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Calling Buzz Lightyear: NASA taps all sorts to spur innovation

December 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA is one of the most innovative agencies in government, but to keep its programs on the cutting edge, Jason Crusan has to get creative. As chief technologist for space operations, he tackles key problems by crowdsourcing ideas from the best and the brightest--both inside and outside government. For example,...

To Infinity and Beyond

December 1, 2011 Jason Crusan gathers the brightest stars-even Buzz Lightyear-to foster innovation at NASA. NASA is one of the most innovative agencies in government, but to keep its programs on the cutting edge, Jason Crusan has to get creative. As chief technologist for space operations, he tackles key problems by crowdsourcing ideas...

FEHBP Benefits Checkup

December 1, 2011 Potential changes to the federal employee health plan spark debate over whether participants are getting the best deal. Enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will see an average 3.5 percent increase in their insurance premiums in 2012, the smallest jump since 2008, when premiums rose 2.1 percent. The...

Cost-effectiveness of potential FEHBP reforms questioned

November 23, 2011 Editor's note: This article will appear in the December issue of the magazine. Enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will see an average 3.5 percent increase in their insurance premiums in 2012, the smallest jump since 2008, when premiums rose 2.1 percent. The Office of Personnel Management has...

Wellness and disease prevention appear higher on FEHBP radar

October 28, 2011 This open season federal employees will see more incentives -- and receive some extra help -- to stay healthy. Plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program increasingly are seeking to promote wellness and prevention to cut long-term costs, according to Walton Francis, author of Consumers' Checkbook Guide to Health...

FEHBP pharmacy changes stir up controversy

October 21, 2011 The deficit reduction super committee is set to consider changes in the way federal employees' pharmacy benefits are negotiated, but some observers say the move could limit access to drug choices. As part of his broader cost-savings package, President Obama last month announced a proposal that would streamline pharmacy benefits...

Lawmakers Fight For Saturday Delivery

October 20, 2011 Even though legislation allowing the U.S. Postal Service to stop delivering mail on Saturdays has advanced for consideration on the House floor, lawmakers still are fighting for language to preserve six-day delivery. Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., Jo Ann Emerson, D-Mo., and Sam Graves, D-Mo., this week announced plans to offer...

Reviewing the 3Rs

October 20, 2011 Recruitment, retention and relocation incentives may be a perk for some federal employees, but the government's so-called 3Rs program is getting some extra scrutiny from the Office of Personnel Management. In a memorandum to chief human capital officers, OPM Director John Berry requested that agencies submit reports on 3Rs payments...

Military health and retirement benefits take a hit in lawmakers’ proposals

October 19, 2011 Leading members of the Senate Armed Services Committee are pushing for changes to military members' health and annuity benefits as a way to cut government spending. Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., last week submitted recommendations to the deficit reduction super committee in support of the Obama administration's...

Super committee gets mixed messages on USPS

October 18, 2011 The congressional super committee is getting conflicting advice on ways to reform the U.S. Postal Service, with some groups begging for help and others warning the commission to remain hands off. National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric V. Rolando last week submitted a seven-point plan to the Joint Select...

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