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Army Leaders Revamping Civilian Career Management

GEICO’s Good Stuff is a column series highlighting great stuff happening in the federal community.

The Army is working to improve civilian career development, including hiring, training, development and retention, according to a recent press report.

Army Under Secretary Brad R. Carson recently hosted a  two-day session at the Pentagon with approximately thirty members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) to discuss thoughts and strategies for improving civilian career development.

The Army has developed a Civilian Workforce Transformation (CWT) program, which was created to help develop an enterprise approach to how Army manages its civilian cadre. The CWT is modeled from the effective, centrally managed and resourced professional development scheme used for military members.

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Phased Retirement : A Tool for Supervisors

It’s my opinion that Phased Retirement makes for a wonderful HR (Human Resources) tool. Agency leadership could use phased retirement to help manage the huge “brain drain” that they are facing as more and more experienced Federal employees leave the work place for retirement.  If you are a supervisor who is facing the possibility of losing some of your most valued employees to retirement, you would certainly want to talk with your agency HR in regards to this tool.  Keep in mind, however, that the earliest that Phased Retirement will be available for agency use will be November 6th of this year.

Since each agency will have to determine various parameters as to how this tool will be managed within the agency, it’s possible that the tool may not be available to everyone as early as November.  Each agency will have to decide whether they will even allow this tool to be used at all, whether certain positions will be exempt, and what level of leadership will be required to approve phased retirement.  The agency must also decide on whether they want to establish a time limit on Phased Retirement.

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MSPB Denies Access to Voluntary Early Retirement to Employee Guilty of Embezzling Funds

On November 6, 2012, the Department of Agriculture proposed to indefinitely suspend an Area Director with the agency’s Rural Housing Service in Camden, Alabama in contemplation of an ongoing criminal investigation and the purported confession of the employee to the conduct at issue. On November 20, 2012, the employee pled guilty to a felony criminal charge related to embezzling $6,225,920.76 in government funds. On December 5, 2012, an email memorandum issued announcing the agency’s approval of an early buyout under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (“VERA”). But because the employee’s suspension had been effected on November 24, 2012, he did not have access to his agency email account and was unaware of the December 5th email memorandum about VERA. On December 18, 2012, the agency issued a proposed removal letter to the employee, and on December 21, 2012, the “window” for employees to apply for early retirement ended.

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Leaning Into Your Journey to the Senior Executive Service

Not surprisingly, while working with thousands of SES applicants, the team at CareerPro Global has noticed certain best (and worst) practices.

Chief among them is that clients wait until the last minute to prepare their SES application materials. While we realize that everyone is busy in this sometimes-dizzying modern workplace, rushing through resume and ECQ development is never going to be ideal. Further, the end products may not be as strong as they could be.

So, rather than wait until you find that perfect position, or until your SES boss gives you the wink and says “you should apply,” we encourage you to take a more proactive stance.

After all, if you have made that internal decision to pursue a position/career in the SES, then you might as well “lean into it,” instead of standing on the sidelines and biting your fingernails with nervous excitement.

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Federal Managers Work With Congress to Provide Well-earned Sick Leave Credit for Disabled Veterans

By The Federal Managers Association

The federal government is proud to be the largest employer of veterans in the country. These brave men and women are returning from military service with skills and talents that federal managers find invaluable. This population of workers, however, includes many with significant service-related disabilities. Those classified by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with a disability rating need to keep VA medical appointments not only for treatment, but also to ensure their disability benefits. Disabled veterans who are serving their first year of federal employment often struggle with allotted sick leave. These men and women, like all feds, begin their first year of service with no sick leave, accruing four hours of leave every pay period. However, with chronic disabilities that require numerous medical appointments, disabled veterans run the risk of exhausting both sick and annual leave available in their first year of service.

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