The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC), a public-private IT partnership, announced the 31 finalists for its annual Excellence.gov Awards. The program, which recognizes the best practices in the government’s management and use of information technology, will announce the winners on March 24, 2014 at the Arena Stage in Washington DC. “The Excellence.Gov Awards recognizes government programs that use IT to fuel efficiency, collaboration and cost savings,” said Kimberly Hancher, Government Chair for Excellence.Gov 2014. “This year’s finalists demonstrate creativity in the public sector and serve as a model for innovation across government.” The following are the…

Federal offices in the Washington, D.C. area will be closed Thursday, the Office of Personnel Management has announced. The early call came Wednesday evening as snow is already accumulating. As usual, emergency and telework-ready employees must follow their agencies’ policies. But for those who have the chance to sleep a little later tomorrow morning, enjoy it. And stay safe.

How badly do you want to catch some fish? Or do you just want to cruise the waters in style? Well either way you might want to consider bidding on a Navy special operations craft, currently on sale through the General Services Administration auction program. The initial bid is $100,000 but that won’t meet the reserve. The 82-foot Mark V special operations craft weighs about 57 tons and can carry about 6,500 pounds with a range of 500 nautical miles. It can fit you and up to 15 of your closest friends/military Special Forces crew seated in relative comfort. It…

Every year, tens of thousands of federal employees retire or otherwise leave their jobs. But some agencies have much higher turnover rates than others. That data nugget is buried in a recent Government Accountability Office report examining government workforce trends. From fiscal 2004 through 2012, the average annual government retirement rate was 3.5 percent, the average resignation rate, 2.4 percent, for a combined “separation rate” of 5.9 percent, according to the report. But when GAO reviewers looked at 24 individual agencies, they found a pretty big spread around that average. During that 2004-12 period, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency…

Just a heads-up that the U.S. Postal Service will be announcing its first-quarter fiscal 2014 financial results on Friday morning. Because of the holiday shipping season, the first quarter is typically the Postal Service’ s strongest, so it will be interesting to see whether the steady (albeit relative) improvement in USPS finances continued in the three-month period from October through December. The numbers typically are released at a Board of Governors meeting. In this case, however, the Postal Service plans to announce them via a news release, followed by posting of the full quarterly report. Federal Times will have the…

On April 2, 2012 a General Services Administration Inspector General report detailed wasteful practices at an $823,000, 2010 regional conference in Las Vegas, leading to the ouster of GSA’s top leadership and reforming government conference spending. A music-video parody of Travie McCoy’s music video for ‘Billionaire’ featuring Bruno Mars by then GSA employee Hank Terlaje titled “The Commissioner Project” and shown at the conference quickly became one of the most famous – or infamous – parts of the ongoing scandal. It’s also quite catchy. (Full disclosure: Terlaje says in the song that every time he closes his eyes he sees…

Federal agencies may have a tough time holding on to their program managers come 2017. A new Government Accountability Office report ranked program management as the occupational category with the highest percentage of employees eligible to retire by 2017. For mid-sized agencies like the General Services Administration, Housing and Urban Development Department and Office of Personnel Management, 56 percent of employees involved in program management will be eligible to retire in the next three years, the report found. At larger agencies that number is nearly 44 percent. As more employees become eligible to retire, GAO noted that occupations like program management…

When the military dog Rex II came home to Fort Myer after serving in Afghanistan he was unable to be placed into a home right away because of behavioral issues. But two federal employees believed the dog had earned a second chance for helping to protect service members and save lives while overseas. So GSA’s Mid-Atlantic Area Property Officer Robert Kitsock worked with Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Property Disposal Technician Angela Sakyrd to help find him a home at the Panama City Beach Police Department. Read more about it on the GSA blog.

The price of a first-class stamp rises from 46 to 49 cents tomorrow and the cost of a host of other mail products and services will also increase following regulators’ decision last month to grant the U.S. Postal Service a temporary emergency rate increase. As FedLine noted a couple of days ago, both the U.S. Postal Service and a mailing industry coalition planned to contest (albeit for different reasons) the Postal Regulatory Commission’s ruling. In appeals Thursday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, both camps followed through. You can read the USPS filing here…

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