to fix USAJobs.gov

The Office of Personnel Management is scrambling to buy more server capacity after record traffic overwhelmed the new version of the USAJobs.gov website. OPM Director John Berry said the site now is serving 94 percent of users. But he acknowledged that's "cold comfort for those whose applications aren't getting through." Agency IT staff is working around the clock to fix the problem, he added.

Thursday - 10/20/2011, 05:50am EDT
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Managers need to unleash workers for successful telework

While agencies and employees are reaping the benefits of telework, many frontline supervisors remain reluctant. They have to learn to manage the work, not the workers, experts say.

Wednesday - 10/19/2011, 05:46am EDT
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Industry group warns of bleakest IT budget in 17 years

The government's IT budget hasn't been squeezed this hard since Forrest Gump was on the big screen in 1994. In the next five years, agencies will focus their spending on mission-critical technology. They're also finding ways to save money though nontraditional contracts and IT consolidation, a survey by the industry group TechAmerica Foundation found.

Tuesday - 10/18/2011, 06:14am EDT
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Users frustrated with the new, overwhelmed USAJobs 3.0

Federal jobseekers are complaining that the new version of the USAJobs.gov website is slow and clunky. The Office of Personnel Management had promised that it would be more streamlined and easier to use than the previous version. It is asking agencies that use the site to recruit to extend their application deadlines while it works out the kinks.

Monday - 10/17/2011, 05:34am EDT

GAO: Postal Service did not overpay CSRS account

The Postal Service has not paid too much for retirement benefits for employees under the Civil Service Retirement System. A report by the Government Accountability Office throws a wrench in the Postal Service's plan to return to profitability by accessing more than $50 billion now held for retirement benefits.

Thursday - 10/13/2011, 01:51pm EDT
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NTEU warns against the loss of IRS jobs, revenue

The union that represents IRS workers is ramping up a public campaign in hopes of convincing voters that the loss of 4,000 tax collectors and agents would be bad for government services that they depend on. Congressional appropriators have proposed cutting the division's budget by $450 million-to-$600 million.

Wednesday - 10/12/2011, 07:44pm EDT
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USAJobs 3.0 launches amid hopes of greater integration

The Office of Personnel Management launched today the latest version of the government's jobs site, USAJobs.gov, one day ahead of schedule. The agency says the new site will connect to both agency and contractor websites.

Tuesday - 10/11/2011, 02:17pm EDT
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