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The Office of Management and Budget has directed agencies to take full advantage of the funding flexibilities they have under law as they implement across-the-board sequestration cuts, that went into effect March 1. In an April 4 memo, OMB Controller Danny Werfel also directed agency and department leaders to be mindful of certain types of performance awards and to work with agency inspectors general before making cuts to IG offices.
Employee satisfaction with agency leadership dipped for the first time in 10 years in 2012, after years of slight but consistent gains. Leadership scores fell to 52.8 points on a 100-point scale, a drop of 2.1 points from 2011 levels, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte. It's the first time in the last decade that overall scores dropped year-over-year.
After a modest showing so far this year, Thrift Savings Plan funds were buoyed by recent record highs on Wall Street and finished the month with solid gains. All five regular funds, in addition to the target-date Lifecycle Funds, finished March in the black for the first time since November.
In a reversal of course, U.S. Customs and Border Protection now says it is postponing employee furloughs and will continue to authorize overtime pay. The agency said it is "reevaluating" both the planned furloughs of its 60,000 employees and the elimination of administratively uncontrollable overtime, or AUO, because of new funding granted in the 2013 appropriations bill Congress passed last month.
A new report says a law requiring the online posting of senior federal executives' financial information would likely impinge on employees' privacy and wouldn't do much to deter conflicts of interest. The National Academy of Public Administration was tasked by Congress with studying the STOCK Act — short for "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge" — in response to concerns about privacy and identify theft.
The Office of Management and Budget is telling agencies to stop building costly, agency-specific systems when they modernize their financial management systems. Instead, going forward, agencies must use a federal shared-services provider when updating their accounting systems, according to a new memo from OMB Controller Danny Werfel.
The Office of Special Counsel is "deeply concerned" about the implications of a federal court ruling that stripped low-level Defense Department employees of their ability to appeal suspensions and demotions outside the agency. OSC, which filed an amicus brief earlier this month with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, is worried the ruling could have a chilling effect on whistleblowers.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters this week President Barack Obama has asked Acting OMB Director Jeff Zients to stay on until his successor is named. But for about the last six months, Zients was not the acting OMB director because his initial interim role quietly expired last year.
The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service announced last month it would end Saturday delivery of first-class mail. But a new legal decision from the Government Accountability Office seemed to offer more questions than answers.
The House voted today to approve a measure to fund federal agencies through the remainder of fiscal 2013. The bill averts a government shutdown but extends the freeze on federal employees' pay through the end of 2013. The bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.