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Agencies are already planning for their 2015 budgets, and will submit preliminary plans to the Office of Management and Budget next month. Funding for the current year runs out Oct. 1, there's no word on a budget or even a stopgap continuing resolution and the across-the-board sequestration cuts are still threatening to gum up the works.
After a two-year freeze, per diems for work-related federal travel are going up slightly, according to the General Services Administration. GSA also announced it is eliminating a special lodging allowance for federal employees attending conferences.
Senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have opened a new legislative salvo in the fight against improper payments: helping agencies stop payments to dead people. The new legislation, introduced by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee would allow all federal agencies to access basic death data maintained by the Social Security Administration and require they use it to curb improper payments
The launch of state insurance exchanges will have little impact on most federal employees, the Office of Personnel Management says. It's a different story for OPM, itself, however. Due to its experience managing the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, OPM has been tasked with managing a part of the new health exchange system.
Davita Vance-Cooks, who was officially sworn in as the head of the agency last week, says there's a more accurate moniker for the work the agency does today: Government Publishing Office. Over the past few years, the Government Printing Office has been shifting away from its traditional mission of ink-on-paper printing in favor of digital distribution of key government documents.
Former Air Force Secretary Michael Donley has a new job: Help the Defense Department cut its headquarters budget by $40 billion over the next 10 years and streamline the Pentagon's organizational structure. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter revealed in internal guidance Monday that Donley, who stepped down from the Air Force in June, would lead the efficiencies review.
The Office of Personnel Management is pushing federal agencies to allow their employees to telework Wednesday to help ease traffic congestion stemming from the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington. The federal government will remain open on Aug. 28.
The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund says it won't be able to help out most furloughed federal employees beyond the end of the week because donations haven't kept up with the crush of applications from employees facing the forced time off.
IT services contractor USfalcon Inc. has agreed to drop its protest of the General Services Administration's solicitation for its massive OASIS multiple-award contract. However, a second pre-award protest filed by Aljucar, Anvil-Incus and Company at the agency level is moving forward.
The Office of Personnel Management now estimates it will not be able to clear a longstanding backlog of retirement claims until next summer. OPM Associate Director for Retirement Services Ken Zawodny told Federal News Radio the suspension of overtime in late April has left the agency essentially treading water when it comes to processing retirement applications.