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10:12 am, October 22, 2014

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Vacancy at patent office 'untenable,' senator says

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Finance Committee, is calling on President Barack Obama to nominate a permanent director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The top spot at the patent agency has remained vacant since former director David Kappos departed the agency in February 2013. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Hatch said the vacancy "hampers the agency's ability to influence policy and make long-term plans."

Tags: Congress , Orrin Hatch , USPTO , David Kappos , Michelle Lee , Jack Moore

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 01:44pm EDT

With budget deadline still months away, should agencies start prepping for CR?

The Sept. 30 deadline for Congress to deliver a complete fiscal 2015 budget plan is still about four months away. But with a lengthy summer recess spanning nearly the entire month of August, that leaves fewer than 40 working days for the appropriation committees on Capitol Hill to finalize agency spending levels. That has some budget watchers already raising the possibility of a stopgap continuing resolution to fund government operations.

Tags: Congress , House , budget , continuing resolution , Bob Tobias , In Depth , Francis Rose , Jack Moore

Thursday - 05/29/2014, 05:09pm EDT
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Senators propose 3.3 percent federal pay hike to start in 2015

Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act Friday, calling for a 3.3 percent pay increase for federal employees for calendar year 2015. Federal employee union leaders praised the proposal, which would raise feds' pay more than the 1 percent President Barack Obama introduced in his 2015 budget proposal. The bill is similar to one introduced in March by House Democrats.

Tags: Ben Cardin , Brian Schatz , FAIR Act , pay increase , pay , pay & benefits , budget , J. David Cox Sr. , Joseph Beaudoin , NTEU , AFGE , NARFE , Colleen Kelley , Federal Postal Coalition , Bruce Moyer

Friday - 05/23/2014, 03:07pm EDT

Both houses of Congress deal blows to DoD's cost-cutting proposals

The House passed its version of the annual defense authorization bill Thursday, while the Senate's is still a work in progress. Both versions mostly shun DoD's proposals to cut costs during sequestration.

Tags: Congress , House , budget , Carl Levin , James Inhofe , Buck McKeon , Adam Smith , sequestration , DoD , Jared Serbu

Friday - 05/23/2014, 03:32am EDT
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Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

A 1 percent pay raise for 2015 will go a little way toward rebuilding trust between federal employees and Congress and federal employees and their leaders. But only a little way. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce, wrote a column as part of our special report: Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees. He says he learned at a recent hearing the trust problems in the workforce are complicated.

Tags: Jon Tester , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs , Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and its Employees , In Depth

Thursday - 05/22/2014, 05:46pm EDT
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How to make the federal workforce feel respected once again

People work better and more efficiently when they feel respected. And lately, Congress hasn't done a lot to make federal workers feel valued, says Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in a column written for Federal News Radio's special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees. But, Tester says, he has a plan to start changing that low morale.

Tags: Jon Tester , Congress , workforce , morale , Trust Redefined , hiring , retention

Thursday - 05/22/2014, 04:00am EDT
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Hearing weighs causes of, solutions to low morale in federal workforce

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, hosted a hearing Tuesday to discuss the low morale of federal employees and explore possible solutions for agencies seeking to improve it.

Tags: Jon Tester , Katherine Archuleta , J. David Cox , OPM , Best Places to Work , AFGE , Colleen Kelley , NTEU , Jeri L. Buchholz , NASA , Carol Waller Pope , FLRA , employee satisfaction , Employee Viewpoint Survey , workforce , sequestration , Michael OConnell

Wednesday - 05/07/2014, 01:35pm EDT
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