Nearly half of middle-class military families are worried about their job and financial security, a recently released survey by First Command Financial Services says. About 46 percent of military families making at least $50,000 a year said they were concerned about job security.
An internal audit found that revised guidelines to help a U.S. Postal Service initiative increase efficiencies in each postal district by centralizing delivery operations are still insufficient.
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.
The federal government's complex hiring rules favoring veterans have caused federal workers to think vets get unfair treatment, a recently released Merit Systems Protection Board report says. "Some of the perceptions of inappropriate favoritism may have been a result of the complex hiring process and a proliferation of hiring authorities, which can invite misunderstandings and provide opportunities for suspicion," the report says.
The amount the federal government paid out in Equal Employment Opportunity claims rose more than 18 percent in fiscal 2012 over the previous year, a recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report says. Agencies paid about $51.4 billion in benefits to EEO complainants in fiscal 2012 through administrative judges' decisions. That number came in at $43.5 million in fiscal 2011, the EEOC report says. Another $10.8 million was paid out due to appeals decisions. That number is up from $9.2 million in fiscal 2011.
Under current employee compensation laws, federal workers have little incentive to return to work, which lowers productivity and increases costs, a recently released Postal Service inspector general report says. USPS paid out about $1.3 billion in 2013 in workers' compensation. That's a 35 percent increase from what the agency paid out in 2008 despite significant cuts to its workforce, the report says.
According to the latest data for fiscal 2011, there were more than 2.8 million federal workers across the country and worldwide. Of the total federal workforce, 56.19 percent were men and 43.81 percent were women. The number of women in the federal workforce dipped slightly from almost 44 percent in fiscal 2010 after a period of rising female employment.
The Postal Service will move ahead with its consolidation of processing facilities after the second phase of the project was postponed earlier this year despite postal unions and some lawmakers coming out against the plan. The Postal Service inspector general, who is looking into whether the consolidation makes sense, says USPS will close (pdf) up to 82 mail processing facilities starting in January 2015, a year after the agency postponed the closings.
Per diem rates for federal workers won't change in fiscal 2015, according to an Aug. 13 General Services Administration notice published in the Federal Register. The standard lodging per diem rate will remain at $83 and meals and incidental expense tiers, ranging from $46 to $71, also remain unchanged.
More than 300 NASA professional support specialists voted Aug. 12 to join the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers union, an IFPTE statement says. Professional support specialists include budget analysts, secretaries, administrative specialists and policy analysts.