Monthly Archives: April, 2012

Fed up with anti-fed attitudes? We want to hear from you

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Public Service Recognition Week — traditionally a week to recognize the good that government employees do for the nation — comes at a dour time for federal employees this year. House Republicans are intent on cutting their take-home pay by 5 percent. President Obama has proposed his own 1.2 percent pension contribution hike. Cash-strapped agencies are scrambling to cut their workforces. Pay has been frozen for two years, and a third may be coming down the line. And GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is swiping at their “unfair” pay and benefits. How do you feel about being a public servant…

NASA to start market research for SEWP V

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NASA will take tips on how to form the next iteration of its governmentwide IT contract this summer, agency officials announced today. NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise Wide Procurement (SEWP) program office will hold 45-minute one-on-one interviews the weeks of July 9 and July 23 to get insight from contractors and interested parties on current and upcoming IT products and trends that will help build SEWP V, according to a news release posted on the SEWP website. Sixty interview spots are available on first-come basis at https://www.sewp.nasa.gov/registration. The registration is also open to anyone who wants to receive updates on SEWP V. SEWP V, like its predecessors, will be a governmentwide acquisiton…

More than 1,200 takers for IRS buyout/early retirement offers

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Take it for what it’s worth, but here’s a data point to start the week: Since fiscal 2011, about 1,268 IRS employees have taken advantage of early retirement and buyout offers. That number amounts to a bit more than 1 percent of the agency’s workforce, which totaled almost 91,000 as of December, according to official figures posted online. Federal Times received the information under a Freedom of Information Act request filed earlier this year after attempts to obtain the data from the IRS’ public affairs office in Washington were unsuccessful. The mini-exodus is part of a looming human capital challenge…

IGs look for recovery act lessons

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The 2009 stimulus act may be fading into history, but its legacy will live on in the federal watchdog community. Some  16 inspectors general have joined in a “lessons learned review” from implementation of what is officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That’s according to a recent letter from Kathleen Tighe, current chair of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. The review’s purpose is “to identify which actions, processes and mechanisms have been either beneficial or posed challenges” to agencies and IGs  in meeting the act’s requirements. Among the specific areas to be examined: performance measures, pre-award…

AFGE's Gage fires back at Romney

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s comment about “unfair” federal pay and benefits has raised the hackles of the two largest federal unions. The National Treasury Employees Union slammed Romney yesterday for going after middle-class federal workers. And today, American Federation of Government Employees President John Gage let loose with an even more cutting response: You know what’s really unfair? The specter of having a new boss who thinks so little about the work that you do that he can’t bother getting his facts straight before making the ridiculous and patently false claim that federal workers are “getting better pay and…

Postal Service governing board "disappointed" with Senate bill

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As anyone who follows postal matters knows, the Senate this afternoon approved legislation aimed at putting the U.S. Postal Service back on its feet financially. But the USPS Board of Governors just put out the following statement indicating that it’s anything but happy with the outcome. Here’s the statement in full, following by separate comments from Postmaster General Pat Donahoe: “The Board, in working with management, has spent the past two years preparing a comprehensive business plan to make the Postal Service viable so it would not become a liability to the American people. This plan was validated by outside…

Proposed whistleblower protections for contract employees passes committee

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A Senate bill that would give federal contract employees the same whistleblower protections as federal employees passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today. Senate bill 241, introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., would protect contractors who report improper spending or management on federal contracts from retaliation. Contract employees who witness contract fraud currently can bring a civil claim, in the name of the government, against contractors under the False Claims Act. If the claim is successful, the whistleblower could receive up to 30 percent of the recovered funds. However, the False Claims Act does not protect whistleblowers who witness waste,…

Romney: 'Unfair' for feds to get better pay, benefits

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Now that Mitt Romney has all but locked up the GOP presidential nomination, he’s turning his focus to the general election against President Obama. And if his comments last night are any indication, your pay and benefits are going to be a hot topic between now and November: I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. […] This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will…

Is telework increasing? Who knows?

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The federal government wants to increase the amount federal employees telework, and even passed a law to make it easier in December 2010. But finding out whether that’s actually happening is tricky. Because the metrics used to measure telework are continually shifting, it’s probably going to be a few more years before we know whether things are actually improving, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. GAO said that for years, agencies have used different methods to collect telework data, leaving those statistics inconsistent and unreliable. After the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act was passed, the Office of…

Senate reaches deal for voting on amendments to postal bill

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Looks like the Senate’s going to be very busy next Tuesday with rapid-fire voting on more than three dozen amendments to S. 1789, the postal overhaul legislation. According to a message this evening from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the amendments pertain to everything from post office closings to unions to compensation for U.S. Postal Service executives. There’s also one from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would require more reporting by government agencies on conference spending. (Hmm–FedLine can’t imagine what prompted that.) Anyway, for the hard-core postal aficionados out there (and in the interest of open government), here’s the portion…

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