Browsing: Workplace

The petition to give feds the day after Christmas off has failed


Well if you wanted to spend Dec. 26 relaxing at home or with family without having to use a vacation day then you are probably bitterly disappointed this chilly day in November. A petition asking President Obama to use his executive power to give feds the day after Christmas off failed to gain enough signatures to get a response from the administration. A petition needs to reach 100,000 signatures before the time limit in order to get a response. So how many did this petition get? Well, this reporter wasn’t up at midnight checking the website, but last time he…

Want to honor good work by a federal employee?


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 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…

OPM, background contractor on vetting of Navy Yard shooter


Before he shot and killed 12 people in the Navy Yard rampage, Aaron Alexis had a string of arrests spanning years. That’s led many to wonder how he could’ve received and retained the security clearance that enabled him to enter the secure building in the first place. On Thursday, the company that performed the background check on Alexis in 2007 and the agency that oversaw the work issued separate statements in response to questions about the shooting. Here they are in their entirety: “The security clearance process begins when an agency identifies a person who will require eligibility for access…

Agency board to talk transparency, but meeting closed to public


The board that oversees the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent federal agency that doles out foreign aid, is meeting next week  to discuss open data and transparency. But the meeting, it turns out, is closed to the public. As a policy, MCC board meetings are held behind closed doors. But with transparency on the agenda, “it’s hard to see why the entire board meeting would be closed to the public,” said John Wonderlich, policy director for the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for increased government transparency. He credited the MCC for releasing copies of its meeting minutes. Meanwhile,…

Feds fall victim in ID theft scam


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…

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


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…

OPM issues guidance to agencies on assisting victims of domestic violence


Agencies have four months to develop or modify policies addressing the effects of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking on their respective workforces, according to a Feb. 8 Office of Personnel Management memo. Agencies will then submit the policies to OPM for review and will be required to issue a final policy within six months. “The guidance is designed to give agencies the flexibility to tailor their own individual policies to specific agency practices and culture,” OPM director John Berry said in a memo. From the memo: To assist agencies in developing their policies over the next several months OPM,…

Job security in uncertain budget times


Are you a federal or contractor IT professional who’s concerned about job security and workplace morale during these uncertain budget times? Are you considering work elsewhere, or are you hoping for the best and staying put in your current position? Federal Times would like to hear from you. Contact Nicole Johnson at 703-750-8145 or

TSA's insider threat program lacks policies, procedures


While the Transportation Security Administration has made headway in defending against insider attacks, the agency lacks specific policies and procedures to mitigate those threats, according to a recent inspector general audit. The September audit, released this week, found that TSA has not implemented insider threat policies and procedures that clearly explain its employees’ role in defending against insider threats. TSA also lacks a risk mitigation plan that ensures all employees address the risks of insider threats in a consistent way. TSA defines insider threat as “one or more individuals with access or insider knowledge that allows them to exploit the…

VA career tool may be example for other agencies


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