Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- 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 Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- 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
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.
The exodus of employees from the federal workforce was a big story this past year: More federal employees retired in 2013 than the year before, providing grist for the mill for predictions of a coming federal retirement wave. Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management's efforts to clear a longstanding backlog of new retirement applications faced hurdles because of the steep sequestration budget cuts that hit government. Federal News Radio parsed through the data over the past year. In the series of charts and graphs below, track the latest trends.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has filed a lawsuit against Katherine Archuleta, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, seeking to overturn an OPM regulation that allows lawmakers and their staffs to continue receiving government contribution toward their health insurance premiums. Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, lawmakers and their staffs were booted from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), under which the government typically kicks in about three-fourths of the cost of federal employees' premiums, and required to purchase health insurance on the federal exchange.
Fewer federal employees filed for retirement in December than in any month in nearly the last two years, according to updated statistics from the Office of Personnel Management. Just 4,952 federal employees filed for retirement in December. But even with fewer employees retiring in December, OPM's retirement processing failed to keep pace with projections. The agency had expected to process 11,500 retirement cases but actually ended the month clearing a little more than 6,440.
The number of total bid protests filed by companies with the Government Accountability Office leveled off last year, falling slightly in fiscal 2013 compared to the previous year. All told, GAO received 2,429 bid protests — 2 percent less than the number received in fiscal 2012, according to figures released Jan. 2 in an annual report to Congress.
Nearly all the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan finished December in positive territory, helping fuel largely across-the-board gains for the year, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. The C and S Funds posted the largest gains of 2013. The F Fund, tracked to the performance of the U.S. bond market, including government, corporate and mortgage-backed bonds, is the only fund to end the year in the red.
A new bill would repeal reductions in military pensions approved by Congress late last month as part of the bipartisan budget deal and allow the U.S. Postal Service to reduce regular mail delivery to five days a week. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, introduced the legislation Dec. 19, shortly before Congress decamped for the holidays.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has already set about implementing a plan to cut $1 billion from the Defense Department's budget by consolidating and reorganizing top Pentagon offices, but lawmakers want to hold his feet to the fire. The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress Dec. 19 enshrines DoD's ambitious cost-cutting and streamlining plan into law.
The slight 1 percent increase ordered by President Barack Obama last month is smaller than union advocates had pushed for, but it's the first time since 2010 most civilian employees will see a bump in their basic rate of pay. Still, the modest pay raise only applies to white-collar employees under the General Schedule system. Some 200,000 blue-collar federal workers at places such as the Defense and Veterans Affairs Department and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, will not see a similar increase in pay.
Are you a federal employee who uses public transportation to get to work? Be prepared to shell out more for your commute. Because of congressional inaction, a tax subsidy for mass-transit commuters is set to drop nearly in half — from a maximum of $245 a month to $130.
From technology failures to shrinking budgets, 2013 was a turbulent year for the federal government. Click through the gallery to view the top 11 federal stories of 2013.
Under federal "use it or lose it" rules, any unspent money employees set aside last year to pay for out-of-pocket health costs, such as prescriptions or co-pays, is forfeited at the end of the year. But a group of senators from states surrounding the Washington, D.C., area, wants to change that. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) along with Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) wrote to Katherine Archuleta, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, requesting the agency implement new regulations that would allow federal employees to roll over as much as $500 in unused funds from year to year.
Todd Grams, the chief of staff of the Internal Revenue Service, announced Friday he's retiring after 34 years of federal service, according to a note to staff obtained by Federal News Radio. Grams was named IRS chief of staff in June at the request of Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel in the wake of a leadership shakeup following revelations the agency had improperly targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
The number of federal employees deemed eligible to telework nearly doubled last year. All told, nearly half of the entire federal workforce - more than 1 million employees - has been determined to be eligible to telework, according to an annual report to Congress from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM's report, the second since President Barack Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, also noted sizable gains in the number of agencies with telework policies in place, in the number employees who signed telework agreements governing their work outside the office and in the frequency with which they telework.
The gap in pay between federal employees and private-sector workers widened slightly this year, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the Federal Salary Council. On average, federal employees earn 35.37 percent less than their private-sector counterpart, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management and the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Federal employees could soon be seeing a lot less of the G Fund in their Thrift Savings plan accounts. Instead of being automatically enrolled solely in government securities, new plan participants would be shifted to an age-appropriate Lifecycle, or L, Fund as their default investing option under a proposal approved by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Monday. The proposal ultimately requires action by Congress.
The bipartisan budget deal announced this week goes a long way toward clearing up the widespread budget uncertainty that has plagued federal agencies for the last two years. But it doesn't actually set individual agency funding for next year. That's the job of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the leaders of whom now must write an official spending bill that spell out exactly how much each agency gets to spend next year and on what. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House committee, said Thursday he would begin work on an omnibus spending bill to fund agencies next year.
Tucked away inside the bipartisan budget deal announced with much fanfare this week is a proposal limiting the maximum level contractors can charge the government to pay the salaries of their top executives to nearly half of what it is currently. But it may not be the final word on the issue on the sticky issue of contractor compensation. the budget deal's proposed changes to taxpayer-funded contractor salaries are competing with another piece of bipartisan legislation currently before Congress. The annual Defense Authorization Act seeks to lower the compensation limit but by far less than the budget deal.
Lawmakers in districts with large constituencies of federal employees are signaling their support for the bipartisan budget deal announced Tuesday even though it would require new federal workers to contribute a greater share of their paychecks to their retirement benefits. The alternatives -- another government shutdown or a second year of the steep across-the-board sequestration cuts -- would have been worse, they argue.
If the proposed budget deal becomes law, new federal workers will see a total of 10.6 percent of their salaries automatically withheld from their paychecks to cover their retirement benefits. That could lead to them contributing less or not at all to their voluntary Thrift Savings Plan accounts, experts said.
Newly hired federal workers will be required to contribute more toward their pensions and some military retirees will see smaller cost-of-living adjustments under a budget deal announced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Tuesday evening. The budget deal, which sets funding levels for the next two years, eases some of the bite of the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration. The pact restores about $63 billion to agency spending through the end of fiscal 2015, split about evenly between Defense and civilian agencies.