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10:39 am, October 2, 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.

Postal Service seeks outside opinion on restructuring

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.

Tuesday - 11/22/2011, 07:47pm EST

OPM's onboarding framework to ease SES' new-job jitters

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.

Tuesday - 11/22/2011, 02:15pm EST
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Donahoe says bills 'do not come close' to saving the USPS

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.

Tuesday - 11/22/2011, 05:05am EST
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New strategy gives agencies a "springboard" for increasing diversity

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.

Monday - 11/21/2011, 05:15am EST
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Donovan focuses on morale to turn around HUD

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.

Friday - 11/18/2011, 04:43pm EST
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Lawmakers to question OPM's handling of USAJobs

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.

Monday - 11/14/2011, 02:55pm EST
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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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