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Tillerson Announces Minority Hiring Initiative at State

August 18, 2017 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that he will launch a new initiative to improve diversity in the foreign service, including a requirement that at least one minority candidate be considered for all ambassadorial positions. Tillerson made the announcement during a speech to agency interns and fellows, in which...

Senator Reignites Discussion of Obamacare Exemption for Congress

August 18, 2017 Just weeks after the Republican effort to roll back the 2010 Affordable Care Act failed on the Senate floor, one GOP lawmaker is reviving the debate over a regulation allowing members of Congress and their staff to purchase health insurance on an exchange meant for small businesses and receive an...

Trump Signs Major Expansion of Veterans Educational Assistance Into Law

August 17, 2017 President Trump signed the largest expansion of GI Bill educational benefits in nearly a decade into law Wednesday. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act (H.R. 3218), known as the Forever GI Bill, eliminates the provision that veterans have a 15-year window from their last active duty discharge date...

Jobs for Military Spouses, Agency Layoffs, and More

August 16, 2017 The Office of Personnel Management announced last week that it would develop regulations to remove the two-year time limit for spouses of military personnel who are relocated on permanent duty to have preferred status when applying for civilian federal government jobs. The rule stating that spouses could only be considered...

OPM Announces Delay, Changes to Combined Federal Campaign

August 15, 2017 The Office of Personnel Management announced it is delaying the start of the federal government’s annual charity fundraising drive until Oct. 2, along with a number of other changes. In past years, the Combined Federal Campaign has opened at the beginning of September. The guidance, released this month by acting...

EPA Inspector General Criticizes Its Own Recent Buyout Effort

August 14, 2017 As the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to offer buyouts and early retirement to federal employees later this year, an agency watchdog said its own office failed to implement management controls during a 2014 buyout effort. The report by the EPA Office of the Inspector General about its own use of...

GSA to Increase Lodging Reimbursements for Feds This Fall

August 11, 2017 The General Services Administration announced Friday that it will increase its travel per diem rates for federal employees in fiscal 2018. Feds traveling on official business will see an increase in lodging per diems from $91 to $93 starting Oct. 1. This marks the third year in a row that...

Appointee Watch: Pace of Names Slows During Recess

August 10, 2017 A week after the Senate voted to confirm an array of President Trump’s nominees to key administration posts, Congress is now in recess and the president is on a working vacation in New Jersey. But the process of identifying candidates for government positions has not stopped. On Thursday, Trump announced...

VA Secretary Vows to Re-Fire Former D.C. Health Center Chief

August 9, 2017 Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin on Wednesday blasted a decision by Merit Systems Protection Board Vice Chairman Mark Robbins to issue a stay in the firing of the former director of the VA medical facility in Washington, D.C. Brian Hawkins was relieved of his duties at the D.C. medical center...

OPM Announces Special Rate Review, Open Season Dates and More

August 9, 2017 The Office of Personnel Management announced Tuesday that it would conduct its annual review of special rates for certain jobs on the General Schedule pay scale. The agency authorizes higher rates of pay for specific jobs, grades and locations in order to aid the government’s ability to recruit and retain...