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Elizabeth Newell Jochum

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Lawmaker touts telework as a win-win situation

August 23, 2010 Editor's note: This is the first of four perspectives on telework in the federal government that will appear in the Sept. 1 issue of Government Executive Magazine. Last winter, as snowstorms paralyzed the Washington region, shutting down federal agencies for four days and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars ...

Shifts in Space

August 15, 2010 NASA spending takes new twists and turns as agency looks to change destinations and ways of getting there. In its 2006 strategic plan, NASA began focusing its energies and resources on retiring the space shuttle and revamping its exploration missions in the coming years. In fiscal 2009, the space agency's ...

Secure Investments

August 15, 2010 Border and immigration enhancements help drive Homeland Security's varied purchases. The Homeland Security Department has a diverse shopping list, encompassing everything from airport security gadgets to Coast Guard cutters to technology and staff to manage new passport requirements. The common thread among the department's recent purchases is support for two ...

Policies on temporary workers come under fire

August 9, 2010 For the federal government, "temporary" has a somewhat nebulous meaning. Laws and regulations specify what it means to be a temporary employee-someone who works on a short-term basis and is not eligible for benefits such as health care. But several labor unions and lawmakers are concerned that agencies could be ...

VA health care workers move a step closer to bargaining over pay issues

August 6, 2010 The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee approved legislation Thursday that would expand Veterans Affairs Department health care professionals' collective bargaining rights relating to compensation issues. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced the language as an amendment to a bill (S. 3325) that would waive co-payments for veterans using telehealth or telemedicine services. ...

Deep Freeze

August 5, 2010 President Obama's Aug. 3 memo freezing political appointees' bonuses is a sign of the economic times, but it's also just the latest restriction on pay for senior officials. Political appointees currently earn between $145,700 and $199,700, according to the Office of Personnel Management, depending on their level in the Executive ...

Freeze on bonuses could have trickledown effect

August 4, 2010 While the executive order President Obama signed on Tuesday suspending bonuses and cash awards for political appointees through the end of fiscal 2011 does not directly affect career civil servants there could be trickledown effects, according to a group representing senior executives. In justifying the freeze in any bonuses or ...

Union praises workforce provisions in appropriations bill

August 3, 2010 The American Federation of Government Employees supports provisions in a fiscal 2011 appropriations bill aimed at managing the federal and contractor workforce. The fiscal 2011 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, would strengthen acquisition procedures to encourage the use of federal employees -- ...

Retirement funds bounce back in July

August 2, 2010 After two very tough months, TSP participants likely are breathing a sigh of relief at the July returns; all 10 funds saw gains in July. The I Fund, which invests in overseas companies, rebounded in July, gaining 10.78 percent. That followed months of losses, most notably an 11.2 percent drop ...

TSP launches automatic enrollment for new hires

August 2, 2010 As of Aug. 1, all new civilian employees are enrolled automatically in the Thrift Savings Plan, the federal government's retirement program. New hires automatically will be signed up to contribute 3 percent of basic pay to the G Fund unless they choose to terminate their contributions or change the amount. ...