Author Stephen Losey

SILVER SCREEN FEDS: Interior IG finds Leslie Knope abused authority

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SPOILER ALERT: The NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation ended its sixth season last night with the endlessly-optimistic public servant Leslie Knope becoming a federal employee by accepting a job as the National Park Service’s Midwest Regional Director, and then talking her new boss into relocating the office to her hometown of Pawnee, Indiana. Which is great news for the show’s viewers, but raises troubling questions about multiple violations of civil service rules. FedLine has exclusively obtained a copy of the Interior Department’s inspector general report into Regional Director Knope’s activities: To: Jonathan Jarvis, director, National Park Service From: Mary Kendall,…

Farewell

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After 11 years, at least 300 cover stories, and a few thousand articles, today marks my last as a reporter at Federal Times. This afternoon, I will move over to our sister paper, Air Force Times, where I will cover Air Force personnel issues. The pay and benefits beat is now in the exceptionally skilled hands of Sean Reilly, and if you’d like, you can follow my Air Force Times coverage at my Twitter feed. I’m excited to have this opportunity to cover the military, and write about all new issues at a time of unprecedented change for our armed…

No Presidential Rank Awards this year — what do you think?

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The White House this week announced that, with the government facing massive budget crunches, there will be no Presidential Rank Awards handed out this year. What do you think about this development? Is it unfair and a bad sign for the overall federal workforce? Or do you think it’s a necessary step to take? Sound off below, or write me at slosey@federaltimes.com. I’ll keep your comments anonymous if you’d like.

SPJ honors Federal Times for investigative journalism

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Federal Times is proud to announce the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist honored us with two first-place Dateline Awards last night: My June 4, 2012 story “At GSA, almost everyone rates a bonus” received first prize for weekly investigative reporting. This story dove into bonus data across the government and uncovered how nearly 9 in 10 employees at the troubled General Services Administration — which had just been rocked by its Las Vegas conference scandal and revelations of lax bonus policies — received bonuses in 2011. The SPJ judges said the story’s “Interesting analysis of public records…

Thinking of phased retirement? We want to hear from you

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The Office of Personnel Management today published proposed regulations on a new phased retirement option, which will let federal employees ease into retirement on a part-time basis, while still getting half a pension. You can read all about OPM’s plan here. And we’d like to hear from you on this potentially monumental change. Are you interested in phasing into retirement? If so, why? (Or if not, why not?) And if you are a manager, do you think allowing your employees to take phased retirement will help with your agency’s succession planning and knowledge retention efforts? E-mail me at slosey@federaltimes.com if…

SILVER SCREEN FEDS: Stan Beeman, FBI, 'The Americans'

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Silver Screen Feds returns this week with an in-depth look at a major character from this year’s best new TV show: the Cold War spy drama “The Americans.” I’ve enjoyed watching the gifted, flawed FBI counterintelligence agent Stan Beeman unfold over this show’s premiere season. And after watching its May Day finale, I decided that Beeman is too complicated to shoehorn into a narrow “best” or “worst” category, so I’m going to examine both sides of his character. MAJOR SPOILERS for the first season follow. “The Americans” primarily focuses on Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, two KGB agents who have been…

Navy delaying furlough notices

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The Navy today told its employees that furlough letters — which were scheduled to go out Monday — will be delayed until further notice. A Navy official told Federal Times that because the service hadn’t gotten the final furlough policy from the Pentagon, it was putting its notification effort on hold. Unless Navy hears otherwise, it is still expecting to furlough employees for up to 14 days by the end of fiscal 2013. “We understand [the furlough process] causes angst and concern, and to mitigate that, we’ve tried to be as informative as we can,” a Navy official said. “Until…

ICE officer wounded in Boston bombing discharged from hospital

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A 32-year-old Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, who was one of more than 170 people wounded in Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, was discharged from a local hospital Wednesday. In an e-mail to Federal Times today, ICE said the unnamed, off-duty officer sustained non-life threatening injuries and had surgery Tuesday. ICE did not say whether the officer was a runner or spectator, but said he lives in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Federal Times reported yesterday that an ICE officer had been wounded. The Office of Personnel Management said it was unaware of any other wounded federal employees. In…

Obama: OPM's Berry 'a champion for federal workers'

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President Obama this afternoon bid farewell to departing Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry today in a statement: John Berry has served the American people well as Director of the Office of Personnel Management.  He’s streamlined the way federal employees are hired, modernized the workplace, made the federal workforce more diverse, and increased the number of returning servicemembers hired by the government.  John has been a champion for federal workers – men and women who devote their lives to vital tasks like securing our borders, curing disease, and keeping the American people safe.  This country is better off because…

Federal Times brings you budget coverage all day today

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Make sure you keep checking FederalTimes.com through the day for up-to-the-minute coverage of the White House’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal. The budget will go online at 11:15 a.m. today, and the Federal Times crew will immediately start diving into the numbers to find out who are the winners and who are the losers. (Although given the way things have been going lately, we expect a lot more losers than winners this year.) We already know that President Obama is going to propose switching to the chained CPI, and cutting federal retirement benefits by $35 billion. Check our story from last…

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