Some part time federal employees could soon see access to government healthcare under a July 29 Office of Personnel Management proposed rule. Seasonal, intermittent and temporary employees are not eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program if they work fewer than six months, but this rule would change that for some of those federal workers.
The Commerce Department's inspector general began its investigation nearly a year ago after it received anonymous whistleblower allegations that paralegals with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or PTAB, within the U.S. PTO had insufficient workloads and instead used that time to surf the Internet, watch TV and do other personal activities.
Since the federal government invests $17 billion annually into employment and job-training programs, the White House is directing agencies to incorporate a series of elements that would help businesses better meet hiring needs and workers improve their outcomes.
Anne Rung, the nominee to head the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said focusing on strategic source, greater innovation in federal procurement and improved training would be her top priorities should she become administrator. Rung, who received broad support at a July 24 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, said she's seen a vast improvement in training at the Federal Acquisition Institute and wants to build on that.
A House panel will markup a bill Thursday that would double the probation period for senior agency executives and make it easier to fire them. The bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee would raise the probation period for senior executives from one year to two years.
The Office of Management and Budget will collect information on training and case management to help implement continuous evaluations on the security clearances of federal workers, a July 18 OMB memo says. The memo expands on what OMB wants from agencies under the program to monitor security clearances.
The Social Security Administration should move away from relying on field offices and move toward automated and digital customer service. That could lead to job cuts at the agency, a recently released National Academy of Public Administration report says. The NAPA worked with SSA to make 29 recommendations to make the agency more viable by 2025.
President Obama amended Monday two executive orders that prohibit the federal government and its contractors from discriminating against gay and transgendered workers. Executive Order 11246, issued by President Lyndon Johnson, prohibits federal contractors from discriminating "against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin."
Under an appropriations bill passed by the House last week, executives at the Internal Revenue Service would be ineligible for performance awards in 2015. The bill (H.R.5016), passed by the House July 16, sets out fiscal 2015 appropriations for the IRS and general government services. The bonuses provision was added as an amendment by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) and approved in a 282-138 vote. The amendment would affects IRS career management officials in the Senior Executive Service.
Some federal employees will be allowed to enroll in dental and vision coverage outside the normal open period, a July 17 Office of Personnel Management final rule says. Federal workers with qualifying life events will be able to change their benefits immediately rather than wait for the open period in November.