Browsing: Defense

DoD to cut the number of furloughed civilians?

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Some good news could be coming in the next day or two for a lot of furloughed Defense Department civilian employees. Under the “Pay our Military Act “signed by President Obama this week, DoD not only gains the authority  to pay uniformed military on time, but to do the same for civilian employees whom Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel determines are “providing support” to those troops. And the word is that the Pentagon also plans to use that new authority aggressively to return a significant number of civilians to work. Exactly how many is unclear, but FedLine feels comfortable saying that…

The visitor control center at Navy's Building 197

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 Access into the Washington Navy Yard’s Building 197, where a shooting rampage in Washington left at least a dozen people dead Monday, includes a security clearance check and vetting by contract-hired “visitor control technicians,” contract records show. Authorities have identified Aaron Alexis, 34, a Navy veteran, as the dead gunman. While it’s unclear how Alexis got into the building Monday morning, the Associated Press reported that he may have used someone’s identification. In April, the Navy hired Kansas-based contractor Transtecs Corp. for “visitor control office support services” at the Washington Navy Yard, according to the government’s online procurement database. While…

MSPB gaining ground on furlough appeals

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The Merit Systems Protection Board is making headway in containing an unprecedented surge in appeals fueled by Defense Department employee furloughs. As of yesterday, the board had docketed almost 16,600 appeals, or about half the total. It now expects to have most of the remainder done soon after Labor Day and then begin the adjudication process for the DoD cases, according to the latest update posted on its home page. Challenges of sequester-related furloughs–most of them from Defense Department workers–have swollen the MSPB’s workload to roughly five times its normal level. Consider some numbers provided today by Board Clerk William…

IBM to integrate Air Force pay, personnel systems

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The Air Force on Monday awarded IBM an $11.8 million contract to integrate its military personnel and pay processes into one system. As part of the Air Force Integrated Personnel and Pay System Program (AF-IPPS), IBM will design “an enterprise resource planning-based solution to meet all personnel and pay requirements,” according to a Defense Department announcement. Work is expected to be completed by December 2014. The new personnel and pay system will replace the Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) and the Defense Joint Military Pay System (DJMS) for the Air Force, according to a December 2012 Mitre report. The new system will…

Feds fall victim in ID theft scam

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Federal employees were among the hundreds of victims of what prosecutors Thursday described as a large-scale identify theft ring operating in the Washington area. Ten people were charged in the scam to steal personal information, including social security numbers, from dental and insurance offices and other area businesses, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced in a news release Thursday. A copy of the indictment can be viewed here. Prosecutors said more than 600 potential victims have been identified, including employees at the State and Defense departments and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Once they stole…

AP: Defense Department likely to cut number of furlough days

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The Defense Department could cut as many as five furlough days from the 11 currently planned by the end of the fiscal year in September, according to an Associated Press report. The report, which cites only anonymous sources, says that Pentagon officials are looking at trimming the total number of unpaid days off to somewhere between six and eight. Hold your breath, though–no announcement is planned this week, according to the AP. At present, about 650,000 DoD civilian employees are generally losing one day per week to the furloughs that began early this month; as Defense News is reporting, the furloughs–imposed as part of the…

Labor groups seek support for furlough-related amendments

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Organized labor is urging a congressional committee to allow House members to vote on two amendments dealing with federal employee furlough policy when they take up a fiscal 2014 defense spending bill. One of the amendments would “register a vote of no confidence” in the Defense Department’s use of furloughs; the other would stop furloughs of DoD employees paid through working capital funds, according to a letter this week from William Samuel, head of the AFL-CIO’s government affairs department. The letter was addressed to leaders of the House Rules Committee, which acts as gatekeeper in deciding which amendments House members…

Furloughed DoD workers launch petition drive

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Defense Department civilian employees are appealing directly to the Obama administration to end the furloughs that are taking a 20 percent bite out of the paychecks of many. “We have taken sequestration harder than all the departments,” states the petition created today on the White House’s “We the People” site. “Department of Defense civil servants continue to ‘take one for the team’ and we will continue to do our service to our country, but would like our country to listen.” The petition, which must attract 100,000 signatures in the next 30 days to merit an official response, comes a little…

U.S. military's Afghan HQ opens just in time for possible demolition

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By one estimate, it’s one of the best constructed facilities in Afghanistan, but soon the $34 million military center in Hemland province could be torn down because, well, it turns out troops are leaving and the U.S. government might not have really needed the building in the first place. Special Office of Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko outlined the scope and history of the expensive problem in a letter this week to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, which you can read about here. But for a virtual tour of the building’s clean, spacious and barren offices and meeting…

Marine Corps looks to DISA, industry to slash mobile costs

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The Marine Corps is testing new capabilities it hopes will cut mobile computing costs in half. The service is working with Verizon, Sprint and AT&T on a small beta program to test the feasibility of wireless carriers managing the security of mobile devices, based on Marine Corps policies and standards. The devices will be managed using a dual persona solution, which will allow the carriers to manage government data and applications but not personal use of the phone by military and civilian users. “If the beta goes well and we prove the technical requirements that need to be employed, then…

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