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10:53 am, September 22, 2014

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Survey: Budget crises leave little time for long-term planning

A string of recent budget crises, doomsday deadlines and last-minute deals has complicated agencies' longer-term budget planning. However, most agency budget professionals say they're plowing through the uncertainty and will be able to meet spending targets for fiscal 2015 mandated by the Office of Management and Budget, according to a recent survey by Grant Thornton and the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis.

Tags: budget , 2015 budget , OMB , management , financial management , Grant Thornton , American Association for Budget and Program Analysis ,

Wednesday - 11/27/2013, 04:48pm EST

Mica says agencies 'thwarting' proposed FTC relocation

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Oversight's Subcommittee on Government Operations, said the Federal Trade Commission and the General Services Administration are "thwarting" his proposal to force the FTC to relocate out of its historic headquarters building and into leased space in Southwest Washington, D.C.

Tags: Congress , House , John Mica , GSA , federal buildings , Chris Wisner , David Robbins , FTC ,

Tuesday - 12/03/2013, 05:10pm EST

Whistleblower cases have gone 'through the roof,' even as OSC faces uncertain budget

The Office of Special Counsel, the agency tasked with investigating federal-agency whistleblower claims and protecting whistleblowers, themselves, from retaliation has seen demand for its work skyrocket in the wake of recent legislative changes. Now, Carolyn Lerner, the head of the OSC, said she hopes the small agency's budget will keep pace.

Tags: OSC , Carolyn Lerner , workforce , whistleblower , Federal Drive , Tom Temin , Emily Kopp ,

Monday - 12/02/2013, 05:23pm EST
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Why increasing feds' retirement contributions may not help cut the deficit

Requiring federal employees to contribute more of their salary toward retirement is rumored to be among the proposals being considered by the House-Senate budget conference committee as an partial alternative to the sequestration budget cuts. The proposal, which the Congressional Budget Office has concluded would increase federal revenues by nearly $20 billion over 10 years, has criticism from federal-employee unions. But now, at least one think tank, known for its hawkish stance on reducing the deficit, says the proposal could end up not saving the government a dime.

Tags: pay and benefits , retirement , retirement contributions , Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget ,

Monday - 12/02/2013, 06:00am EST

Will budget committee target feds' retirement contributions?

Even as mystery surrounds the work of the House-Senate budget committee negotiating over fiscal 2014 funding levels and possible alternatives to devastating across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, there's consensus emerging about some of the potential bargaining chips the committee is likely to use. That includes requiring federal workers to contribute more of their salaries toward their pensions.

Tags: Congress , House , Senate , budget , sequestration , pay and benefits , retirement , retirement contributions , Stephen Lynch ,

Monday - 12/02/2013, 06:00am EST

Most TSP funds hold steady in November, though gains slow

Nearly all the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan ended last month in positive territory, although with smaller gains than in the past few months. The C Fund, which is tracked to the performance of the Standard and Poor's 500, posted the largest gains 3.05 percent, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the TSP. Of the five regular funds, only the F Fund posted in the red for November

Tags: pay and benefits , TSP ,

Monday - 12/02/2013, 11:14am EST

Deadline to schedule 'use it or lose it' annual leave is Nov. 30

Federal employees wanting to schedule "use it or lose it" annual leave only have a few days left before their excess vacation days are forfeited. The deadline to schedule excess annual leave is this Saturday, Nov. 30, Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta reiterated in a Nov. 26 memo to agency chief human capital officers. The leave must be used by Jan. 11, the end of the leave year.

Tags: OPM , Katherine Archuleta , pay and benefits , annual leave , workforce ,

Wednesday - 11/27/2013, 01:43pm EST

Mass-transit subsidy, once again, set to decline

If Congress fails to act by the end of the year, a tax subsidy for commuters who use mass transit is set to drop from a maximum of $245 a month to $130. At the same time, fringe benefits for parking are set to rise to $250 a month starting in January. Two stand-alone measures in the House and Senate would restore parity between the parking and mass-transit subsidies

Tags: mass transit benefit , pay and benefits , NTEU , Chuck Schumer , Michael Grimm , Transportation ,

Tuesday - 11/26/2013, 01:23pm EST

Feds who took TSP withdrawals during shutdown locked out of contributing for next six months

During the 16-day government shutdown last month, more than 14,000 Thrift Savings Plan participants withdrew money from their accounts, the highest number of hardship withdrawals in a single month ever. This may have helped participants weather the financial uncertainty of the shutdown. But, under TSP rules, it also means they'll be unable to contribute to their 401(k)-style retirement accounts for the next six months. Now, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the TSP, is concerned that not all those participants will take the initiative to restart their contributions when the penalty period expires next spring.

Tags: pay and benefits , benefits , TSP , workforce , government shutdown , Michael Kennedy , Greg Long , Renee Wilder , Kim Weaver , hardship withdrawals ,

Monday - 11/25/2013, 03:26pm EST

Panel: Digital technologies changing how agencies communicate -- both inside and out

Agencies across government are leveraging digital technologies to both embark on new initiatives and enhance existing ones. The growing adoption of mobile devices, cloud computing technologies and wireless capabilities allows agencies to conduct unique outreach efforts and makes the agencies, themselves, more flexible workplaces. Agency technology officials discussed both issues as part of the Federal News Radio special report, A New Era in Technology.

Tags: Federal Drive , technology , A New Era in Technology , Mika Cross , Charles McClam , Gunter Waibel , Bob Brese , Energy , Smithsonian ,

Thursday - 11/21/2013, 05:08pm EST
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