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Challenges remain in switch to govermentwide ID security system

March 28, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies still are struggling to implement a governmentwide strategy for securing employee login credentials and smart card IDs, General Services Administration representatives said Wednesday. Under a February 2011 directive from the Office of Management and Budget, all executive branches were supposed to have aligned themselves with Federal Identity, Credential ...

Lawmakers urge Panetta to lift civilian workforce cap

March 27, 2012 Many members of Congress have raced to defend civilian Defense Department employees from spending cuts. In a letter sent Monday, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., urged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to eliminate his department’s cap on civilian employees. The letter was co-signed by 130 House members. “It makes no sense to ...

Longtime TRICARE contractor protests decision to go with another company

March 27, 2012 Triwest Healthcare Alliance isn’t going down without a fight. After losing a bid to represent 2.9 million TRICARE military beneficiaries in the western United States, the health care company filed a protest Monday with the Government Accountability Office, The Washington Post reported. Triwest, which had been in charge of the ...

Romney: Feds look for 'places they can interfere'

March 26, 2012 At a campaign stop in San Diego on Monday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had a few choice words for government workers. Saying that President Obama has added 140,000 new government workers so far during his term, Romney criticized the “thousands and thousands of bureaucrats who work in Washington.” “Not ...

GOP lawmaker looks to merge Energy and EPA

March 26, 2012 Two federal agencies could become one if a lawmaker gets her way. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is introducing legislation in the House this week that would combine the Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency into a single agency called the Energy and the Environment Department. The proposed bill, an expanded ...

Federal locality pay areas to remain unchanged in 2013

March 23, 2012 Federal employees shouldn’t hold their breath for more locality pay in 2013. Though the Federal Salary Council requested in November 2011 that the government expand locality pay to five additional metropolitan areas, the President’s Pay Agent rejected the plan in a memo to President Obama. PPA -- an advisory panel ...

Obama appoints familiar faces to labor-management council

March 22, 2012 President Obama on Wednesday announced that he had appointed three members to the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, none of whom are strangers to the panel. Michael Filler, David Holway and H.T. Nguyen will once again join the council, created in 2009 by executive order to advise the president ...

On the road to digital FOIA processing, agencies take separate paths

March 22, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow National Archives and Records Administration's Miriam Nisbet said more coordination on FOIA "is an idea worth considering."Committee On Oversight & Government Reform file photo Multiple federal agencies are forging ahead with their own separate plans to incorporate technology to dig themselves out of a demanding backlog of Freedom of Information ...

Personnel chief: Career ladder data ‘a blip, not a trend’

March 21, 2012 Recent data showing a large increase in federal employee career ladder promotions could be mounted on shaky ground. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said Wednesday that a recent Federal Times analysis of OPM data showing a 75 percent increase in career ladder promotions during the past three years ...

Fire breaks out at State Department’s Columbia Plaza building

March 20, 2012 A fire broke out on the fifth floor of the State Department’s Columbia Plaza building in Washington on Tuesday morning, according to a State spokesman. The alarm sounded at 5:25 a.m. and the fire department arrived on the scene at 5:30 a.m., according to the spokesman. The offices were closed ...