The Office of Personnel Management wants to make it easier for federal workers to telework, an Aug. 22 OPM memo says. Agencies should remove barriers or limitations that unnecessarily restrict federal workers from using existing workplace flexibilities and work-life programs, the memo says.
The House Oversight Committee chairman wants answers from the Commerce Department about why reports show that patent examiners and paralegals lied about their hours while teleworking. At the end of July, the Commerce Department inspector general found that many paralegal specialists at the PTO "were frequently paid to do nothing". The practice persisted over several years even as a backlog of appeals cases grew during that time.
Nearly 50 inspectors general have signed a letter to congressional oversight committees, pointing out that recent restrictions in accessing records at three agencies could jeopardize the work and authority of every federal IG.
The SSA's Disability Case Processing System, or DCPS, has failed to produce a working system after more than six years of development and $288 million, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
A new bipartisan House bill directs the Federal Communications Commission to determine if some spectrum bands can be set aside specifically for wireless devices such as laptop and tablet computers.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants more latitude to fire poorly performing employees, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told a House panel June 25. "Any way we can make these processes move more quickly, I'm all for it," McCarthy said at a House Oversight and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. "But there is an administrative process we must follow."
The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act passed in the House May 22 as part of the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435). The bill passed with a 325-98 vote.
The Postal Service's employee pension program has remained unchanged since 1987 despite rising costs that have left the agency operating at a deficit in the billions, a May 1 USPS Inspector General report says. USPS operated at a $5 billion loss in fiscal 2013 and much of its budget goes to labor expenses. About $6 billion of the beleaguered agency's spending went to retirement benefits, the report (pdf) says.
The House this week passed by voice vote a bill that would cut down the number of reports agencies must produce. The bill (H.R.4194) would eliminate outdated and duplicative reports that agencies have to write for Congress. By eliminating the 79 reports deemed unnecessary by both the Office of Management and Budget and House Committees, the government would save about $1 million a year for the next five years, says Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in an April 28 statement.
A bill reforming federal management of information technology has another shot at becoming law following the House's Feb. 25 passage by voice vote of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The bill (H.R. 1232) the House approved Tuesday afternoon is different in some key respects from an earlier version the House attached as an amendment to a national defense authorization bill.