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The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board — which manages federal employees' Thrift Savings Plan accounts — approved a 19 percent budget increase for the coming year, allowing it to fund new cybersecurity and hiring initiatives. The $170.5 million budget, which is more than $27 million above 2012 levels, was agreed to following a "rigorous review," the board's director of external affairs, Kim Weaver, told In Depth with Francis Rose.
The General Services Administration plans to roll out a dozen new technologies designed to better measure and manage energy use in federal facilities, the agency announced Wednesday. The new technologies, part of GSA's Green Proving Ground program, will be used in federal buildings across the country where their effectiveness will be evaluated by GSA and the Energy Department's National Laboratories.
It's no secret Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney envisions broad changes to the federal government and its workforce. In campaign speeches, Romney has spoken of aligning federal pay with that of the private sector and reducing the federal workforce through attrition. But federal unions say Romney's comments and proposals should give feds pause. This story is part of Federal News Radio's special, week-long multimedia report, The Obama Impact: Evaluating the Last Four Years.
No matter who wins the Presidential election, non-career officials who might one day serve in either an Obama or Romney administration will face a cumbersome appointment process that is just starting to be reformed. Linda Springer, who served as the head of the Office of Personnel Management during the George W. Bush administration told In Depth with Francis Rose the onerous Senate confirmation process for political appointees has been a longstanding issue.
Tags: In Depth , Francis Rose , Linda Springer , OPM , Ernst & Young , NAPA , James Pfiffner , Congress , Senate , management , best practices , political appointees , Ernst & Young , confirmation process , Anne OConnell
Agencies failed to meet a lofty goal to cut spending on new contracts considered high-risk by 10 percent. But despite the inconclusive results, contracting experts and agency procurement chiefs told Federal News Radio there's more to evaluating the effort to reduce high-risk contracts than the failure to reach the goal. Federal News Radio examines this as part of the special report, The Obama Impact: Evaluating the Last Four Years.
The across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2 would be "deeply destructive" to national security and core civilian agency programs, according to a comprehensive report from the White House detailing the impact of the cuts on specific programs and accounts. The $109 billion in cuts coming next year — split evenly between Defense civilian agency budgets — would slash Defense discretionary spending by 9.4 percent and civilian agency spending by 8.2 percent.
Lawmakers returned to Washington, D.C., this week with a packed agenda. Topping the list of priorities is hammering out final details of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running beyond the end of the fiscal year -- Sept. 30. Amid the election-year politicking, the list of unfinished business also includes legislation to restructure the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service and a cybersecurity bill that aims to safeguard the nation's critical infrastructure. Perhaps looming largest of all is what Congress plans to do about automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2. Failure to avert the cuts could send the country over a "fiscal cliff," budget experts warn.
The Democratic Party platform, released Tuesday, is short on specifics about the federal workforce, particularly relating to federal pay or the size of the federal workforce. However, the platform does cite President Barack Obama's efforts to pare back overly burdensome regulations and his proposed consolidation of federal agencies. "President Obama and the Democrats are committed to rethinking, reforming, and remaking our government so that it can meet the challenges of our time," the authors of the platform wrote.
Spending levels appropriated by Congress, so far, for fiscal 2013 fail to live within the limits set by last year's Budget Control Act (BCA), the Office of Management and Budget said in a report issued Monday. If Congress fails to adhere to the annual limits, OMB is required to enact automatic cuts to bring them back into balance, Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama that preceded OMB's report.
Too often Congress is left "in the dark" when it comes to inspector general investigations of agency misconduct, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote in a letter to 73 inspectors general. Issa said he wanted to "establish an understanding between Congress and the IG community" for more rapid reporting of agency misdeeds uncovered by their offices. In his letter, Issa asked the inspectors for more information about their reporting practices to Congress and whether any serious problems were ever not shared with lawmakers.