Monthly Archives: December, 2013

Transparency board to hold open meeting

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It may say something about federal attitudes toward openness that the Government Accountability and Transparency Board typically meets in secret. But for the record, the board—launched by the Obama administration two years ago to tackle big-picture spending issues—will hold a public meeting next month. The purpose is to let members of the public weigh in with presentations “regarding accountability and transparency for federal expenditures made through contracts and grants,” according to a recent Federal Register notice. Among the questions on which the board wants input at the Jan. 22 meeting: “What questions are you trying to answer with federal spending…

Want to honor good work by a federal employee?

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Do you work with or know a federal employee who has made a particularly noteworthy contribution to the public good? Then ’tis the season to put in a nomination for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) at servicetoamericamedals.org. The deadline is Jan. 17. The medals, given out by the Partnership for Public Service, span eight categories, including career achievement; science and environment; and homeland security and law enforcement. Three main criteria will be used in choosing the winners: On-the-job innovation; commitment to public service and impact of their work on meeting the needs of the nation, the…

Is the administration moving to include transgender care in federal health insurance coverage?

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The short answer? Maybe. Dive into the longer but far more satisfying answer below… While some company and local government health plans cover care for transgender policy-holders, the Federal government does not and specifically excludes transition-related care from coverage. Transition-related care may include hormone replacement therapy, mental health services, and sexual reassignment surgery (SRS).  The costs of this care can easily reach into the tens of thousands of dollars, putting it beyond the reach of many who need it. But some recent and almost unnoticeable steps by federal agencies could mean transgender care coverage federal employees and many others. Many…

Tired of watching the Redskins lose? Check out OPM's updated bad weather policy.

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Attention, Washington, D.C.-area feds: With the scene outside looking a lot more frightful than delightful Sunday afternoon, what better time to tear yourself away from the Redskins debacle and get back up to speed on dismissal and closure policies in case of bad weather or other emergencies. Last week, the Office of Personnel Management held a webinar (see above) on the subject and here’s a memo from OPM Director Katherine Archuleta: http://tinyurl.com/my7wjkf. For those who really want to go hard-core, this is the link to OPM’s updated 35-page manual on the subject: http://tinyurl.com/lslzns9. It’s still too early to say what’s in store for tomorrow, but in a…