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In a new report provided to the House Budget Committee, the Government Accountability Office provides more details of just how agencies coped with the mandatory budget reductions under sequestration. Nearly every agency surveyed by GAO canceled or limited monetary performance awards for employees, reduced spending on both travel and training and curtailed hiring. A total of seven agencies furloughed employees.
New Thrift Savings Plan participants would be automatically enrolled in an age-appropriate Lifecycle Fund -- instead of the G Fund -- under a bill set to be debated Wednesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Smart Savings Act, introduced by the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is supported by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
The Obama administration is calling on agencies to get smarter about tracking employee morale and engagement. The administration plans to roll out an "engagement dashboard" this year that agency supervisors can use to track the mood of their workforces. It's just one part of a planned overhaul of federal management called for in President Barack Obama's fiscal 2015 budget blueprint. Other initiatives include a revamp of the General Schedule personnel system, real-time performance reviews of management efforts and enhanced training for senior executives.
After years of flat or even declining staffing levels at agencies across the federal government, the Obama administration wants most agencies to begin staffing up again. In fact, President Barack Obama's fiscal 2015 budget proposes the largest governmentwide staffing increase since 2009.
The Office of Management and Budget says the President's fiscal 2015 budget proposal released this week represents an attempt to move beyond the budget gridlock of the past few years. In an exclusive Federal News Radio interview, OMB Deputy Director Brian Deese discussed proposals boost funding for federal-employee training programs and to overhaul way individual agencies' programs are funded.
More than 12,000 federal employees filed for retirement last month, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. That was about 2,200 more retirement applications than the agency expected to receive under new monthly projections it began using this month. Despite an overall slower pace of retirements this year compared to last, OPM's progress in clearing a longstanding inventory of claims appears to have stalled. In fact, the backlog grew in February by more than 2,200 claims.
The Government Accountability Office is requesting about $525 million for fiscal 2015, an increase of about 4 percent, or $19 million, above current levels. The additional funding would allow the agency to continue staffing up the agency from the nearly rock-bottom levels it hit over the past few years. The additional funding would also allow GAO to make upgrades to its aging IT infrastructure and do long-deferred building upkeep and and maintenance
After a rocky start to the year, fund performance for the Thrift Savings Plan rebounded last month. A strong February on Wall Street helped fuel across-the-board gains in all five of the TSP's regular funds, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
The Preventing Conflicts of Interest with Contractors Act would block the Office of Personnel Management from contracting with companies to perform final quality reviews if those same companies are also responsible for conducting initial investigations. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta announced in early February that, going forward, only federal employees would conduct final quality reviews. The new bill writes Archuleta's decision into law. Otherwise it could be reversed by a future OPM director.
The Senate subcommittee with oversight of the federal workforce will take up the issue of federal-employee compensation and sinking employee morale. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the subcommittee chairman, said at the National Treasury Employees Union's annual legislative conference that the hearing would focus, in part, on making sure federal pay stays competitive with the private sector.