Retired Navy Rear Adm. Earl Gay said he would focus on fixing the Office of Personnel's background check system if the Senate approves his nomination as the agency's deputy director, a position that has been vacant for more than three years.
The Office of Personnel Management convened a 100-person session to help identify problems with the Pathways program, said OPM Chief of Staff Ann Marie Habershaw at a Nov. 19 event sponsored by FedInsider and George Washington University. OPM has been hearing complaints about Pathways, which is an internship program that could lead to a full-time government position, since it started in 2012, with federal managers saying hiring interns out of the program is too cumbersome.
The federal government can change a number of existing policies around research and development, education and tax to spur greater U.S. innovation, a new Congressional Budget Office report said. It also examined what changes can be made to immigration policy, the patent system and the regulatory environment.
The Office of Personnel Management could have understated the amount of time federal employees are conducting union business on the clock, a recently released Oct. 23 Government Accountability Office report says. OPM found in 2012 that the cost of federal employees conducting union business during official time across 62 agencies came in at about $157.2 million for about 3.44 million hours, the report says.
The Office of Personnel management is intent on doing more to bring in the right people to government. That means reaching out to new areas on the recruitment side but also improving the application process by retooling USAJobs.gov, said Director of the Office of Personnel Management Katherine Archuleta during a Nov. 14 digital town hall.
The Merit Systems Protection Board set out guidance to advise former military members of their rights while working at federal agencies and what they should do if they feel those rights are violated. The guidance (pdf) works off the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.
The federal retirement claims backlog jumped in October after three months of reductions, statistics from the Office of Personnel Management show. OPM received (pdf) more than 10,000 new retirement claims in October, which is the most it's received since February, when the agency was flooded with more than 12,000 claims.
The gap between private sector and federal employee pay continues to widen, says the lastest version of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Cost Index. The September EPI (pdf) shows that private sector pay rose by 2.3 percent for the over the last year. That's the biggest jump since 2008.
Federal worker unions aren't happy with the national midterm election results and say it's not going to be easy for the federal workforce over the next two years. "What happened Tuesday is just the beginning of what we already knew would be a tough two years for government employees," says American Federation of Government Employees National President David Cox in a Nov. 5 statement.
For the first time ever, about 370 federal workers at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will be able to collectively bargain after joining the National Treasury Employees Union Oct. 30. The employees are located in Washington, D.C., Kansas City and Chicago.