"That competition and conflict are about people is hardly a revelation. Nevertheless, this fundamental premise often has not received the central emphasis that it should in U.S. military deliberation," says the white paper, released May 13 and signed by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos and Navy Adm. William McRaven, head of Special Operations Command.
President Obama called on the Office of Personnel Management to plan a governmentwide strategy to reduce the gender pay gap in the federal workforce, May 10 memo says. Within 180 days, OPM must submit a strategy that addresses whether a chance in the General Schedule classification system would address the gender pay gap.
The Defense Department will furlough its civilian employees for 11 days due to sequestration cuts, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a prepared statement May 14. Furloughs will begin July 8 at a rate of one day per week.
OMB has a reputation for having "excellent professional staff," Brian Deese said. "It's also facing a lot of challenges today, and so I think that investing in making sure that the institution is able to continue to attract and recruit top-flight talent" will be key, he said.
Commerce Department employees in 2011 made improper transactions with department purchase cards that included transactions that exceeded the card holders limit, a May 2 Commerce Department Inspector General report (.pdf) says.
The $1.9 billion quarterly loss was up from the previous quarter, when the Postal Service lost $1.3 billion. But compared to the same period last year, its quarterly loss shrank by about 40 percent. The agency lost $3.2 billion in the second quarter of last year. The majority of the $1.9 billion loss during this latest quarter could be attributed to prefunding the retiree health benefits program, which cost the Postal Service $1.4 billion.
Successfully training federal workers requires interactive courses and a willingness to adjust training quickly if a technique isn't effective, Social Security Administration Director of Appellate Operations Patricia Jones said during an Excellence in Government panel on May 13. The three keys to training are to set goals, use data to improve those goals and then adjust those goals appropriately as training continues, Jones said.
With time running out for the Defense Department to make an announcement about civilian employee furloughs this fiscal year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel may make an announcement as early as today.
Davita Vance-Cooks, the acting public printer at the Government Printing Office, has been nominated to permanently head the agency.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has rescheduled its consideration of Gina McCarthy, the nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, after the committee's Republicans boycotted the May 9 meeting to vote on her nomination.
The Veterans Affairs Department objects to legislation that would require it to have at least one full-service VA medical center in each of the 48 contiguous states because the VA has its own cost effective way of determining where hospitals should be located, VA Undersecretary for Health Robert L. Jesse said in a May 9 Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing.
The Federal Aviation Administration will keep open 149 contract towers that were originally slated for closure in June due to money from Congress that helped end employee furloughs, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement May 10. The Reducing Flight Delays Act allowed the FAA to transfer money stop furloughs of air traffic controllers and some of that money will also be used keep the contract towers open through fiscal 2013, LaHood said.
The Nevada House delegation introduced a bill May 8 that would ban federal agencies from discouraging the selection of a resort or vacation destination as the location for a federal conference."After the GSA issue was exposed, the city of Las Vegas was unfairly targeted as somehow being the cause of the wasteful spending," said Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.).
Sequestration cuts hampered the Office of Personnel Management's ability to reduce the backlog of federal retirement claims, OPM Associate Director for Retirement Services Ken Zawodny told the House Oversight Committee May 9. Because of the cuts, OPM banned overtime for employees processing federal retirement claims.
The Internal Revenue Service fiscal 2014 budget request saved $214 million through program cuts including hiring restrictions, closing offices and reducing IT, a May 3 GAO report (.pdf) says. If the budget request is enacted, IRS would save $78 million in hiring restrictions. The agency plans to not replace staff that have retired, the report says.
The House Armed Services Committee voted six bills related to veteran affairs out of committee May 8, including one that would suspend Veteran's Administration executive bonuses for five years. The ban on bonuses came in the form of an amendment from Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) to the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 357) that would put a five year moratorium on performance bonuses for VA senior executives.
The Social Security Administration needs to work with other state and federal agencies and share data to make sure social security payments are made properly, Office of Federal Financial Management Controller Daniel Werfel told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee May 8. There are data connections, Werfel said, such as if a worker is getting direct deposit from an employer it means that person is alive, but if a person hasn't used their Medicare in three years, it's likely they're dead.
Budget cuts due to sequestration caused a lack of readiness in the military that will interfere with the Defense Department providing replacement unites in Afghanistan next year, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told an audience at the National Press Club May 7.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is responsible for inspecting federal firearms licensees, which include dealers, manufacturers and importers. The ATF's goal is to inspect all licensees on 3- or 5-year cycles, but auditors found that 58 percent of licensees--73,204 of them--had not been inspected within 5 years.