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.
The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Monday that would enroll new federal employees into a more diverse retirement plan than the one currently used with the Thrift Savings Plan. The bill (H.R.4193) would change the funding the TSP for new hires from the now-standard G Fund to lifecycle funds. Those L Funds would move retirement savings into less risky funds as federal workers get closer to retirement age.
Top administration personnel officials called for changes to the federal general schedule pay system and it needs a complete overall rather than the tweaks it's gotten over the years. "We really need to take a look at the whole system," Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta said at a July 15 House Oversight and Government Reform federal workforce, Postal Service and the Census subcommittee hearing.
The Air Force plans to reduce costs and personnel by offering early retirement to 3,500 civilian workers, a July 14 Air Force statement says. The reduction is part of a Defense Department initiative that requires each military branch to cut costs and staff by at least 20 percent by 2019, saving the Air Force about $1.6 billion over the next five years.
Myriad challenges face Defense Department acquisition and many of them have been exacerbated budget cuts and pay freezes, DoD officials told a House panel July 10. "The fiscal challenges, shifting operational requirements, the current budget instability deriving from sequestration, years of pay freezes, furloughs, military end-strength reductions and the requirement for commensurate reductions in our civilian workforce, more than a decade of conflict--inevitably all of these things have affected the acquisition workforce," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephanie Barna at the hearing.