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4:03 pm, 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.

Employee tips led to 'most improved' agency

When less than half of your employees say they'd recommend your agency as a great place to work, you have a problem that's not easy to fix. But faced with poor ratings year after year, the Broadcasting Board of Governors decided to do something about it.

Tuesday - 10/11/2011, 05:18am EDT
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GAO: Agencies need more policing of contractors

Federal contractors may be getting away with fraud or shoddy work, according to a Government Accountability Office study of five years' worth of federal contracts. GAO found that most agencies are not using enforcement tools meant to cut off the flow of public funds to bad contractors.

Friday - 10/07/2011, 02:13pm EDT
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Agencies gravitate to low-cost contests as Challenge.gov celebrates its first birthday

In its first year, the website Challenge.gov let agencies add public contests as a low-cost way to find innovative solutions to their problems. Officials at the General Services Administration, which runs the site, say challenges offer a lower-cost alternative to procurement or grants and speak to a different audience. GSA would like to see challenges standardized across the government in the coming year but worry that the site may lose funding.

Thursday - 10/06/2011, 05:38am EDT
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USPS faces competing interests in path to reform

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said he wants to give the struggling Postal Service more flexibility to act like a private business, including the ability to force retirement-eligible employees to step down. Meanwhile, the Postal Regulatory Commission worries the Postal Service is losing sight of its public mission.

Wednesday - 10/05/2011, 06:27am EDT
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Low number of Latinos gives urgency to diversity initiative

The latest OPM report on Latinos in the federal government shows no improvement in 2009 and 2010. They remain the most underrepresented racial and ethnic group in the federal workforce, making up eight percent of employees. OPM has convened a council to recommend improvements.

Monday - 10/03/2011, 04:37pm EDT

OPM extends more benefits to feds in military families

Federal workers with a family member serving overseas in the military will be able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for reasons including arranging childcare, attending military events and receiving counseling. The new rule goes into effect next month.

Thursday - 09/29/2011, 07:00pm EDT

Sarbanes 'excited' to reform federal hiring

Democratic lawmakers want to codify the White House's hiring reform initiative to ensure that agencies keep working at making their processes faster and simpler. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) said the process is too complicated and changing it is key to attracting the best and brightest.

Thursday - 09/29/2011, 04:45pm EDT
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Agencies still must do more to fix hiring process

Federal hiring still takes too long and asks too much of applicants. But the agency hiring process is inching closer to mirroring the private sector. Officials, academics, analysts and union representatives agreed that agencies need to take the next steps to maintain progress.

Thursday - 09/29/2011, 05:45am EDT
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Feds have sacrificed enough, federal groups tell supercommittee

Postal workers and federal employees groups are urging the "supercommittee" to reject President Barack Obama's proposed increase in employee retirement contributions and support his cap on contractors' salaries. The Federal-Postal Coalition also wants lawmakers to preserve Saturday mail delivery, despite USPS' wishes.

Wednesday - 09/28/2011, 06:02pm EDT

Congress to extend deadline for Postal Service debt

The Postal Service would get seven more weeks to pay a $5.5 billion debt to the Treasury under the continuing resolution passed Monday by the Senate. A House version includes the same provision. The bill is due on Friday.

Tuesday - 09/27/2011, 07:25pm EDT

Task force to align feds' performance with agency goals

Agency leaders, employee unions and associations are recommending ways to improve upon the age-old problem of supervision in the federal workforce. They're hoping to reassure employees that they're being treated fairly, while showing the public that the government is working efficiently. The President's Labor-Management Council is reviewing the plan.

Tuesday - 09/27/2011, 06:02am EDT
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McCain brings House GOP USPS reform plan to Senate

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has introduced legislation in the Senate to overhaul the struggling Postal Service. It mirrors the GOP plan approved by a House subcommittee Wednesday. It would let an independent watchdog to seize control of the agency's finances if it were more than 30 days late in paying its bills.

Friday - 09/23/2011, 07:01pm EDT

OPM commits to stopping payments to dead people

The Office of Personnel Management has created a task force to lead efforts to stop payments to retirees who have died. An inspector general report released Thursday revealed that OPM had paid $601 million in benefits to dead people since 2006.

Friday - 09/23/2011, 06:17pm EDT
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DHS holds fast to St. Elizabeths HQ plan

The Homeland Security Department remains committed to consolidating its headquarters on the campus of a former mental hospital in Washington despite receiving less construction money than anticipated. Officials from DHS, the Coast Guard and the General Services Administration reaffirmed their plans to a House subcommittee. The Coast Guard plans to move first, in 2013.

Friday - 09/23/2011, 05:38pm EDT
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OPM survey shows feds upbeat despite challenges

Most federal employees remain satisfied at work, despite pay freezes and budget cuts. But a sizeable chunk of workers believe that pay raises and promotions are not based on merit and that their supervisors don't know how to handle poor performers. The Office of Personnel Management released these findings as part of the 2011 Employee Viewpoint Survey.

Friday - 09/23/2011, 05:37am EDT
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Federal long-term care plan boosts enrollment by 20 percent

Enrollment in the federal long-term-care insurance program increased by 45,000 employees during the open season that ended June 24. It indicates that the aging federal workforce values the benefit despite recent rate hikes.

Thursday - 09/22/2011, 03:41pm EDT

House subcommittee pushes forward GOP plan to repair USPS

A House subcommittee markup of a bill to address the Postal Service's financial problems broke down along partisan lines. Democrats accused Republicans of using this legislation to weaken labor provisions. Republicans said Democrats would prefer bailing out the agency rather than making it sustainable. The bill now goes to the full House Oversight and Governmental Reforms Committee.

Thursday - 09/22/2011, 06:44am EDT
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House lawmakers to square off over plans to fix USPS

A House subcommittee will markup legislation Wednesday to address the Postal Service's financial problems. President Obama unveiled his reform proposal earlier this week. Postal Service officials say, if enacted, it would give them the breathing room they need to make major network changes.

Tuesday - 09/20/2011, 07:23pm EDT
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Obama seeks more public input on open gov plan

President Barack Obama has proposed an open government plan that includes more streamlined responses to FOIA requests, digital record management, a revamped regulations.gov and new measures to promote public participation in government. He presented the plan at a meeting of the international Open Government Partnership in New York.

Tuesday - 09/20/2011, 06:15pm EDT
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