News Briefs

January 23, 1997

News Briefs

Virtual Government '97 Conference

This conference for federal, state and local information technology executives, managers, practitioners, and supporting industry will be held February 11-13 in McLean, VA. Speakers include Vice President Al Gore, John A. Koskinen (Deputy Director for Management, OMB), as well as Congressmen, senior business leaders, and other cabinet officials.

Some topics include the internet & intranet, wireless, universal service, certificate authorities, key recovery, data mining, year 2000, privacy & security, and more.

Please visit the conference Web site for more information.

The following news summaries are from OPM AM, the daily newsletter of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM AM is available on OPM Mainstreet, the agency's electronic bulletin board, at 202-606-4800.

FEDERAL ADJUSTED WORK DISMISSAL' AND ADJUSTED HOME DEPARTURE' POLICIES FOLLOW RATIONAL RULES WHEN WORKDAY PATTERNS CHANGE--"Office of Personnel Management Director Jim King said that in the rare event that an early work dismissal or late work arrival is required in the future due to inclement weather or some other type of emergency situation, Executive Branch federal civilian employees inside the Washington D.C. Capital Beltway will be guided by a simple adjustment to their normal departure hours from home or work....Under the new policy, if a three-hour early dismissal were forced by the approach of a hurricane or snowstorm, or a major power shortage resulted in the need to close office buildings, workers who normally leave the office at 5 p.m. would be authorized to depart at 2 p.m. Workers who normally leave work at 6:30 p.m. would be authorized to depart at 3:30 p.m." (OPM News Release, January 22).

THE FEDERAL DIARY--"Federal workers have seven working days to make what could be two of the key decisions of their careers: whether to join the thrift savings plan and where to invest the money. Joining the plan is a no-brainer. Just do it. Deciding where to invest takes more thought" (The Washington Post).

SENATORS SUPPORTIVE, SKEPTICAL ABOUT HUD--"Andrew M. Cuomo, the president's choice to head the Housing and Urban Development Department, told senators yesterday he would work to reduce the costs of HUD programs but also would strive to meet the needs of the poor and the homeless. We have an undeniable responsibility to balance the budget and, at the same time, we have an equally undeniable responsibility to meet the challenges of troubled Americans. We have to do both,' Cuomo said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee" (The Washington Post).

COMMERCE NOMINEE PROMISES REFORMS--"Commerce Secretary-designate William M. Daley vowed yesterday to take measures aimed at restoring the Commerce. Department's tattered reputation, including abolishing 100 political positions and deferring international trade missions pending a review. Appearing at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee, Daley said there is no place for politics' at Commerce, and he promised action to ensure that all department programs meet the standards of integrity that the American people expect'" (The Washington Post).

CLINTON WILLING TO COMPROMISE FOR BUDGET DEAL--"Evincing a surprising degree of willingness to compromise with Republicans, President Clinton strongly predicted a budget deal may be reached. He also said he may support raising Medicare premiums for wealthier' senior citizens and cutting capital-gains taxes....Two days after beginning his second term in office, it's clear the president is willing to deal" (The Wall Street Journal).

OTHER NEWS--"The Office of Personnel Management on Jan. 3 announced that most federal employees working in hard-to-fill' occupations who are being paid a special rate will receive a pay increase of 2.3 percent beginning this month"...."In one of his first actions after being named the new national president of the Professional Managers Association, Raymond Woolner urged President Clinton to reconsider federal employees and retiree benefit cuts in his proposed fiscal 1998 budget" (Government Employee Relations Report, January 13).

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