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2:00 pm, September 2, 2014

Michael O'Connell Reports

Michael O'Connell is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.

Ambassador John Berry checks in Down Under

Former OPM director introduces himself to his new Australian neighbors through State Department-produced video. Through Facebook comments, Aussies welcome new ambassador and spouse.

Thursday - 09/19/2013, 03:52pm EDT

Budget constraints top IG concerns, new survey reveals

A new survey of the inspector general community says tighter budgets are making it difficult for IGs to do their jobs effectively. Sequestration hasn't help matters either.

Tuesday - 09/17/2013, 06:04pm EDT
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2013 Causey Award winners announced

Federal News Radio has announced the winners of the fourth annual Causey Awards, recognizing human-resources professionals who have gone above and beyond to help the government operate better. This year's winners are individuals from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the departments of Defense and Agriculture and the Social Security Administration.

Monday - 09/16/2013, 05:00am EDT

US safer 12 years after 9/11, but threat has evolved, experts say

While the threat of a Sept. 11-style attack may not be as great, terrorism, either of the lone-wolf or state-sponsored variety, still poses a threat to the U.S. Agencies are moving to protect themselves in areas such as cybersecurity.

Wednesday - 09/11/2013, 04:20pm EDT
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MSPB reports 32,000+ furlough appeals during FY2013

Majority of appeals are from DoD employees and the MSPB's regional offices have docketed nearly all of the furlough-related appeals.

Tuesday - 09/10/2013, 08:46pm EDT

Partnership honors protector of student, teachers' rights

During his 40-plus years in the federal service, Philip Rosenfelt, the Education Department's acting general counsel, has bolstered the rights of students and advanced the teaching profession through his work in education law.

Monday - 09/09/2013, 05:02pm EDT

September could be big month for small contractors, experts say

Small businesses may be the big winners this month as agencies scramble to spend their budgets and meet their small business goals before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

Monday - 09/09/2013, 04:07pm EDT
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State Department opens doors to historic treasure trove

Every summer, the State Department closes its Diplomatic Reception Rooms to allow conservators to clean and repair the pieces in its extensive collection of historic artifacts. The rooms will reopen to the public on Sept. 9.

Thursday - 09/05/2013, 03:11pm EDT

Behind the Scenes: Diplomatic Reception Rooms

For several weeks each August, the State Department's Diplomatic Reception Rooms are closed to the public to allow conservators to repair and renovate the collection of historic objects. The rooms, which hosted more than 800 events last year, serve as a backdrop to State's diplomatic efforts. (Read related story.)

Wednesday - 09/04/2013, 05:25pm EDT

Obama ends federal pay freeze; Congress could still block

President Barack Obama issued some good news for federal workers before the start of Labor Day weekend, calling for a 1 percent pay increase for feds in 2014. But Congress could still prevent the raises through legislation. Federal employees have had their pay frozen since January 2011.

Friday - 08/30/2013, 08:02pm EDT

From binder clips to sequester pads, one fed takes small steps to tackle big budget problems

Joseph Frankovic looked around his office at the Federal Register and saw that it was being overrun by binder clips. At a time when agencies are struggling to save budget dollars wherever they can, Frankovic saw an opportunity to make a difference - and he took it.

Thursday - 08/29/2013, 06:43pm EDT

How effective is simulated training? GAO cites gaps in Army, Marine Corps data

A new study by the Government Accountability Office says the Army and Marine Corps need to develop a set of metrics to better measure the benefits of simulation-based training over live training.

Tuesday - 08/27/2013, 04:46pm EDT
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EPA inspires buildings to duke it out for energy-savings supremacy

The fourth annual Energy Star National Building Competition Battle of the Buildings encourages people to use the same energy-savings strategies they use at home and apply them to where they work, play and learn.

Monday - 08/26/2013, 05:41pm EDT
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Online tools help USDA preserve, transfer knowledge

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is using online identification tools to prevent a loss of expertise and institutional knowledge caused by a growing number of people retiring.

Monday - 08/26/2013, 02:39pm EDT
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Report: Thousands of DoD civilians could face layoffs in 2014

The Department of Defense may have to consider cutting thousands of civilians from its workforce if sequestration continues into fiscal year 2014, according to a Pentagon planning document obtained by Bloomberg News. The workforce reductions would offset a projected $52 billion in automatic spending cuts.

Friday - 08/23/2013, 01:22pm EDT

How many furlough days did feds actually take?

With the end of fiscal 2013 just over a month away, many agencies are wrapping up their furlough days. Some agencies have even reduced the number of unpaid leave days they originally thought they would need. This graphic depicts the total number of furlough days originally declared by agencies versus the number of furloughs actually taken.

Friday - 08/23/2013, 12:00pm EDT

MSPB continues long slog through 30,000 furlough appeals

The majority of furlough-related appeals the Merit Systems Protection Board has received - 98 percent - have come from civilian employees of the Defense Department. Of the 30,000-plus furlough appeals, MSPB has entered more than 16,000 into its system. The agency says it expects to have most of the appeals docketed shortly after Labor Day.

Thursday - 08/22/2013, 05:16pm EDT

Chained CPI could cost retirees thousands over time, NARFE says

A proposed change to how federal retirees' cost-of-living adjustments are calculated could have a huge, negative impact, according to David Snell of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. NARFE is urging its members and retirees to contact their congressmen during the week of Sept. 16 to express their opposition to the chained consumer price index.

Wednesday - 08/21/2013, 02:57pm EDT
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OMB reduces number of furlough days by 2

The Office of Management and Budget originally planned for 10 furlough days. Employees were already required to take seven unpaid days off and one more is planned before Sept. 30.

Tuesday - 08/20/2013, 05:48pm EDT

Federal judges implore Congress for respite from sequestration

A group of 87 federal judges sent a letter to Vice President Joseph Biden, warning that budget cuts due to sequestration have negatively impacted the federal judiciary's ability to prosecute and defend cases.

Tuesday - 08/20/2013, 04:13pm EDT
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