Only about 17 percent of the federal workforce teleworks with any regularity, the Office of Personnel Management 2013 Viewpoint Survey says. About 3 percent of the workforce teleworks three days a week or more and about 9 percent work remotely one or two days per week, the survey says. About 4 percent telework 1 or 2 days per month and 10 percent occasionally work remotely on an unscheduled basis.
The effects of October's 16 day shutdown continue to ripple through the government as the Merit Systems Protection Board faces a mountain of furlough appeals it still needs to adjudicate and hundreds of federal employees sue the government for damages from not receiving pay on time during the shutdown.
The 16-day government shutdown in October cost the federal government about $2 billion in lost worker productivity, a Nov. 7 Office of Management and Budget. Federal employees were furloughed for a combined total of 6.6 million days, more than in any previous government shutdown. At its peak, about 850,000 individuals per day were furloughed, the report (.pdf) says.
Top military officers warned that sequestration would reduce manpower and cause higher U.S. casualty rates in a Nov. 7 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Through 2021, Defense Department sequestration cuts will total of $480 billion.
The Veterans Affairs Department reduced its disability claims backlog by 34 percent since March despite mandatory overtime being canceled during the recent government shutdown, a Nov. 7 department statement says. The VA reduced the number claims backlogged for more than a year by 93 percent since April, the statement says.
Federal worker satisfaction dropped for the third straight year, reaching its lowest point since 2008, the Office of Personnel Management 2013 Viewpoint Survey says. Only 59 percent of federal workers responded positively to questions about satisfaction with their job in the 2013 survey. That's down from 63 percent in 2012 and 66 percent in 2011.
The shutdown cost the federal government about $2 billion in lost worker productivity, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell said in a Nov. 6 call to reporters.
Without more clear and complete performance goals in the Defense Department's plan to reform the Military Health System, DoD won't be able to identify areas of risk to be monitored when implementing the new system, a Nov. 6 Government Accountability report says.
The National Science Foundation had enough flexibility in its fiscal 2013 budget to mitigate some of the cuts made due to sequestration, but going forward that will not be possible, said Kelvin Droegemeier, vice chairman of the National Science Board, during a Nov. 6 hearing.
President Obama directed agencies to make it easier for local jurisdictions to face the effects of climate change by directing them to scour their policies for barriers that discourage investments into national resilience or even increase the vulnerability of natural or man-made systems.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius conceded to a Senate Panel Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act healthcare exchange enrollment numbers for the first month will be very low. The numbers have yet to be released, but Sebelius said they would be released next week and include both Medicaid and health plan numbers in the new exchanges. "We are still at the beginning of a six month open enrollment which ends at the end of March," she said. "And there's plenty of time to sign up for the new plan."
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs moved to the Senate Nov. 6 two Postal Regulatory Commission members, both of which support legislation that would change the way the Postal Service provides healthcare to retirees.
Sequestration cut an already-declining intelligence community budget by more than $4 billion in fiscal 2013, recently released statistics from the Defense Department and the National Intelligence Director show.
Congressional voting patterns tend to shift in the president's favor during times of war--and the effect was especially strong during World War II and the post-9/11 wars, according to a new book on the wartime presidency. The book's authors--two political science professors and a Brookings Institution fellow--discussed their findings at a Brookings event Nov. 1.
The Postal Service didn't identify and recover about $9.9 million in fuel overpayments to trucking contractors in 2009 and 2010 through its Voyager Card Program, which allows drivers to expense gas on a credit card, an Oct. 30 USPS inspector general report says. The USPS IG found that in 2009 and 2010 the Postal Service calculated and recovered $12.6 million in overpayments, but when the IG did its own calculations, it found $22.5 million in overpayments.
Between 2005 and 2010, the U.S. Marshal Service spent nearly $800,000 on promotional swag such crystal statues, scars and Christmas ornaments due to lax oversight, a Nov. 5 Justice Department inspector general report says. The IG found the USMS Investigative Operations Division spent at least $793,118 on promotional items that these expenditures were excessive and, in some instances, in contravention of department policies.
The General Services Administration plans to experiment with car-sharing services as it considers whether the model suits the government's needs. In a request for information issued Nov. 5, GSA says that car-sharing may be more cost-effective than renting, leasing or purchasing when agencies only need vehicles intermittently.
The Small Business Administration plans to update its data rights policies under the Small Business Innovation Research program in late 2013 or early 2014, the Government Accountability Office says. An SBA spokesman could not offer details other than to say that the government shutdown in October delayed the revision process.
The government could save between $540 million and $770 million annually by moving to a shared service model for financial systems, an Oct. 30 Association of Government Accountant's report on a September AGA panel on shared services. With shared services, financial management systems become standardized across agencies, use fewer resources and a central staff.