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Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.
President Barack Obama is being updated by members of the White House about the impact of the government shutdown on key federal agencies and programs. Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough briefed Obama on the shutdown's impact on the government's research efforts, according to the White House.
Federal employees who are "excepted" from furloughs have remained on the job despite the government shutdown, which is now stretching into its third week. OPM updated its shutdown guidance Friday to include instructions on how to handle "brief or intermittent unpaid absences" by excepted federal employees. Overall, OPM has made more than a dozen changes to its shutdown guidance since congressional appropriations for fiscal 2014 lapsed two weeks ago.
With the shutdown of the federal government heading into its third week, Federal News Radio has prepared this snapshot of how federal agencies, programs, employees and contractors are faring.
For every day that the government shutdown drags on, federal managers face a potentially growing morale crisis in the federal-employee ranks. For federal managers, returning from the shutdown, however, will offer them the opportunity to refocus on the "federal brand," the set of ideals and sense of mission that the federal government is uniquely suited to offer.
Defense Department Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter will retire in December, the Pentagon announced Thursday. Carter plans to leave DoD Dec. 4, according to a statement from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Government contractors have not been immune from the effects of the shutdown. From a flurry of stop-work orders to a heightened — some say "cutthroat" — sense of competition in contracts that have, so far, been unaffected by the shutdown. Top experts from the procurement realm address some of the effects and challenges of the shutdown.
The House voted unanimously late Tuesday to pass the Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) Tuesday afternoon, ensures "essential" federal employees, who are working through the shutdown, are paid on time even if the government remains closed.
Congress' failure to agree on a short-term funding measure last week immediately threw agencies into shutdown mode, shutting offices and sending hundreds of thousands of federal employees home without pay. But as the shutdown stretches into its second week with no end in sight, a round of second-order effects is beginning to ripple throughout government.
With the announcement from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recalling most Defense Department civilians from furloughs, some large defense companies, which had been planning to furlough their employees, have canceled or scaled back their initial plans. However, DoD's move could wind up having only a limited impact on contractors more broadly.
About 5,800 federal employees filed retirement applications in September, according to new data provided from the Office of Personnel Management. That's some 2,600 fewer than OPM expected to receive and more than 6,000 fewer than submitted applications in September 2012. That unexpected drop allowed OPM to process more applications than it anticipated and to make significant progress clearing a longstanding backlog of cases.
The House approved a bill to ensure furloughed federal workers receive backpay once the government shutdown ends. The vote on the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act was 407-0. Twenty-five members didn't vote. The measure now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) had introduced a Senate version of the bill earlier this week.
Many feds are also confused and concerned about how the shutdown -- especially if it's prolonged -- will affect their benefits. Federal News Radio dug through guidance provided by the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies and consulted with the experts to bring you some of the answers to the most-asked questions.
The Office of Personnel Management has made it official: Lawmakers and their staff members are required to purchase health insurance from one of the Affordable Care Act's health-insurance exchanges --but the government will still contribute toward their premiums. OPM issued the final rule, which goes into effect immediately, Wednesday.
After tanking in August, all the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan bounced back last month, according to data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
With Congress failing to agree on a funding deal by midnight Monday, the federal government is now closing its doors for the first time in 17 years, and a government shutdown is no longer a matter of if but how long. Take our poll, and let us know how long you think the shutdown will last.
Some 800,000 employees are being furloughed for however long the shutdown lasts, while skeleton staffs of "essential" federal workers stay on the clock — also without pay. Many feds are clearly frustrated and discouraged by the uncertainty and have taken to social media to vent their frustrations. Let us know how you feel about the shutdown.
Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced the "Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act" late Monday. The bill would guarantee both employees required to work through the shutdown and those placed on unpaid leave receive backpay.
For thousands of federal employees who head to work today, it won't be to execute their agencies' missions, but to shut down their computers, fill out a timesheet and, in some cases, hand over their BlackBerry smartphones. Here are four things feds should know as they prepare for the first government shutdown in more than 17 years.
Despite coming close in 2011, a government shutdown hasn't occurred since 1996. Frank Reeder, who was director of the Office of Administration of the White House in the Clinton administration at the time, said one of the most challenging aspects was managing the morale of the federal workforce.
Bill Bransford, one of the top lawyers in federal labor and employment law and a fierce advocate for federal employees died Friday after a long illness. Bransford practiced law as a partner at Shaw Bransford & Roth for 30 years. Bransford also served as the general counsel for a host of federal managers' groups, including the Senior Executives Association, and was a frequent lecturer and commentator on federal employment issues. For more than a dozen years, Bransford co-hosted FEDtalk, a biweekly show on Federal News Radio, 1500 AM.