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Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages the TSP, is mulling whether to add a new option to federal employees' (401)k-style retirement plan: a mutual fund window. The mutual fund window would allow participants to move investments out of the TSP funds they've invested in and into a private-sector suite of mutual funds. However, the board is still studying the issue, Kim Weaver, the director of external affairs for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, told In Depth with Francis Rose. No changes are imminent.
Satisfaction with federal e-government sites remained high throughout most of 2012, according to a quarterly report from ForeSee and the American Customer Satisfaction Index. On a 100-point scale, customer satisfaction with federal websites now sits at 75.3. That's actually down slightly from last quarter, which had set an all-time high, according to the latest report.
The gap in pay between federal employees and private-sector workers jumped eight percent since last year, according to new data presented at a Federal Salary Council meeting Friday. On average, federal employees earn 34 percent less than their private-sector counterparts, according to the council's analysis.
The U.S. Postal Service hit its $15 billion borrowing limit for the first time late last month, the agency confirmed. The Wall Street Journal first reported earlier this week that the USPS reached the limit on the amount of money it can borrow from the Treasury Department and is now dependent solely on its own revenue to sustain operations.
A collection of federal unions and watchdogs groups wrote to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee urging support for a law capping taxpayer-funded contracting compensation costs at $230, 700 — the maximum salary earned by the highest-paid federal employees.
Active-duty and reserve soldiers with between 15 and 20 years of service could be eligible for early retirement, the Army announced this week. The service is offering temporary early retirement authority (TERA) to military officers who have not been selected to move on to the next grade as well as noncommissioned officers identified by selection boards for involuntary separation. The service aims to shed 80,000 soldiers from its active component by the end of 2017.
The Defense Department's personnel chief Erin Conaton is taking a medical leave of absence, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement Wednesday. Panetta designated Jessica Wright, the assistant secretary of defense for Reserve Affairs, to act as the acting principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness in Conaton's absence.
The Defense Information Systems Agency's recently released five-year strategic plan takes a multi-pronged approach to building what DISA Director Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins calls "information superiority." Tony Montemarano, director of DISA's Strategic Planning and Information Directorate, joined Pentagon Solutions hosted by Francis Rose, to discuss how DISA leaders developed the new guidance.
Sen. Tom Coburn's report on government waste details spending on 100 government projects, programs and initiatives at a cost of $18 billion. The report also points to potentially systemic issues affecting federal management, such as the lack of strategic sourcing in federal acquisition and the General Services Administration's outdated contract schedules.
A new report from the Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for the Business of Government says data analytics could transform federal management much the way the proliferation of smartphones and mobile technology has reshaped society at large. But that will require a full-scale culture change at agencies, with both managers and rank-and-file employees willing to sign on.
In a July 2010 executive order, President Barack Obama pushed agencies to hire more people with disabilities, aiming for 100,000 workers by 2015. Agencies have made steady progress toward that goal. However that progress could be in jeopardy: Complaints alleging disability discrimination in federal hiring and appointments have ticked upward over the past five years, according to an analysis by the law firm Tully Rinckey.
Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate wrote to President Barack Obama urging him to not issue an executive order setting voluntary cybersecurity standards for private-sector operators of critical infrastructure.
Employees in the intelligence community (IC) who report waste, fraud and abuse have gained whistleblower protections, under a directive President Barack Obama issued Wednesday. The presidential policy directive aims to ensure intelligence and national security employees are able to legally report agency wrongdoing and be protected from retaliation for doing so.
In an Oct. 9 letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinskei, Sen. Susan Collins requested the agency disclose whether employees responsible for planning the two conferences held in Orlando, Fla., last summer, also worked on other conferences. In addition, Collins said she wants to know how much conference planners earned in bonuses and other awards for their work.
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman will leave the agency when his term ends next month, the IRS announced Wednesday. Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steven Miller, will serve as acting commissioner after Schulman departs. Shulman's last day will Nov. 9.
The Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association hosted a special forum last week on the role of the congressional staff and lobbyists in the defense acquisition process. Bill Bahnmaier, the president of the association, told In Depth with Francis Rose the way the roles interrelate is often obscured because there's rarely a "direct link" between them.
Agencies now face stricter rules for issuing and tracking government charge cards under a new law President Barack Obama signed Friday. The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors in 2011, passed the House in August.
Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, is promising a Better Buying Power 2.0, an revision to earlier reforms. That's good news to many in the defense industry, who hope the changes provide more nuanced guidance — as opposed to strict blanket policies — to agency contracting officers. Stan Soloway, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, In Depth with Francis Rosethe time is ripe for an update.
The controversial provision to an insider trading law that would require the online posting of senior federal employees' financial disclosure forms has twice been delayed by Congress and even put on hold by a district court judge. But now, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says he's already planning for another delay when Congress comes back in session after the election - and possibly even a bill nixing the measure altogether.
Over the past 20 years, spending on defense contracts far outstripped growth in the overall defense budget. But a new analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies points to an "equilibrium," or steadiness, between contract spending as a share of DoD dollars. David Berteau, the senior vice president and director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Security, joined In Depth with Francis to discuss the think tank's annual report on defense contracting trends.