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Search Tags: OPM
The Preventing Conflicts of Interest with Contractors Act would block the Office of Personnel Management from contracting with companies to perform final quality reviews if those same companies are also responsible for conducting initial investigations. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta announced in early February that, going forward, only federal employees would conduct final quality reviews. The new bill writes Archuleta's decision into law. Otherwise it could be reversed by a future OPM director.
Federal agencies in Washington, D.C., are open Wednesday. Employees have the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.
Federal agencies in the Washington, D.C., region are open Friday, February 14, with a two-hour delayed arrival in effect. Employees also have the option to take unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.
President Barack Obama signed the OPM IG Act into law this week. The law provides the agency's top watchdog with an additional source of funding to conduct audits and investigations of the security-clearance process.
Among the issues considered Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were contracting practices at the Office of Personnel Management that allowed the largest background-investigation contactor -- accused by the Justice Department of taking improper shortcuts and defrauding the government -- to conduct quality reviews of its own work.
The Office of Personnel Management told contractors last week that the solicitation under the Customized Human Resources Solutions Services initiative would be withdrawn and a new one would be released in the coming months. OPM says the government's training and management assistance needs changed and the current RFP wouldn't meet them.
The Office of Personnel Management has decided that final quality reviews for background investigations will be conducted by government employees -- not contractors. A Feb. 6 statement from OPM Director Katherine Archuleta provided to Federal News Radio said starting Feb. 24 the quality-review process for background checks will be "fully federalized," and that "only federal employees will be conducting the final quality review before the investigative product is sent to the agency for review and adjudication."
The number of federal employees filing for retirement in January swelled to more than 17,000, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. But that's actually about 2,600 fewer than expected. In fact, this past month marked the first time in at least two years that the number of federal workers filing for retirement in January fell below 20,000 claims.
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.
OPM Director Katherine Archuleta called Justice's case an "egregious violation of the public trust." OPM has taken steps to reform and improve the oversight of the security clearance system to prevent future "dumping" of cases.