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12:28 am, October 25, 2014

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Issa embraces White House plan for postal reform

The Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is starting over on postal reform legislation and taking as its template a surprising source the White House's fiscal 2015 budget request. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told members of the committee and the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget that he intends to "embrace to the greatest extent possible" the entire slate of legislative proposals for overhauling the Postal Service included in the President's budget request.

Tags: Congress , House , USPS , Darrell Issa , OMB , Brian Deese , Gerry Connolly , House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ,

Tuesday - 04/08/2014, 03:32pm EDT

Are agencies doing enough to weed out redundant programs?

Three years after the Government Accountability Office first reported that federal agencies were managing a maze of potentially duplicative federal programs, the watchdog agency has added nearly a dozen more areas to its tally of duplication and overlap. GAO's latest report identifies a total of 26 areas for potential cost-savings, ranging from fragmented operations to out-and-out copycat programs being run by multiple agencies.

Tags: management , budget , OMB , Beth Cobert , GAO , duplication , Nicole Clowers ,

Wednesday - 04/09/2014, 12:36pm EDT
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Retirement backlog shrinks for first time this year

Thanks to better than expected progress in processing federal retirement claims last month, the Office of Personnel Management's backlog of pending claims is shrinking for the first time this year. By the end of March, the number of backlogged claims shrank from more than 23,500 claims to about 18,500.

Tags: OPM , retirement , retirement backlog , Katherine Archuleta ,

Monday - 04/07/2014, 12:02pm EDT

Civil-service reform needs more than 'Band-Aid approach,' experts argue

A legislative attempt to reform the aging federal personnel system will face a difficult path in Congress even if it's able to muster the support of key stakeholders, including the White House and federal-employee unions. Experts discussed proposed reforms to the civil-service system outlined in a new report published Tuesday by the Partnership and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Tags: workforce , management , best practices , Partnership for Public Service , Tony Miller , Booz Allen Hamilton , Ted Kaufman ,

Wednesday - 04/02/2014, 05:13pm EDT

Report calls for broad overhaul of federal personnel, pay systems

A new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton calls for essentially throwing out the 65-year-old General Schedule system, comprised of 15 separate grade levels, and replacing it with five broad work levels. The report also calls for changes to the way federal pay is calculated and recommends setting up a governmentwide pay-for-performance process.

Tags: management , best practices , Partnership for Public Service , Booz Allen Hamilton , general schedule , pay and benefits

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 06:07pm EDT

House budget seeks to up feds' retirement contributions

The budget blueprint unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Tuesday includes a handful of proposals affecting the federal workforce that Ryan and House Republicans have championed in the past. Among them, the recommendation that federal employees contribute more of their salary toward their pensions and a proposal to shrink the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition.

Tags: pay and benefits , House , budget , retirement , retirement contributions , Paul Ryan , House Budget Committee ,

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 12:54pm EDT

TSP performance mixed in March

With gains on Wall Street hitting some headwinds in March, the performance of funds in the Thrift Savings Plan last month lagged behind February's advances. Three of the TSP's five regular funds ended the month in negative territory.

Tags: pay and benefits , TSP , retirement ,

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 01:34pm EDT

Former acting IRS chief says agency now on right track

The former acting chief of the Internal Revenue Service, who led the agency in the aftermath of the political-targeting scandal and who stepped down in December, says he believes the agency is on the right track. In an interview on on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp, Danny Werfel, who recently joined the Boston Consulting Group, cited strong leadership at the agency.

Tags: IRS , management , John Koskinen , Danny Werfel , Federal Drive , Tom Temin , Emily Kopp ,

Monday - 03/31/2014, 03:26pm EDT
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Is low employee morale 'compromising' the federal government?

In the wake of across-the-board budget cuts, furloughs and slim -- or no -- annual pay raises, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says he's concerned about a nose-dive in federal-employee morale. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is now asking the Government Accountability Office to look into recent trends in feds' job satisfaction. The lawmakers are concerned declining satisfaction "may be compromising the federal government's ability to serve the American people."

Tags: workforce , employee morale , OPM , House , Elijah Cummings , Stephen Lynch , Gerry Connolly , Congress ,

Friday - 03/28/2014, 10:58am EDT

OPM wants to keep FEHBP premium increases 'in check'

Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta says she wants to keep premium increases for federal employees' health coverage "in check." In a keynote speech at the annual FEHB Program Carrier Conference in Arlington, Va., Thursday Archuleta also called on insurance carriers to make prescription drugs more affordable and urged more federal employees to sign up for wellness programs.

Tags: OPM , pay and benefits , benefits , FEHBP , Katherine Archuleta , wellness programs , FEHBP Carrier Conference ,

Thursday - 03/27/2014, 11:34am EDT
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