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3:24 am, April 19, 2014

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DHS plan to protect critical infrastructure goes beyond cybersecurity

Last month the Homeland Security Department published its updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan, a governmentwide framework for securing critical infrastructure on a wide scale. The aim of the updated plan is to make all sectors of critical infrastructure more "resilient" -- better able to absorb and recover from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, cyber intrusions and other adverse conditions.

Tags: NIPP , critical infrastructure , Bob Kolasky , DHS , Bill Anderson , Kerry Thomas , Ernie Edgar , Jason Miller , Tom Temin , Federal Drive ,

Friday - 01/31/2014, 02:26pm EST
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Rocky start to 2014 as TSP returns trend negative

Returns for nearly all of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan trended downward in January following a rocky month on Wall Street. The largest declines came in the stock funds. The large-cap C Fund fell by 3.45 percent, the small-cap S Fund inched down 1.91 percent and the I Fund, made up of international stocks, plunged by more than 4 percent, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

Tags: pay and benefits , TSP , Renee Wilder

Monday - 02/03/2014, 10:32am EST

IRS chief: No furloughs this year

The head of the Internal Revenue Service said the agency isn't planning any employee furloughs this year, even though Congress decided not to restore funding to the agency that had been lost due to the across-the-board sequestration cuts. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the budget crunch, though, would mean taxpayers will see a decline in services.

Tags: IRS , budget , John Koskinen ,

Friday - 01/31/2014, 05:00pm EST

TSP loans, hardship withdrawals hit 10-year high last year

More Thrift Savings Plan participants withdrew money from their accounts early in 2013 than in any other year over the past decade. The board processed a total of 291,000 loans and about 138,000 hardship withdrawals last year, according to statistics presented at the board's monthly meeting Monday. More than 14,000 of the hardship withdrawals taken last year came during the month of October, when partisan gridlock led to a 16-day government shutdown and financial uncertainty and delayed paychecks for thousands of federal employees.

Tags: TSP , pay and benefits , hardship withdrawals , TSP loans , Kim Weaver , Renee Wilder

Monday - 01/27/2014, 03:24pm EST
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OPM offers agencies helping hand in perking up employee morale

Fueled by budget cuts and pay freezes, federal employee satisfaction and engagement across the government plunged last year, according to the Office of Personnel Management's annual Employee Viewpoint Survey. Now, OPM says it's here to help agencies turn around those sagging satisfaction scores.

Tags: OPM , workforce , management , employee morale , Employee Viewpoint Survey , Joseph Kennedy ,

Tuesday - 01/28/2014, 12:09pm EST

GSA axes 2014 expo for second year

GSA is axing its annual Expo conference, citing the current fiscal climate. It's the second year in a row the agency's signature conference has been called off. Meanwhile, GSA is also phasing out its traditional SmartPay training conference in favor of a virtual forum, which will be held in the spring or summer of this year.

Tags: GSA , conference spending , SmartPay Training Conference , GSA Expo ,

Friday - 01/24/2014, 02:50pm EST

USPS falling behind in upkeep of postal facilities, auditors say

The U.S. Postal Service's financial woes are forcing the agency to put off vital maintenance and repair work of facilities across the country, according to a recent inspector general report. Between 2009 and 2012, the Postal Service's budget for capital improvements and facility repairs fell by $382 million, and some 19,000 planned repairs were left uncompleted.

Tags: USPS , USPS IG , oversight , federal buildings ,

Tuesday - 01/21/2014, 04:03pm EST

Fed buildings to get much-needed upgrades thanks to budget boost

The General Services Administration says it will finally be able to begin digging out of a backlog of deferred maintenance of federal buildings thanks to a boost in funding from the recently passed bipartisan spending bill. The spending bill, passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last week, authorizes GSA to spend about $9.3 billion from the Federal Buildings Fund.

Tags: GSA , federal buildings , federal real property , Dan Tangherlini , budget , 2014 appropriations ,

Tuesday - 01/21/2014, 01:00pm EST

Agency watchdogs seek more independence, budget boost

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) says agency inspectors general are increasingly facing obstacles in their efforts to uncover waste and misconduct. The top watchdogs at both the Justice Department and the Peace Corps told lawmakers they've faced resistance from their agencies at times in turning over records in recent years. Lawmakers also expressed concern about the impact of across-the-board budget cuts on the operations agency IG operations.

Tags: Congress , House , House Oversight and Government Reform Committee , Darrell Issa , Elijah Cummings , inspector general , Peggy Gustafson , SBA , DOJ , Kathy Buller , Michael Horowitz , CIGIE ,

Wednesday - 01/15/2014, 05:21pm EST

House votes to beef up OPM inspector general funding

The House gave a boost to the Office of Personnel Management inspector general's office Tuesday, voting to provide the agency's auditors with access to new funding to conduct investigations. In a unanimous vote, the House approved the bipartisan OPM IG Act, introduced by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass). The Senate approved a nearly identical measure, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), in October.

Tags: Congress , House , Senate , OPM , background investigations , Patrick McFarland , Blake Farenthold , Stephen Lynch ,

Tuesday - 01/14/2014, 05:49pm EST
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