Author Sean Reilly

D.C.-area federal offices open Wednesday under delayed arrival


Federal offices in the Washington, D.C. region will be open Wednesday, but with employees allowed to arrive up to two hours later than usual, according to an Office of Personnel Management advisory. Workers will also have the option of unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework, OPM said. Wednesday’s delayed opening comes after federal agencies in the area were closed Tuesday because of a winter storm.

Breaking: D.C.-area federal offices closed today


With a major winter storm moving in, federal agencies in the Washington, D.C. region are closed today, the Office of Personnel Management has announced. As usual, emergency staff and telework-ready employees must follow their agencies’ policies. Here is the text of the official advisory. In the area, snow is expected to begin falling around 7 a.m., with accumulations of 6 to 10 inches, according to this National Weather Service winter storm warning. For anyone who’s keeping track (FedLine always like to keep things in context), this is the second snow day of the season for several hundred thousand D.C.-area feds; the first…

Review faults Navy oversight of "audit-readiness" contractors


Irony alert: In its quest to improve management of its finances, the Navy is having trouble managing the contractors who have received tens of millions of dollars to help the service meet congressionally imposed “audit-readiness” deadlines. That’s the takeaway from a newly released review by the Defense Department’s inspector general. One finding: The Navy’s Fleet Logistics Center office in Philadelphia spent $12.6 million on two task orders, “but did not adequately track whether the contractor met the requirements.” The report highlights other shortcomings in how Navy employees oversaw the contracting work, including failing to devise quality assurance plans for some…

Postal Service explains increase in headquarters staffing


As FedLine recently reported, official U.S. Postal Service statistics showed that the career employee headcount fell in almost all segments of its workforce from 2009 through 2013, with USPS headquarters being the one exception. FedLine asked the Postal Service for comment on that point on Jan. 3; the agency responded this past Friday. Here is the full statement provided by USPS spokeswoman Patricia Licata; it has also been added to the original FedLine post. “The Postal Service reductions in career employees were equally felt across both management and craft ranks. While the specific headquarters number has increased slightly, it cannot…

How many people at your agency are retirement-eligible?


For all the talk of a looming “retirement tsumani” throughout  the federal workforce, the picture is actually a lot more nuanced. Some agencies–or agency components–have a ratio of retirement-eligibles well above the government-wide average of about 14 percent; some are so far below that the threat looks more like a ripple than a tidal wave, according to data provided by the Office of Personnel Management. So where does your agency stand? Check out this nifty chart.

Clerks hit hardest by USPS cuts, stats show. Headquarters grows.


For career U.S. Postal Service employees, the last few years have brought an unrelenting wave of cutbacks. In its latest annual report, the agency furnishes some eye-opening numbers on how the downsizing has affected different segments of its workforce. The overall career headcount declined by more than one-fifth from 2009 to 2013 (surely one of the sharpest drops in USPS history).  But the ranks of clerks and nurses plummeted by one-third and the number of employees classified as “professional, administration and technical” fell almost as steeply. Virtually all of the cuts, it should be noted, were accomplished without reductions-in-force. The one sector to grow during that…

Postal Service again restrained on top executives' pay in '12


The U.S. Postal Service continued to keep a comparatively tight lid in 2012 on senior executive salaries, according to its recently released annual report to Congress. By law, the Postal Service has to list all employees whose pay exceeded that of a Cabinet secretary. For calendar 2012, that threshold was $199,700; a dozen USPS executives and officers made more than that, down from 13 in 2011 and 38 in 2010, according to the official rundown. Here’s the 2012 list (found on p. 66 of the annual report): Paul Vogel, president, digital solutions, $312,175* ** Pat Donahoe, postmaster general and chief…

Seen as offensive, "defective" label for the mentally ill lives on in the federal code


Whatever the federal government’s pluses and minuses, it is usually pretty good at avoiding language that will offend a particular group’s sensibilities. So some Federal Register readers may find it jarring to find two agencies using the term, “mental defective,” in notices set for publication this week. The term, considered useless and derogatory by advocates for the mentally ill, surfaces in a Justice Department filing seeking to clarify definitions of people prohibited from “receiving, possessing, shipping or transporting firearms” under the 1968 Gun Control Act. “The Department recognizes that the term ‘mental defective’ is outdated, but it is included in the statute and…

OPM: Washington, D.C. area offices open Friday


No Friday snow day for feds in the D.C. region. That’s the word from Office of Personnel Management; although the weather remains exceedingly messy late Thursday night, it’s evidently not messy enough to warrant mass closings Friday. As usual in these situations,  federal employees have the option of unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. For anyone wanting to see the official notice, here’s the  link:

Transparency board to hold open meeting


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…

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