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3:48 am, March 4, 2015

Congressional Spotlight

Congress passes bill to auto-enroll new feds in TSP's Lifecycle Funds

Congress has passed a bill that will automatically enroll new federal employees in the Thrift Savings Plan's Lifecycle Funds (L Funds), rather than the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund).

Friday - 12/12/2014, 02:02pm EST

House approves $1.1T bill financing government

GOP House OKs $1.1T bill funding government after Obama helps round up Democratic votes

Friday - 12/12/2014, 08:34am EST

OMB holds shutdown calls 'over abundance of caution'

As a matter of "caution," the Office of Management and Budget discussed shutdown contingencies with agencies today as Congress continues to debate a bipartisan budget deal. Federal funding runs out at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Thursday - 12/11/2014, 05:24pm EST

Jessica Klement, Legislative Director, NARFE

The Office of Personnel Management's retirement claims backlog is down by about 10,000 claims in the past 10 months. The average processing time is at 37 days. OPM says an updated case management system will help it do better, but it's not sure yet what exactly that system will look like. Jessica Klement, legislative director for National Active and Retired Federal Employees, and her association's president, Richard Thissen, testified Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, US Postal Service and the Census. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose about the concerns she's hearing from NARFE members.

Thursday - 12/11/2014, 04:07pm EST
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FBI: Cyber attack against Sony would have bested most federal defenses too

Whether or not North Korea was behind the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures, its level of sophistication suggests it was sponsored by a country, not a group of hackers. And the FBI believes the same attack could just as easily have penetrated most sophisticated networks, including government ones.

Thursday - 12/11/2014, 03:50am EST
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Coming at you in fiscal 2015: Highlights of the omnibus

What federal employees should know about the $1 trillion, 1,603-page spending bill for fiscal 2015.

Wednesday - 12/10/2014, 05:32pm EST

Lawmakers seal deal on $1.1T spending bill

House, Senate lawmakers seal bipartisan deal on $1.1T spending bill preventing shutdown

Wednesday - 12/10/2014, 04:10am EST

Lawmakers agree on $1.1 trillion spending bill

Lawmakers reach deal on $1.1 trillion spending bill, may add pension provision

Wednesday - 12/10/2014, 03:08am EST

David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees may not be able to release the 2015 omnibus spending bill Monday. Policy riders could derail its chances for passage. David Hawkings, senior editor of Roll Call, writes the Hawkings Here blog. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose about the chances that Congress will pass an omnibus bill before the continuing resolution runs out on Thursday.

Monday - 12/08/2014, 04:22pm EST
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Chris Mihm, Managing Director for Strategic Issues, GAO

The results of a governmentwide sweep to see how well agencies are meeting the goals set by the DATA Act is headed to Congress. The Government Accountability Office is bringing its results to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The GAO reports most agencies still have a tough road ahead. That road includes a 2015 deadline to create governmentwide data standards. Chris Mihm, managing director for strategic issues at the GAO, tells In Depth with Francis Rose, the sooner your agency meets those goals, the better.

Monday - 12/08/2014, 04:20pm EST
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Trey Hodgkins, Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act is still attached to the 2015 Defense authorization bill the House passed and the Senate will debate this week. The latest version of FITARA looks a bit different than the original. Still, the new bill would hand civilian agency CIOs more authority, prioritize hiring of specialty IT experts and maximize use of data centers. Trey Hodgkins is Senior Vice President of Public Sector at the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector, a division of the Information Technology Industry Council. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what we can expect from the compromise version of FITARA.

Monday - 12/08/2014, 08:30am EST
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House leaders move to avoid immigration showdown

House GOP leaders move to skirt immigration showdown, complete plan to keep government open

Friday - 12/05/2014, 04:16pm EST

Tom Shoop, Editor in Chief, Government Executive

A budget battle is still waging in Congress. This time, it's President Barack Obama's immigration order that could led to a government shutdown. But an omnibus spending bill is now gaining traction in the House. It funds most agencies for a full year but gives the Homeland Security Department funding for a few months. That gives Congress time to revisit the President's immigration policy when Republicans take over the Senate next year. Tom Shoop, editor-in-chief of Government Executive magazine, tells In Depth with Francis Rose why this situation isn't anything new.

Friday - 12/05/2014, 03:55pm EST
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Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

The big national defense authorization bill is moving through Congress. It passed the House yesterday, and the Senate is expected to take it up next week. In purely military spending terms, the bill is a mixed bag. Some programs and platforms get plus-ups, others get cuts. Todd Harrison is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He's been studying the bill, and joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to analyze the bill's winners and losers.

Friday - 12/05/2014, 07:58am EST
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IT reform bill overcomes toughest hurdle on path to become law

The House and Senate Armed Services committee members agreed to keep a pared down version of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act in the final National Defense Authorization Act.

Wednesday - 12/03/2014, 04:19pm EST

Janet Hale, Former Undersecretary for Management, DHS

Congress comes back to work today to wrap up the 113th Congress. No one thinks streamlining oversight of the Homeland Security Department is one of the things they'll address in the lame duck session, but many people think it's something they should address -- at least soon. Janet Hale is one of those people. She's former Under Secretary for Management at DHS. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she explained how we got here.

Monday - 12/01/2014, 04:19pm EST
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Continuing resolution or omnibus? Decision looms for Congress as holidays approach

When Congress returns on Dec. 1, it will be pressed for time on deciding its next course on funding before the current continuing resolution expires at midnight on Dec. 12.

Friday - 11/28/2014, 12:13pm EST
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Katie Maddocks, Federal Managers Association

Congressional leaders insist they can get an omnibus spending bill done to fund your agency for the rest of the fiscal year before the current continuing resolution runs out Dec. 11. But a cromnibus -- a combination omnibus and CR -- may be a lot more likely. That's the bad news. The good news is a bill like that might mean minimal impact on your pay and benefits. Katie Maddocks is governmental affairs representative for the Federal Managers Association. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she said a cromnibus, or even a plain old CR, isn't the worst that could happen.

Tuesday - 11/25/2014, 04:54pm EST
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Jessica Klement, Legislative Director, NARFE

The continuing resolution funding your agency expires in 16 days, on Dec. 11. The possibilities for what happens after that ranges from another CR, to a full government shutdown, or even to Congress passing an omnibus bill. Jessica Klement is legislative director of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she offered predictions on what might happen over the next few weeks.

Tuesday - 11/25/2014, 04:51pm EST
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Sean Vitka, Federal Policy Manager, Sunlight Foundation

An amendment to the Freedom of Information Act appeared to sail through the Senate. The goal is to hold agencies more accountable for disclosing records and create a more uniform system for the public to file FOIA requests. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill unanimously. Sean Vitka, federal policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with analysis of what the bill would do.

Tuesday - 11/25/2014, 11:04am EST
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