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8:46 am, December 22, 2014

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As assets grow, TSP resists calls for change from Congress

Boosted by a recovering economy and a booming Wall Street, assets in the Thrift Savings Plan have continued to climb. Since reaching $400 billion in February the highest amount ever recorded assets under TSP management grew to more than $412 billion by the end of last month. But as total assets have increased, so have calls to tweak the program that's provided federal employees with 401(k)-style retirement accounts since 1987. Still, the TSP has consistently resisted calls to modify its simplified, tried-and-true structure.

Tags: workforce , TSP , pay and benefits , retirement , Kim Weaver , Tom Emswiler ,

Monday - 06/23/2014, 04:07pm EDT

Obama gives feds right to request more flexible work options

Federal employees now have the right to request a more flexible work schedule and managers must "carefully" consider those requests, President Barack Obama told agency heads in a June 23 memo on expanding workplace flexibility in the federal government. The memo, which coincided with a White House conference on working families, also encourages agency heads to expand flexible workplace policies, such as telework, alternative work schedules and temporary part-time duty "to the maximum extent practicable."

Tags: workforce , management , workplace flexibility , telework , Barack Obama , Mike Aitken , SHRM ,

Tuesday - 06/24/2014, 01:37pm EDT

White House cyber czar's goal: 'Kill the password dead'

Michael Daniel, the Obama administration's cybersecurity coordinator, says he wants to dismantle the most common method of cyber protection: passwords. Even as cyber threats continue to grow more sophisticated and destructive, passwords are weakening and proving easier to crack than ever. The solution lies in the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), which calls for a broad "identity ecosystem" to replace simple passwords.

Tags: cybersecurity , Michael Daniel , IESG , NSTIC , identity management ,

Wednesday - 06/18/2014, 12:06pm EDT

Families wait for final rule granting flags for feds killed in line of duty

Congress unanimously passed the Civilian Service Recognition Act in late 2011, allowing agency heads to present an American flag to federal employees killed in the line of duty as the result of a crime, terrorism or natural disaster. But OPM has lagged in implementing regulations.

Tags: OPM , workforce , Civilian Service Recognition Act , Federal-Postal Coalition , SEA , Jenny Mattingley , Bruce Moyer , Richard Hanna ,

Monday - 06/16/2014, 04:00am EDT

New audit reveals OPM's weak oversight of background check reviews

A new audit from the OPM Inspector General's office reveals shortcomings in the steps taken by Office of Personnel Management and its contractors to make sure background investigations undergo quality reviews. The audit pointed to a lack of oversight on OPM's part in making sure contractors actually review cases and said some of the companies that employ case reviewers failed to keep track of records showing the contractors had undergone proper training.

Tags: oversight , FIS , OPM , background investigations , Merton Miller , USIS , CACI , KeyPoint Government Solutions ,

Thursday - 06/12/2014, 02:02pm EDT

Don't miss your chance to tell your boss what you really think

The deadline for the annual Employee Viewpoint Survey is rapidly approaching. Federal employees selected to participate in the survey &dmash; gauging employee morale and views of agency management have until Friday to complete the survey. As of Tuesday morning, about 330,000 employees have completed the online survey, OPM officials said in a press call with reporters. Another 80,000 or so are still in the process of completing the survey.

Tags: OPM , workforce , employee morale , Katherine Archuleta , Employee Viewpoint Survey , Jonathan Foley ,

Tuesday - 06/10/2014, 11:52am EDT

More problems with VA scheduling systems revealed

The electronic wait system for keeping track of and monitoring initial primary-care appointments for new patients at Veterans Affairs medical facilities is not the only scheduling system at VA that's now under scrutiny. A separate system for monitoring VA patients' access to outpatient specialty care -- such as cardiologists, gastroenterologists and physical therapists is also "unreliable," according to GAO's Debra Draper, who testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee Monday evening.

Tags: VA , House , Debra Draper , Richard Griffin , GAO , veterans , VHA

Monday - 06/09/2014, 05:21pm EDT

'Significant' structural damage shutters NIH leased facility

A leased building that houses office space for the National Institutes of Health has been shuttered for the past three weeks following concerns over its structural integrity, forcing about 500 employees to work from home or at alternative work sites.

Tags: NIH , Brad Moss , NITAAC ,

Friday - 06/06/2014, 02:00pm EDT

OPM slashes retirement backlog in first part of 2014

The Office of Personnel Management cut the longstanding backlog of pending retirement claims by more than a third in the first half of 2014. By the end of May, the inventory of claims had fallen to about 14,500, according to new OPM data released Thursday. That's down 38 percent from a peak of more than 23,500 claims in February.

Tags: OPM , retirement , retirement backlog ,

Thursday - 06/05/2014, 05:21pm EDT

Why feds keep losing their furlough appeals

So far, all of the initial decisions stemming from the Merit Systems Protection Board gigantic caseload of furlough appeals have "affirmed the furlough action taken by the agency," according to MSPB's annual report for fiscal 2013 released last week.

Tags: sequestration , MSPB , Susan Tsui Grundmann , Anne Wagner , furloughs , furlough appeals ,

Wednesday - 06/04/2014, 03:04pm EDT
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