Browsing: OPM

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


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: For those who really want to go hard-core, this is the link to OPM’s updated 35-page manual on the subject: It’s still too early to say what’s in store for tomorrow, but in a…

Archuleta sworn in as OPM director


Katherine Archuleta officially became the 10th director of the Office of Personnel Management this morning following a private swearing-in ceremony, the agency said in a news release. Archuleta, confirmed by the Senate last Wednesday to a four-year term, began the day  by greeting employees in the lobby of OPM headquarters. “OPM touches so many lives and has such a significant impact on government service,” Archuleta said in the release. “I look forward to getting to know the many dedicated, hard-working men and women who serve the public every day.” Archuleta replaces John Berry, who left in April en route to…

Shutdown over: Federal employees should report to work Thursday morning. Back pay coming soon.


The 16-day partial government shutdown is officially over as President Obama has signed a stop-gap spending bill, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell said in a message released early Thursday morning. “This evening, the President signed a continuing resolution that reopens the federal government and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance to all departments and agencies to resume operations in a prompt and orderly manner,” Burwell said.  “In the days ahead, we will work closely with departments and agencies to make the transition back to full operating status as smooth as possible. This has been a particularly challenging time…

Today's holiday just another furlough day for many feds


Officially, today (i.e., Oct. 14, marking Columbus Day) remains on the books as a paid federal holiday. But because of the partial government shutdown, only a limited number of federal employees are scheduled to be paid for it. Even employees deemed “excepted” (or as many feds put it, “essential”) during the shutdown must take today as an unpaid furlough day unless required to report to work, according to Office of Personnel Management instructions (check out pp. 12 and 13). As OPM puts it in a helpful question-and-answer format: “Q: Will an ‘excepted’ employee who does not work on a holiday…

Government shutdown begins


The closing of a vast swath of government operations is now under way as this Office of Management and Budget memo makes clear. The U.S. Agriculture Department, meanwhile, has wasted no time taking down its website. The Office of Personnel Management’s site, however, is still live, with a page with guidance on everything you probably never wanted to know about employee furloughs.

What's your take on the FEHBP 2014 health plan rates?


Hi everyone: As most Federal Times readers probably know, the Office of Personnel Management  yesterday announced 2014 rates for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, both for health plans as well as dental and vision. In comparison with trends from just a couple of years ago, next year’s increases are relatively modest, but–as federal employees unions were quick to point out–they are still increases as a time when many feds have lost income because of furloughs and everyone remains under the pay freeze now in place for almost three years. We want to get your feedback. Are the increases for…

One man, two wives and an annuity


Nearly a decade after he died, the complicated marital turnabouts of a U.S. Forest Service employee named Don King gave rise Friday to a ruling by the  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. First, some background. Try to follow along, it’s complicated. In 1967, King married a woman named Diana. They divorced in 1980. They remarried in 1981. Then, they divorced again 18 months later. And yet they held themselves out to be married for years afterward, living in the same house, keeping joint accounts and even celebrating their (original) anniversary. But in 2002, Don moved out. He…

OPM administering new benefits survey


The Office of Personnel Management is again asking feds what they think of their benefits, according a recently posted memo on the agency’s web site. OPM will be administering the Federal Employee Benefits Survey this summer by email to a random sample of workers, acting OPM Director Elaine Kaplan said in the Aug. 13 heads-up.  The survey was last done two years ago after traditional benefits questions were dropped in 2010 from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Completing the benefits survey should take about 15 minutes and doing it during work hours is OK, Kaplan indicated. The survey’s chief purpose…

NARFE debuts retirement ticker to show federal brain drain


How to dramatize the largely hidden loss of experience and expertise as federal workers call it quits? Here’s the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association’s solution:  On its web site, the group has built an online ticker  that seeks to track the impact of that exodus down to the hour. Based on Office of Personnel Management data, NARFE calculates that the nation has lost an average of 10,000 years of federal worker experience every day since Jan. 1. It also suggests that the current political and fiscal climate is not inconsequential. “Sure, people retire,” the group says on the…

Senate panel to vote this morning on nominees to lead OPM, Census Bureau


Two Obama administration candidates for nuts-and-bolts jobs are scheduled to get confirmation votes at 10 a.m. today from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. First up, according to a committee advisory, is the nomination of John Thompson to head the Census Bureau. Thompson, who previously worked for the bureau as far back as the 1970s in such posts as associate director for the decennial census, is currently president and CEO of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, according a White House bio. The Senate panel is also supposed to vote on the nomination of…

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