Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is the author of new legislation that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs Department to fire its senior executives. Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says the agency is too shy about cutting loose middle managers who are performing poorly.
President Barack Obama signed the OPM IG Act into law this week. The law provides the agency's top watchdog with an additional source of funding to conduct audits and investigations of the security-clearance process.
The National Treasury Employees Union has distributed copies of a new public-service announcement featuring NTEU members to 300 TV stations and 1,000 radio stations nationwide. The theme of NTEU's campaign is "They Work for US." In addition to the radio and TV ads, the effort includes a website, Facebook page and a social media push. In a conference call with reporters Wednesday announcing the campaign, NTEU President Colleen Kelley said the aim of the campaign is to change the conversation about federal employees.
The VA Management Accountability Act would give VA Secretary Eric Shinseki broad authority to remove Senior Executives Service (SES) members "if the secretary determines the performance of the individual warrants such removal," according to the bill. In addition to outright removal, the bill would allow the VA secretary to bump SES members down to the General Schedule at any grade level the secretary deems appropriate according to the bill.
Among the issues considered Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were contracting practices at the Office of Personnel Management that allowed the largest background-investigation contactor -- accused by the Justice Department of taking improper shortcuts and defrauding the government -- to conduct quality reviews of its own work.
After playing defense for much of last year the largest federal-employee union is ready to play offense. American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox gave a fiery speech at the union's annual legislative and grassroots mobilization conference in Washington. Also addressing the AFGE crowd were lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
After a turbulent 2013 that saw sequestration budget cuts and a two-week government shutdown, the largest federal-employee union is hoping to flex more political muscle this year. The American Federation of Government Employees says union membership is at its highest level in decades.
The U.S. Postal Service announced Friday its quarterly losses fell sharply in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, boosted by revenue growth in package delivery and agency cost-cutting. Still, the agency's $354 million loss for the quarter ending Dec. 31, marked the 19th of the last 21 quarters that USPS posted a loss.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee gave its stamp of approval Thursday to a sweeping overhaul of the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service. In a bipartisan 9-1 vote, the committee approved the 2014 Postal Reform Act and sent the measure to the Senate floor. The bill, which is the brainchild of Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), presents a laundry list of proposals to revamp the financially troubled Postal Service.
Track which agencies are offering early retirement incentives and buyout offers in 2014.
The number of federal employees filing for retirement in January swelled to more than 17,000, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. But that's actually about 2,600 fewer than expected. In fact, this past month marked the first time in at least two years that the number of federal workers filing for retirement in January fell below 20,000 claims.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued targeted early-retirement and buyout offers to hundreds of employees nationwide, according to an American Federation of Government Employees local. EPA officials are planning to offer early-outs at 19 different offices within the agency, spanning all 10 regions. Workers who sign up can receive up to $25,000 and will have to be off the rolls by early April.
Returns for nearly all of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan trended downward in January following a rocky month on Wall Street. The largest declines came in the stock funds. The large-cap C Fund fell by 3.45 percent, the small-cap S Fund inched down 1.91 percent and the I Fund, made up of international stocks, plunged by more than 4 percent, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
The head of the Internal Revenue Service said the agency isn't planning any employee furloughs this year, even though Congress decided not to restore funding to the agency that had been lost due to the across-the-board sequestration cuts. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the budget crunch, though, would mean taxpayers will see a decline in services.
Last month the Homeland Security Department published its updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan, a governmentwide framework for securing critical infrastructure on a wide scale. The aim of the updated plan is to make all sectors of critical infrastructure more "resilient" -- better able to absorb and recover from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, cyber intrusions and other adverse conditions.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee debated an updated version of postal reform legislation Wednesday that would allow the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to restructure its health benefits program. Included in the revised postal reform bill from Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is a proposal that would create a new postal-only health plan within the broader Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
For the first time since 2010, citizen satisfaction with federal government services dropped last year, according to a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The average overall citizen satisfaction with the government's services fell 3.4 percent in 2013 to a score of 66.1 points (on a 100-point scale). Much of the decline is attributable to a "deterioration in satisfaction" with federal websites, which users found "more difficult to navigate, less reliable, and the information provided less useful" than in years past, according to the report.
Fueled by budget cuts and pay freezes, federal employee satisfaction and engagement across the government plunged last year, according to the Office of Personnel Management's annual Employee Viewpoint Survey. Now, OPM says it's here to help agencies turn around those sagging satisfaction scores.
More Thrift Savings Plan participants withdrew money from their accounts early in 2013 than in any other year over the past decade. The board processed a total of 291,000 loans and about 138,000 hardship withdrawals last year, according to statistics presented at the board's monthly meeting Monday. More than 14,000 of the hardship withdrawals taken last year came during the month of October, when partisan gridlock led to a 16-day government shutdown and financial uncertainty and delayed paychecks for thousands of federal employees.
GSA is axing its annual Expo conference, citing the current fiscal climate. It's the second year in a row the agency's signature conference has been called off. Meanwhile, GSA is also phasing out its traditional SmartPay training conference in favor of a virtual forum, which will be held in the spring or summer of this year.