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Lacking oversight, agencies self-police their own aircraft safety standards

December 2, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Government agencies that fly their own aircraft also must oversee their own safety standards -- a situation that has some federal and local officials worried. U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue helicopters, the Forest Service's fleet for combating wildfires and NASA aircraft that train astronauts, for instance, are not subject to the ...

Experts urge federal employees to consider switching health plans

December 2, 2011 As the end of open season for changing health insurance elections draws near, the refrain among health care specialists boils down to: Look into changing your plan now, before it's too late. "If you don't think about the possibility of a switch, you miss out on the savings," said Walton ...

OPM to restructure federal internship program

November 29, 2011 The Office of Personnel Management plans to launch the federal government's new internship program by May, OPM director John Berry said Tuesday. In a speech to the NASA Education Stakeholder's Summit, Berry gave additional details on the Student Pathways Initiative, created by President Obama in December 2010 based on findings ...

HUD secretary focuses on employee morale

November 17, 2011 Spurred by a poor showing in an annual survey, the Housing and Urban Development Department is channeling more of its resources into improving employee morale, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said Thursday. The department is focusing on several areas that employees identified as most in need of change, he said in ...

House report slams 10-year-old TSA

November 16, 2011 Ten years after the Transportation Security Administration's creation, Republican lawmakers condemned the agency as wasteful and ineffective, outlining recommendations for reform in a new House joint majority staff report. During a press conference at Reagan National Airport, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said ...

OPM: More feds are benefitting from health IT options

November 15, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal health insurers are devoting more resources to educating beneficiaries on how to use health information technology. According to a recent Office of Personnel Management report, 92 percent of plans "have taken proactive steps" in 2011 to make consumers more comfortable with organizing and sharing health information online. Additionally, 97 ...

OPM: More feds are benefitting from health IT options

November 15, 2011 Federal health insurers are devoting more resources to educating beneficiaries on how to use health information technology. According to a recent Office of Personnel Management report, 92 percent of plans "have taken proactive steps" in 2011 to make consumers more comfortable with organizing and sharing health information online. Additionally, 97 ...

Lawmakers lambast OPM for jobs site glitches, slow retirement processing

November 15, 2011 Lawmakers took the Office of Personnel Management to task for glitches in its relaunched USAJobs website and for inadequate federal worker retirement claims processing, during a House oversight panel hearing on Tuesday. During questioning from members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Director John ...

IRS offering buyouts to employees

November 11, 2011 The Internal Revenue Service is currently offering buyout packages to thousands of its employees. The offer is being extended to about 5,400 IRS workers, and the agency will accept as many as 1,600, according to IRS spokeswoman Sara Eguren. Eligible employees have until Nov. 22 to accept the buyouts, and ...

NASA headquarters, four other centers turn to buyouts

November 11, 2011 Several NASA locations are offering buyouts and early retirement packages to employees. According to NASA public affairs specialist Grey Hautaluoma, the agency's headquarters in Washington on Nov. 7 offered buyout packages worth up to $25,000 per employee. While 147 employees are eligible for the offer, only 50 packages will be ...