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4:50 pm, October 31, 2014

OPM News

OPM: D.C. feds can take unscheduled leave, telework Tuesday

With the Washington, D.C., area bracing for potential winter weather, federal workers in the region will be able to take unscheduled leave or telework Tuesday, the Office of Personnel Management announced late Monday. D.C. federal agencies will remain open Tuesday.

Monday - 11/25/2013, 09:48pm EST

Issa subpoenas OPM documents on background checks

Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has issued a subpoena for records from the Office of Personnel Management, seeking more details on the agency's process for conducting background investigations. OPM's Federal Investigative Services division, which conducts 90 percent of the federal government's background investigations, has come under intense scrutiny since it was revealed earlier this year that the same contractor -- United States Investigation Services (USIS) -- performed background checks of both National Security agency leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis.

Friday - 11/22/2013, 02:20pm EST

From volunteer to fed: OPM offers tips for recruiting national-service participants

The Office of Personnel Management is helping agencies come up with ways to recruit new federal hires from the pipeline of national-service programs, such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. In July, President Barack Obama called for expanding national volunteer opportunities by finding ways to connect the broad network of national and community-service organizations with federal agencies and their missions. As part of that effort, OPM was tasked with coming up with recruiting strategies agencies can use to recruit new hires with past experience in national-service programs.

Monday - 11/18/2013, 01:32pm EST

Archuleta looks to 'forge a new pathway' to better engage federal workforce

Just a week into the job and confronted with signs of the sagging morale of the federal workforce, new Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta said she wants to take steps to make sure federal employees feel engaged in their work. Tuesday's annual public meeting of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council focused on ways to improve employee engagement and morale. OPM released its annual Employee Viewpoint Survey last week, revealing continuing declines in federal employees' overall job satisfaction and a sharp drop in satisfaction with their pay.

Tuesday - 11/12/2013, 04:44pm EST

OPM Survey: Oldest federal employees most satisfied, engaged workers

The oldest federal employees are also the most satisfied and engaged workers, according to the Office of Personnel Management's annual Employee Viewpoint Survey. According to the survey, the pre-Baby Boom generation of federal workers is more likely to believe they are recognized for their service, believe they have sufficient resources and are satisfied with training opportunities. Knowing how satisfaction and engagement shake out across age barriers can be helpful as managers attempt to build back up the battered morale of the federal workforce, OPM said.

Monday - 11/11/2013, 04:44pm EST

Top 3 Tips for Open Season

Open Season, the time when federal employees and retirees can comb through more than 250 plans of the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program and make changes, kicks off today and runs through Dec. 9. Find some key pieces of information for the current Open Season and links to more information. Plus, benefits experts offer their three most important tips for Open Season.

Saturday - 11/09/2013, 12:18pm EST

Pay freeze, sequestration take bite out of employee satisfaction, OPM survey reveals

Frustrations over federal pay, budget cuts and uncertain agency funding have weakened federal-employee satisfaction, according to the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Employee Viewpoint survey released Friday. For the second year in a row, overall employee satisfaction scores fell, dipping below 60 percent this year. Meanwhile, less than half of federal employees said they believe they have sufficient resources such as material, staff and funding to do their jobs effectively.

Friday - 11/08/2013, 05:40pm EST

Final rule to let feds in D.C., surrounding areas run for political office

OPM issued the final rule today to implement the Hatch Act Modernization Act that lets federal employees run for local office as an independent.

Thursday - 11/07/2013, 03:57pm EST

Retirement backlog continues to drop as fewer feds file to retire

For the fourth month in a row, fewer federal employees than expected put in for retirement, allowing the Office of Personnel Management to continue cutting away at a longstanding backlog of claims. About 1,000 fewer employees than expected filed for retirement, according to new OPM data. The backlog fell by more than 3,500 cases.

Tuesday - 11/05/2013, 01:35pm EST

OMB, OPM tell agencies to take different approach on employee bonuses

The Obama administration trying a different tack on federal-employee bonuses and awards in fiscal 2014. A new directive from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management continues clear-cut spending caps on employee awards but won't outright ban them -- even if the across-the-board spending constraints, known as sequestration, continue.

Monday - 11/04/2013, 11:23am EST

Security clearance process ready for, in need of its next makeover

OMB is set to begin next week a 120-day review of three broad areas around security clearances. DoD and ODNI are pursuing initiatives to create a continuous evaluation process for employees with secret and top secret approvals. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members say recent events show the process is broken.

Friday - 11/01/2013, 03:51am EDT

Senate approves Archuleta to head OPM

The 62-35 vote comes more than five months after President Barack Obama nominated the former Labor Department chief of staff and Obama reelection campaign official to serve as the next head of the agency.

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 06:56pm EDT

Senate bill calls for random background checks for clearance holders

Five senators introduce bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing how the Office of Personnel Management handles the clearances of federal employees and contractors to access classified information. If enacted, the legislation would require OPM conduct random, automated reviews twice every five years of public records and databases for information about individuals with security clearances.

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 04:55pm EDT

DOJ joins whistleblower suit against company that vetted Snowden, Alexis

The Justice Department has joined a whistleblower False Claims Act suit against the federal government's largest provider of background investigations. Filed under the False Claims Act, the suit alleges that USIS, which currently has a multimillion-dollar contract with the Office of Personnel Management, failed to properly review its casework before providing it OPM.

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 04:21pm EDT

House works on bills impacting federal agencies, workforce

With the partial government shutdown behind them, members of Congress are working on several bills that impact the federal workforce, including a resolution that supports ending the federal pay freeze and a bill that tackles the claims backlog at Veterans Affairs.

Tuesday - 10/29/2013, 02:41pm EDT

FAQ: Federal pay and benefits questions answered as feds return to work

The Office of Personnel Management updated its operating status early Thursday morning to "open." OPM says furloughed employees are expected to return to work Thursday, absent other instructions from their employing agencies. The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to department and agency heads early Thursday, instructing them to reopen offices promptly and recall all furloughed employees.

Wednesday - 10/16/2013, 11:30pm EDT

OPM clarifies leave, holiday policies during shutdown

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.

Monday - 10/14/2013, 11:24am EDT

With fewer feds retiring, OPM back on track in retirement processing

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.

Friday - 10/04/2013, 03:52pm EDT

OPM final rule: Lawmakers, staff eligible for gov't contribution in exchanges

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.

Wednesday - 10/02/2013, 04:47pm EDT

DHS warns contractors about shutdown consequences

EPA also issues guidance to agencies, and OPM updates the governmentwide shutdown guidance.

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 07:31pm EDT
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