Monthly Archives: April, 2012

Update:GSA cancels Oracle IT contract

1

The General Services Administration is canceling Oracle Corp.’s Schedule 70 contract for information technology services because the company failed to meet the terms of its contract agreement, the agency confirmed. The company can finish work on existing task orders, but agencies cannot place new orders or extend existing task orders with Oracle after May 17, GSA announced on its website Wednesday. Blanket purchase agreements with Oracle through Schedule 70 will terminate on May 17. Agencies can still purchase Oracle software from technology resellers that have Schedule 70 contracts. An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment. “Based on the GSA’s review of Oracle America,…

Senate leader: Seniors "love to get" junk mail

5

Politicians are fond of invoking the elderly on behalf of a favored cause, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., took that gambit to a new level yesterday when discussing S. 1789, a bill intended to keep the U.S. Postal Service afloat. Who knew that the only thing connecting Gramps to the rest of us were auto insurance come-ons and grocery store fliers? Here, straight from a transcript in the Congressional Record, is Reid’s take on one reason for saving the Postal Service. For seniors who cannot leave their homes, mail carriers deliver lifesaving medications—an important link to the outside world. Elderly…

IG: GSA commissioner's wife had her own parking spot

3

General Services Administration regional commissioner Jeff Neely’s wife had her own parking space at a federal building, the agency’s inspector general said today — even though she is not a federal employee. The revelation was the latest nugget to come out of the ongoing conference spending scandal that has already brought down large swaths of the agency’s leadership. And judging by IG Brian Miller’s comments to the Senate Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee, plenty more is likely to come out. The OIG is conducting “many more investigations,” he said, though he could not say exactly how many. “Every…

Arbitration ahead for Postal Service and National Association of Letter Carriers

1

Well, that didn’t take long. Less than a month after National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando said the union was “committed” to reaching agreement on a new labor contract through mediation, it’s now headed to binding arbitration with the U.S. Postal Service, according to a release posted on a USPS site. The arbitration process will wrap up later this year, the Postal Service said. A NALC spokesman had no immediate comment this morning. The news comes three months after impasses were declared in the Postal Service’s negotiations with both the NALC and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.…

Postal union consultant calls on Postal Service to think bigger

2

Six months after its hiring by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the Lazard Group is out with recommendations for turning around the U.S. Postal Service. Not surprisingly, the Wall Street firm doesn’t see salvation in USPS management’s current strategy, which involves cutting lots of jobs, post offices and processing plants. “Instead of focusing on shrinking its network and capabilities, the Postal Service needs an ambitious rethinking of its business model,” says the six-page “white paper.” As an alternative, Lazard calls on the Postal Service to exploit its “last mile” delivery advantage to keep expanding its parcel business and offer…

Congratulations, Eileen!

0

We offer a big congratulations and best wishes to our friend and former colleague Eileen Sullivan at the Associated Press who yesterday won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Many of you may  remember Eileen’s great work for Federal Times back in 2003-2005 when she covered our homeland security beat. She broke a number of stories for us, including stories in late 2004 and early 2005 about how the Homeland Security Department imposed — and then later rescinded — a highly controversial policy that required employees to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to gain access to unclassified information marked “for…

Postal unions to take their case to income tax filers Tuesday

2

Even if fewer people mail their income tax returns in this era of electronic everything, plenty of last-minute filers will likely be showing up at post offices today to meet the IRS’ deadline. Two unions plan to use the opportunity to press their case against proposed U.S. Postal Service cutbacks. The American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union are teaming up to do “informational leafleting” at numerous post offices around the country, particularly those that draw media coverage because they stay open late. “We’re trying to just educate the public as to what would happen to the…

Agriculture Department headquarters buildings to reopen Tuesday

0

Several U.S. Agriculture Department headquarters buildings closed by a fire Monday will reopen Tuesday, according to information posted on the agency’s web site.  The buildings include the Jamie L. Whitten Building, the Reporters Building, and the South Building, the department said. While the web posting does not mention the Cotton Annex, also closed today, that facility will be reopening as well, USDA spokesman Justin DeJong indicated in an email. “All employees are to report in accordance with their established tour of duty.” according to the web post. Some 6,300 USDA workers are on administrative leave today, DeJong said earlier. …

Your thoughts on public service

3

May 6 marks the beginning of Public Service Recognition Week. For this occasion, Federal Times invites you to share your thoughts on the state of federal public service. These are trying and uncertain days for federal employees. Their compensation and contribution to the nation are under scrutiny like never before. Public support for federal employees is low. The nation’s leaders are engaged in an important debate on how to readjust the size and role of government. Meanwhile, federal employees are retiring in large numbers. We invite you to write a short, candid essay — between 300 and 500 words —…