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Search Tags: Jack Moore
The Obama administration's proposed fiscal 2014 budget called for consolidating or eliminating 116 of the government's 226 STEM initiatives and centralizing the coordination of STEM programs under just three agencies: the Education Department, the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. The administration's STEM proposal is one of the government's first visible steps in reversing some of the duplication that riddles the federal landscape and which some lawmakers have seized on as examples of government waste.
The Office of Personnel Management has made steady progress chipping away at a longstanding backlog of retirement claims. But Oversight Committee lawmakers and other government watchdogs remain concerned that the absence of a long-term plan to overhaul the mostly paper-based process combined with across-the-board budget cuts and a lack of strong leadership within OPM could stall or derail the progress the agency has made.
The top lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee have called on the Defense Department to detail how it will cut billions more from its budget if sequestration continues into next year. In a letter dated May 2, Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee, asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to provide a "package of reductions" to the department's proposed 2014 budget.
Some furloughed federal employees could offset their forced time off with annual leave -- but only under certain circumstances, according to updated guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. If an agency cancels the need for planned furlough days after an employee has already taken those days off, he or she is permitted to substitute annual leave to offset the furlough.
Furloughs at the Agriculture Department are looking increasingly unlikely following Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's request to shift funding and the department's ongoing efforts to find alternative cost savings. A USDA spokeswoman confirmed last week that the department wouldn't have to furlough employees in either the Farm Service Agency or the department's Rural Development division.
The number of federal employees filing retirement claims in April dipped below expectations following months of unexpectedly high numbers, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM received 7,059 claims last month, about 1,000 fewer than expected.
Governmentwide scores tracking how agencies foster and reward employee innovation dropped in 2012 for the second year in a row, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte. NASA took the honors for the most innovative large agency, while the Surface Transportation Board was the most innovative small agency.
Two senators from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee want to change Senate rules in an attempt to make sure new federal programs or initiatives in proposed legislation don't overlap with existing efforts. Earlier this month, two House members introduced a measure that would require House committees of jurisdiction to hold oversight hearings on an annual report from the Government Accountability Office detailing government duplication.
The Office of Personnel Management says sequestration cuts have forced the agency to suspend overtime hours for employees working in its Retirement Services office and to curtail call-center hours.
A major restructuring at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will close or consolidate dozens of the agency's field offices nationwide and affect 10 percent of its 9,000-member workforce. HUD officials said the current organizational model is not sustainable given the constrained budget the agency faces.