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12:03 pm, October 23, 2014

Emily Kopp Reports

Emily Kopp covers civilian agencies in the federal government with a focus on workforce issues. Emily's reports can be heard Monday - Friday on the Federal Drive and In Depth.

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GOP to agencies: Why do you pay employees not to work?

Congressional Republicans probe for answers following a GAO report that the government spent nearly $3.1 billion in paid administrative leave over a recent 3-year period. While most employees took such leave for a week or less, 263 spent a year or longer on paid administrative leave.

Tuesday - 10/21/2014, 03:12pm EDT

Lots of loot for the taking in GSA's open-floor headquarters

Thieves would like GSA's new open-floor design, the inspector general finds.

Monday - 10/20/2014, 11:35am EDT
Listen

Lack of movement on new locality pay locations frustrates feds, unions

The Federal Salary Council voted Friday to add 13 cities to a list of municipalities where federal employees are paid more, in an effort to close a growing wage gap between feds and private-sector counterparts in certain regions of the country. 12 of the 13 recommendations had been approved previously but have gone unimplemented by the President's Pay Agent, frustrating federal employees and the unions representing feds in those areas.

Friday - 10/17/2014, 02:08pm EDT

In and out of government, employers hesitate to Google employees

From Google searches to LinkedIn connections, a wealth of publicly available online information can reveal a person's mindset, and possibly tip off the government to the next Edward Snowden or Aaron Alexis. The intelligence community has done some testing, but a final policy remains elusive. Contractors are hesitant.

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 01:27pm EDT
Listen

Charlie Sowell, Salient Federal Solutions

It's become routine in criminal cases for law enforcement to search for suspects' motives by looking at their social media accounts after the crime. But the government has been slow to search social media proactively in other ways. For instance, like evaluating someone for a security clearance. At a recent event hosted by the Professional Services Council, one federal official said the intelligence community had developed a policy to incorporate social media into background investigations. But it's been held up for a year and a half by senior leaders. Charlie Sowell is a former intelligence official, now with Salient Federal Solutions. He tells Emily Kopp that few contractors are using social media to vet their employees too, but that's changing.

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 09:46am EDT
Listen

Acquisition quiz: True or False?

If you keep hearing the same thing over and over, is it true? Take certain federal procurement axioms: virtually every procurement nowadays is protested, contracting officers are not allowed to talk to potential bidders, there are too many contracting vehicles out there. Federal News Radio set out to explore these refrains, with the help of two procurement experts.

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 02:50am EDT

With no end to Ebola crisis in sight, CDC teams prepare for the long haul

The CDC staff working to stem the Ebola outbreak are "overachievers, hyperachievers and superachievers," according to one manager. The agency is taking steps to prepare those employees both physically and mentally for a long crisis.

Thursday - 10/09/2014, 03:55pm EDT

OPM: Millennial feds like their jobs but don't stay long

A new report by the Office of Personnel Management suggests the federal government is doing a better job of recruiting a new generation of workers than retaining them.

Tuesday - 10/07/2014, 11:53pm EDT

NASA SEWP lowers fees for agencies

When it rolls out its fifth version next month, NASA's SEWP will have the lowest fees of any governmentwide acquisition contract. It will charge less than 0.4 percent to participating agencies. SEWP IV fees are 0.45 percent, compared to the General Services Administration's 0.75 percent.

Monday - 10/06/2014, 10:13am EDT
Listen

NASA names SEWP V contractors

NASA has awarded spots on the latest version of its governmentwide technology contract to 43 firms. It plans to add more names to that list within a few days. Agencies will be able to buy through SEWP V beginning next month.

Thursday - 10/02/2014, 07:07am EDT

Wanted: The ideal federal IT manager

Four chief information officers list the qualities they'd like their IT managers to have, drawing upon both their experiences and imaginations.

Tuesday - 09/30/2014, 03:37pm EDT
Listen

VA has one ethics officer for every 18,674 employees

The Office of Government Ethics says the Veterans Affairs Department needs to expand the legal team responsible for ensuring employees follow government ethics rules. The team has just 19 people, in a department of more than 342,000.

Tuesday - 09/23/2014, 02:21pm EDT

Johnson pitches DHS regional commanders as part of 'unity' campaign

Drawing upon his past as the Pentagon's top lawyer, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson envisions a clearer chain of command at DHS that would improve coordination among the department's 22 separate agencies.

Monday - 09/22/2014, 03:48pm EDT

Senate leaves Social Security's Colvin, others, waiting for confirmation

The Senate left Washington without confirming several of President Barack Obama's nominees for the executive branch, including Carolyn Colvin, his choice to lead the Social Security Administration.

Monday - 09/22/2014, 12:24pm EDT

It happened to me: Diplomats recount stories of crisis and survival

Diane Dillard picked up the pieces of the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon after it was bombed in 1983. Ambassador Bill Brown found himself at the heart of a Soviet Union spy scandal. And John Limbert survived the infamous 444-day Iran hostage crisis. In the inaugural edition of Federal News Radio's new feature, Federal Voices, we hear from each of them, in their own words, about what those experiences were really like and how they survived to tell the tale.

Friday - 09/19/2014, 02:00am EDT

Continuing resolution heads to President Obama for signature

The continuing resolution keeps government agencies open and funded until Dec. 11. At this point, Congress has not tried to use the legislation to block a 1 percent pay raise for federal employees in 2015.

Wednesday - 09/17/2014, 10:47pm EDT

Unions want more say in agency operations

Can a national council in Washington improve labor relations on agencies' front lines?

Wednesday - 09/17/2014, 02:42pm EDT
Listen

IGs overburdened by congressional mandates, survey finds

Inspectors general say congressionally mandated reviews of agency conference spending and charge card use are taking resources away from more important investigations, a new survey finds.

Monday - 09/15/2014, 11:42am EDT

GAO updates Green Book to help agencies navigate a risky time

GAO has released the first major revision since 1999 of the book on management controls. The update maintains the five major components of internal control from past editions, but it adds depth in the form of 17 principles. It is meant for both federal managers and auditors.

Thursday - 09/11/2014, 02:42pm EDT
Listen

IGs accuse agencies of stonewalling

Agencies are creating roadblocks for auditors, three inspectors general told Congress. The IGs cited specific examples at the Peace Corps, Environmental Protection Agency, Chemical Safety Board and the Justice Department.

Wednesday - 09/10/2014, 12:36pm EDT
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