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2:09 am, October 1, 2014

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USPS says overhauling health benefits key to postal reform

The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service says it can return to being profitable and begin to pay down its debt if Congress gives it the authority to overhaul its health benefits structure. Postmaster General Pat Donahoe told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday that launching a postal-specific health care plan would help save the agency $8 billion annually through 2016.

Tags: Congress , Senate , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee , USPS , Pat Donahoe , Jon Foley , OPM , postal reform , pay and benefits ,

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 05:45pm EDT

TSP board OKs budget increase, laying groundwork for overhaul

Members of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board approved a nearly 18 percent increase in the agency's budget for the coming fiscal year that will help lay the groundwork for a wholesale overhaul of the TSP participant experience, board officials say. The single, new initiative included in the 2014 budget is the first in a series of steps built around redesigning the entire participant experience, the board's executive director, Greg Long told board members.

Tags: TSP , FRTIB , pay and benefits , Greg Long ,

Monday - 09/23/2013, 06:27pm EDT
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Quality not a priority in security clearance process, GAO says

Concerns over missed red flags in Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis's background have thrust the federal government's security clearance program into the spotlight. But the problem is likely bigger than one company. The Office of Personnel Management and its contractors which accounts for 90 percent of the federal government's background investigations, has faced persistent challenges with security clearances over the years, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Tags: Brenda Farrell , OPM , security clearances , Aaron Alexis , Navy Yard shooting , Federal Drive , Tom Temin , Emily Kopp , GAO

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 06:16pm EDT
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Fewer feds, contractors attending conferences

Budget cuts and bad publicity have combined to put the kibosh on both the number of government conferences scheduled this year and the number of employees and contractors attending them, according to a new poll from Market Connections, Inc. and Boscobel Marketing Communications. Among federal employees, nearly 72 percent of survey respondents said they have attended fewer events in fiscal 2013 than they did last year.

Tags: travel , conference spending , management , budget , Boscobel Marketing , Marketing Connections , industry ,

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 02:01pm EDT

NAVSEA looks to temporarily relocate workers in wake of Navy Yard shooting

Naval Sea Systems Command leadership will work to find alternative work accommodations for the 3,000 employees who worked in the command's headquarters at the Washington Navy Yard facility. The building was the site of a mass shooting Monday in which 13, people, including the gunman, were killed.

Tags: Navy Yard , Navy Yard shooting , NAVSEA , workforce

Friday - 09/20/2013, 04:33pm EDT

TSP board updates rules to recognize same-sex marriages

Updated Thrift Savings Plan regulations would allow the same-sex spouse of a TSP participant to collect death benefits as long as they were married in a state that recognizes same-sex unions, regardless of where they live currently.

Tags: DOMA , same-sex benefits , TSP , FRTIB ,

Friday - 09/20/2013, 06:51pm EDT

OPM defends 2007 background check of Navy Yard shooter

The same company that performed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's background investigation also performed a check of Aaron Alexis, the IT contractor who shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard Monday. The Office of Personnel Management said it believes Alexis' background check was complete and that the Defense Department signed off on the results of the background check.

Tags: background investigation , Mert Miller , Patrick McFarland , USIS , Aaron Alexis , Navy Yard shooting , Edward Snowden , Claire McCaskill , oversight , Navy ,

Friday - 09/20/2013, 01:45pm EDT

Postmaster says Senate bill a good start to postal overhaul

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says a Senate bill aiming to overhaul the Postal Service's financial structure by providing the agency more flexibility to price its products is a good first step. Donahoe has been calling on Congress to approve comprehensive postal reform for much of the last two years. In that time, the cash-strapped agency has posted losses of $20 billion and defaulted on more than $11 billion in payments to prefund retiree health care costs. USPS is set to default on a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30 payment, Donahoe said.

Tags: USPS , postal reform , Senate , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee , Patrick Donahoe , Tom Carper , Ruth Goldway , Tom Coburn , Clint Guffey , APWU ,

Thursday - 09/19/2013, 06:00pm EDT

Bill puts contract spending on the hook if Pentagon misses audit deadline

New legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pushes the Pentagon toward being ready for a full financial audit by restricting spending on major weapons programs if DoD fails to get its books in order.

Tags: DoD , budget , audit readiness , DoD audit , financial management , Congress , Senate , Tom Coburn , Joe Manchin ,

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 02:22pm EDT

Senators seek probe into how Navy shooter got clearance

Key senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are seeking answers into how the contractor employee responsible for the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people obtained his security clearance. In a Sept. 18 letter, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), requested the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general look into what type of clearance the shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, held as well as what federal agency conducted his background investigation.

Tags: Congress , Senate , Patrick McFarland , oversight , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee , Claire McCaskill , Rob Portman , Jon Tester , Ron Johnson , Aaron Alexis , Navy Yard shooting , DoD , Navy ,

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 04:20pm EDT
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