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House Democrats have crafted their own plan to temporarily fund federal agencies when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee announced Thursday he plans to introduce a Democratic alternative to the GOP continuing resolution that would replace automatic budget constraints set to continue into fiscal 2014.
Federal hiring declined last year, with new government hires dropping to fewer than 90,000 in fiscal 2012. The dip in hiring caused the size of the federal workforce to retract slightly to about 2.1 million federal workers — about on par with 2009 levels, according to new government data compiled by the Partnership for Public Service.
Current and former Obama administration officials' use of personal email addresses and secret, secondary email accounts to conduct official business came under scrutiny Tuesday at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said her use of a secret account was to do her job more efficiently.
Tags: House , oversight , technology , records management , NARA , House Oversight and Government Reform Committee , Darrell Issa , Elijah Cummings , Gary Gensler , Lisa Jackson , Andrew McLaughlin , David Ferriero ,
Federal employees who make illegal or improper purchases with government charge cards could face dismissal under new guidelines from the Office of Management and Budget. In a memo to the heads of agencies, OMB Director Sylvia Burwell laid out new steps to curb charge-card violations as part of the implementation of the 2012 Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act.
The Office of Personnel Management processed more retirement applications than expected last month -- for the first time since April. The enhanced processing power is thanks to a year-end budget review that allowed OPM to restore limited overtime for employees working in its Retirement Services Offices, OPM said. The agency had suspended employee overtime beginning in April, citing the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.
Federal spending on services contracts continued a slow downturn last year, according to a new analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Contract spending on services fell 7 percent -- from $332 billion to $308 billion — between 2011 and 2012. And the downward trend is likely to continue, given budget constraints that are likely to intensify in the coming years, according to David Berteau, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
A bevy of issues has piled up on lawmakers' to-do list, including fiscal 2014 funding and a pay raise for federal employees. But they don't have much time to act. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), whose district includes many federal employees and contractors, tells Federal News Radio the climate of uncertainty is having a negative impact on both groups.
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