In an advisory in March, the Office of Government Ethics noted that agency employees must continue to comply with criminal conflict-of-interest laws, including one that prohibits compensation for one's official duties from someone other than the U.S. government. The OGE also referred to Office of Personnel Management guidance from January, which said rules that govern executive-branch ethical standards will continue to apply to furloughed federal employees.
At the Office of Management and Budget, 480 employees have received furlough notices, Carney said. He did not specify which other EOP offices notified their employees of upcoming furloughs. The EOP has also slowed new hiring and left open positions unfilled, he said. Components have reduced purchases of equipment and supplies, the use of air cards for Internet access, and staff travel.
Emergency measures to help the federal court system cope with sequestration are "unsustainable, difficult and painful to implement," a federal judge told a congressional committee Wednesday, and will seriously compromise court operations. Unlike other federal departments, the judiciary cannot cut programs or grants to manage the shortfall.
Black federal employees continue to face a number of equal employment opportunity obstacles, concludes a study from a working group commissioned by the Office of Federal Operations within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
After years of budget justifications that congressional staff have deemed inadequate, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has begun to improve its explanations, the Government Accountability Office says.
Government scientists have gained more whistleblower protection and freedom to express personal opinions under the Obama administration, but most agencies still do not give scientists access to drafts and final revisions in which their work played a part, a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found .
The National Park Service says sequestation will impact every aspect of its operations and cause the agency to leave 900 vacant positions unfilled and furlough some U.S. Park Police employees. FAA has now warned contractors that sequestration may delay, change or cancel work.
The federal workforce would shrink by 10 percent by 2015 under a new budget plan from Rep. Paul Ryan. The plan suggests that federal workers ought to be more exposed to the struggles that private-sector workers face: "Immune from the effects of the recession, federal employees have received regular salary bumps regardless of productivity or economic realities."
The House approved Wednesday a continuing resolution that would fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2013 and would increase Defense Department readiness spending by roughly $10 million. The bill topline would keep overall discretionary spending at the sequestration amount of $982 billion.
An unexpected surge in federal retirement claims in February has dealt a setback to the Office of Personnel Management's efforts to reduce its claims backlog. OPM received about 20,000 retirement claims in February, more than three times the amount it projected.