Browsing: Agency Management

Want to honor good work by a federal employee?

0

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…

Attorneys for indigent federal defendants face pay cut

0

A $15 hourly pay cut is coming for lawyers in private practice who represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases. The looming cut, effective Sept. 1, will lower the hourly rate for so-called “panel attorneys” in most cases from $125 per hour to $110 per hour, said Karen Redmond, a spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. For lawyers working on behalf of defendants facing the death penalty, the change will take their hourly compensation from $178 to $163. The reductions, signaled in a letter released today from William Traxler, chairman of the executive committee of the Judicial Conference…

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

1

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…

A background checker's checkered past

0

Ramon Davila is one name in a growing list. He’s among the nearly two dozen federal background check investigators to face criminal charges in recent years for falsifying his work on investigations performed on contractors and employees seeking government clearances. But more than year after charging Davila, the Justice Department only just learned that he had a troubling past that went unnoticed during his own background investigation. It turns out, officials at another federal law enforcement agency decided nearly a decade ago to keep out of his personnel folder serious misconduct findings against Davila stemming from his years as a…

When contract talks get heated, who's in charge?

3

Time and time again, big contractors went over the heads of General Service Administration contracting officers who were trying to negotiate good prices for the government. But when it came time to choose, GSA supervisors sided with the contractors. That’s the conclusion of recent GSA Office of Inspector report that raises troubling questions about the enormous pressure contracting officers can come under from contractors with close ties to managers and even members of Congress. While GSA says it’s got new management and won’t tolerate such interference nowadays, the bigger questions are whether this sort of thing happens elsewhere, not just…

Contract flaws found in GSA Disney trip

0

More than half of the attendees at a big training meeting in 2011 for the General Services Administration’s acquisition arm hailed from the Washington area, but when it came time to figure out a location, officials headed to sunny Orlando instead. As outlined in a memo released by the GSA’s Inspector General this week, a review found that Federal Acquisition Service officials settled on a contract proposal for conference planning and training that came to nearly a quarter million dollars, while the next highest vendor proposed just $79,784. Despite the price, the IG found that officials essentially steered the conference…

When late isn't really late

2

On Nov. 27, 2012, at 3:38 p.m., an employee at Insight Systems Corp., which was bidding on a health services contract, submitted a revised quote to two employees inside the U.S. Agency for International Development. The deadline for doing so was 5 p.m. The message reached the first of three agency-controlled servers at 3:41 p.m., but then it got stuck. And it wasn’t until 5:18 p.m. that the email reached the first USAID employee, while the second employee didn’t receive the message until 5:57 p.m. Around the same time, an employee at another company, CenterScope, which was submitting its own…

Federal law enforcement group urges lawmakers to cancel recess

0

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association came out today with a simple plea to Congress: Keep working. “I am respectfully asking all members of Congress to holster their blame-pointing fingers, and get back to the table to come up with a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that won’t debilitate federal law enforcement,” FLEOA President Jon Adler said in a news release. That appeal comes as lawmakers are preparing to trade Capitol Hill for the campaign trail as early as this weekend, with no plans to be back before mid-November. That will be almost two months in which they won’t be working to avert…

But we've always done it that way . . .

3

Thinking new–so hard to do. Set it to music and that might be the refrain of a new report on how federal workers view their agencies’ attitude toward the cutting edge. Only about 40 percent of feds believe that agencies reward creativity and innovation, the Partnership for Public Service found. And although more than nine out of ten say they are looking for fresh approaches to doing their jobs better, just 59 percent feel encouragement from higher-ups “to come up with new and better ways of doing things.” In the private-sector workforce, the comparable figure is 71 percent. Overall, the…

VA career tool may be example for other agencies

1

Veterans Affairs Department employees have had access to one of the government’s best career-development tools since October. Soon, you may see something like it coming to your agency. Last week, top VA officials demonstrated the tool — called MyCareer@VA — at a meeting of administration and union leaders. “When you think about your own career, there are times that you want to figure out how to get ahead, but there are also times that you may feel like you’re stuck and want to do something else,” said VA Deputy Secretary Scott Gould as he presented the website July 18 to…

1 2 3 5