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Public Interest Watchdogs Discuss Agency Watchdogs

Tune into this week’s FEDtalk to hear public interest groups discuss the inspector general (IG) community, the independence of IGs, and ways IGs can be improved.

Scott Amey, General Counsel, Project of Government Oversight (POGO), and Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project (GAP), join the show’s host Debra Roth, partner, Shaw Bransford & Roth, to discuss.

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OPM Director Holds Digital Town Hall on Future of America's Workforce

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

Last Friday, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta held a digital town hall on the future of America’s workforce.

Director Archuleta reflected on her first year at OPM, and travels around the country meeting federal employees and those seeking to enter federal service.

The digital event was facilitated by Steve Ressler, founder of GovLoop.com, an online community of government employees.

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A Variety of Thoughts Regarding Federal Benefits, Part 1

When contemplating the topic for this month, I decided I would just share several mini-thoughts on the many various benefits and programs available to Federal employees and retirees.  I have expanded on some of these thoughts in more detail in previous articles, and I’ll continue to expand on these in future articles.

I’m certain that questions will arise upon reading these short thoughts, so I’ll do my best to give you web links for further reading and study. Feel free to send me questions at publisher@shawbransford.com.

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Help Feds in Need—Support FEEA's Bill Bransford Helping Hands Fund

During this year’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) – join the effort of feds helping feds!

Consider contributing to the Bill Bransford Helping Hands Fund, which provides grants to federal employees in need for whom repayment of even a no-interest FEEA (Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund) loan would create an undue hardship.

Bill Bransford, of the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C. and the publisher of the FEDmanager and FEDagent newsletters, passed away in September 2013. He also was a long time FEEA Board member.

"Bill was known as a champion of the federal workforce and dedicated his profession to advocating on their behalf. This fund recognizes that dedication and ensures that his legacy continues to truly help those in need. He'd approve, and ask you to join him in support," said Debra Roth, longtime law partner at Shaw Bransford & Roth, upon creation of the Fund.

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Army Changes Security Regulation after Termination of Employee for Anonymous Posts Relating to Sexual Orientation

The Department of the Army terminated a civilian employee after his “anonymous online posts” were discovered by his supervisors and coworkers. Those posts mentioned the employee’s sexual orientation. Army Regulation (“AR”) 380-67 provides that certain sexual behaviors “could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying.” Among those behaviors listed is “sexual behavior of a public nature and/or that which reflects lack of discretion or judgment.” On October 16, 2014, the Office of Special Counsel announced that the Department of the Army, after an OSC investigation, had modified AR 380-67 to state that “[n]o adverse inference concerning the standards in the Guideline may be raised solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual.”

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