Top News from FEDmanager
In a memo to agencies and a guidance posted last week, the Office of Personnel Management is encouraging agencies to step away from progressive penalties and tables of penalties in deciding what disciplinary action to take against employees. The guidance was issued to assist in the implementation of White House Executive Order 13839, which pushed agencies to promote greater accountability in their offices.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is known for its secrecy, but last week the agency opened its doors to journalist to provide an inside look at the new Cybersecurity Directorate. Reporters were welcomed into the agency’s Fort Meade, Maryland headquarters for a tour of the operations underway to protect the U.S. against emerging cyber threats.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced last week that she would introduce the Federal Employee Recruitment Act of 2019 once Congress returns to session following the October recess, which ended today. The legislation aims to increase the recruitment of young people to federal service.
Tune in to FEDtalk this week for a discussion on Cybersecurity Awareness Month. A few weeks ago we heard from industry leaders about top cybersecurity concerns. This week, the individuals leading efforts to combat cyber threats in government will join us to discuss their work.
FEDS Protection and the Whistleblowers of America are proud to announce a new partnership to educate the federal community about whistleblowing. In many instances, employees do not consciously think of themselves as a whistleblower or engaged in protected activity when reporting what he or she believes to be mismanagement, abuse, waste or fraud to a supervisor. Moreover, supervisors often don’t recognize this as “whistleblowing” or as a “protected activity” which requires a continuous process improvement response. Instead it becomes adversarial, leaving the supervisor vulnerable to complaints of whistleblower retaliation. “This disconnect or lack of awareness can stretch far and wide embroiling entire offices in a disruptive and adversarial environment”, said Tony Vergnetti, the President and Founder of FEDS Protection. FEDS Protection provides professional liability insurance which is unique because it provides coverage for exposures only federal employees face. “We deal with real people, every single day, at all levels of government, who are just trying to do the very best in their mission to serve our country. Unfortunately, employees and managers alike are often blindsided by the disruption these matters can cause. We at FEDS believe that education and respect is key.”
Did you feel sluggish after the three-day weekend this week? Here are tips to stay on task after a long weekend.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has authorized agencies to begin implementation President Trump’s 2018 executive orders on workforce management and labor relations. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined to hear the union appeal, triggering the expiration of an earlier court injunction against the orders.
The Transportation Security Administration has announced its intention to better manage data using cloud solutions. In the solicitation request entitled TSA’s Cloud Strategy 2.0, the agency described how they plan to “adopt and integrate cloud based services” to better achieve their mission.
This column is the second in a series documenting the journey of FEDmanager and FEDagent Editor Maya Meltsner and her dog Huey, who are currently traveling the country in an RV to explore the federal government’s presence in each of the fifty states. This column is brought to you by WAEPA (Worldwide Assurance for Employees of Public Agencies).
A political appointee retired from federal service after almost four years of civilian service, relying on advice from a human resources official that he could “buy back” time spent as a cadet at West Point and credit it towards the five years of civilian service required to qualify for a FERS retirement annuity. When OPM found that he was ineligible for an annuity, he appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board, which affirmed OPM’s decision. The employee appealed. On October 2, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s decision.
Part of a new eBook series from WAEPA
As the life insurance choice of over 46,000 Feds and their families, WAEPA is committed to providing Federal employees with access to products and services that promote their health, welfare, and financial well-being. As such, WAEPA has developed a “What To Do When You Lose a Loved One” eBook to support those who may be experiencing a loss, and are responsible for managing their loved ones’ affairs. This eBook is particularly helpful if you are serving as an executor of someone’s estate.
Following the adoption of a House Resolution on improving the efficiency of Congress, Congress created a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress to review ways to improve the chambers. To further this end, a task force assembled by the committee produced a report on the congressional capacity released this week.
In a memo issued to agency leadership last week, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Dale Cabaniss provides agencies with a roadmap for streamlining performance management and dismissal policies and procedures. The memo aligns with the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) priorities on “modernizing the federal government and its workforce.”
On Friday, the Office of Personnel Management announced in a release that it had authorized the use of an emergency leave transfer program (ELTP) for federal employees impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The program allows employees to transfer their own leave time to employees who must take time to recover from the storm.
The Department of Energy has announced their intention to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) entitled Energy Infrastructure Development on Indian Lands-2020. The goal is to bring critical energy infrastructure to Native American lands that lack access to reliable electricity.
Legislation introduced to the House of Representatives by Congressman Neal Dunn (R-FL) would bar the Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary from entering into collective bargaining agreements that offer “financial incentives to prospective members.” House Republicans have expressed support for the measure which union leaders have called a waste of time.
On September 25, 2019, FMA attended the Kalaris Intelligence conference at Georgetown University. Sponsored by Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies, the theme revolved around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and national security. For federal managers and their employees, AI has the potential to become a useful tool for gathering data, sifting through that data, and accomplishing long term goals in an effective manner. FMA attended to learn more about this emerging technology, how it is currently being used, and how it can be used in the future.
Tune in to FEDtalk this week for a discussion on Enterprise Risk Management. The federal government is great at responding to problems, but experts across the federal community have ideas on how to make the government more proactive rather than reactive. Assessing and managing risk is an integral part of this mission.