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Amanda Palleschi

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Uniformed Paul Fan Raises Eyebrows

January 4, 2012 An Army corporal with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan under his belt may have been in violation of a Defense Department directive prohibiting active duty service members from endorsing political candidates while in uniform -- the Pentagon's version of the Hatch Act, according to the Huffington Post. Jesse Thorsen, ...

Retirement funds improve some at the end of 2011

January 3, 2012 December 2011 saw modest gains for several of the Thrift Savings Plan offerings, though two funds remained in the red for the month and the year. After a rough November in which the C Fund, invested in common stocks of large companies on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, fell ...

Congress passes Afghanistan-Pakistan study group measure opposed by Panetta, Dempsey

December 23, 2011 Congress has approved the creation of a bipartisan Afghanistan-Pakistan study group in the recently passed Defense Department budget, despite opposition from its top brass. The approval marks the end of the 18-monthlong push by Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., for the provision -- which would provide $1 million to facilitate a ...

Customs and Border Protection chief steps down

December 22, 2011 The head of Customs and Border Protection plans to step down at the end of this month. Commissioner Alan Bersin told President Obama on Thursday that he plans to resign, effective Dec. 30, the agency said in a statement. "I have expressed my deep gratitude and appreciation to President Obama ...

Biden urged to get involved in union contract talks with TSA

December 21, 2011 The ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee is urging Vice President Joe Biden to support a labor union in its contentious negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement with the Transportation Security Administration. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., penned his letter to Biden on Tuesday following American Federation of Government ...

Union calls TSA contract negotiations ‘very discouraging’

December 20, 2011 This story has been updated. The once-promising outlook for contract talks between the American Federation of Government Employees and the Transportation Security Administration soured Tuesday as the union expressed frustration negotiating for independent third-party reviews of employee grievances and disputes. AFGE President John Gage called his meeting Monday with TSA ...

TSP participation declining

December 19, 2011 The rate of federal employee participation in the 401(k)-like Thrift Savings Plan is "softening," according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. TSP participation was at 85.4 percent in October, before showing a slight dip to 85.2 in November. The decline marked a "trend that appears to ...

Proposal aims to offset costs of sequestration through staff reductions

December 15, 2011 House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., has proposed legislation that would reduce the number of federal employees by 10 percent through attrition to offset spending cuts forced by sequestration in fiscal 2013. The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act would cut the federal workforce by ...

Veterans hiring reaches new heights

December 13, 2011 The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday released new data showing hiring of veterans increased in fiscal 2011. Veterans accounted for 28.5 percent of total hires in fiscal 2011, based on OPM's preliminary data -- a 2.9 percentage point increase over the previous year's veterans hiring levels and 4.5 percentage ...

GAO recommends OPM improve group life insurance disclosures

December 12, 2011 The Office of Personnel Management must improve the information it provides on the group life insurance program offered to federal employees and develop a more structured process for reviewing the program, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday. GAO reviewed key policy documents of OPM's Federal Employees' Group ...