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Conflicting Images

July 15, 2007 Facebook, MySpace and other social networking Web sites now host civil servants ranting and agencies recruiting-mixed messages abound. The future of the federal workforce is on display on social networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and the picture is mixed. Young employees are baring their personal predilections and...

Data brings out disparities in promotions, performance ratings

July 3, 2007 Ronald Stroman was hauled before a joint Senate-House hearing in May to explain why black analysts at the Government Accountability Office were receiving lower performance ratings than their white counterparts. How did Congress know about the discrepancy? Stroman handed over the data himself -- at least indirectly. And he's glad...

Hard Numbers

July 1, 2007 The Government Accountability Office's Ronald Stroman exposes disparities in promotions and performance ratings. Ronald Stroman was hauled before a joint Senate-House hearing in May to explain why black analysts at the Government Accountability Office were receiving lower performance ratings than their white counterparts. How did Congress know about the discrepancy?...

Indomitable Spirit

June 15, 2007 Resiliency helps people embrace change and overcome crisis. Can it be taught? With the click of a pen, the future of Lindy Ritz's organization went from stable and secure to tumultuous and uncertain. On Sept. 30, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a law that drastically altered the business practices of...

Duty Calls

June 7, 2007 As a federal employee, you're already doing your civic duty every day just by showing up to work. But that won't get you out of another responsibility: jury duty. Even FBI Director Robert Mueller wasn't immune to the summons. In May 2006, Newsweek reported that Mueller spent five and a...

Stalked by Census

June 1, 2007 My face of government won't let me be. I have a stalker. Her name is Shirley and she works for the U.S. Census Bureau. Shirley calls me more than some of my friends from childhood or college. She calls more than my cousin at UCLA law school. Shirley writes, too....

Personality Test

June 1, 2007 Agencies use psychological profiles to cultivate teamwork. Everybody has a type, including Phil Varnak. "I'm an extrovert," says Varnak, a labor relations consultant and former manager at the Interior and Veterans Affairs departments. "Extroverts tend to run over introverts. If introverts are thinking about an answer, extroverts will ask two...

Double the Money

June 1, 2007 The Thrift Savings Plan's recent rapid growth is mostly due to new participants. Andrew Saul, chairman of the board that oversees the federal Thrift Savings Plan, called it a milestone when the 401(k)-style retirement savings program for 3.7 million federal employees and retirees reached $200 billion at the end of...

Seeing Is Believing

June 1, 2007 Budget graphic offers a new way to understand agency funding. Jess Bachman was working at an Urban Outfitters store in Burlington, Vt., in 2004 when inspiration struck. There must be a way to visualize the federal bud-get, he thought. It might seem an odd idea for a man working in...

Getting to the SES

May 31, 2007 A federal employee's ultimate pay raise comes with entrance to the Senior Executive Service, where salaries top out at about $170,000 a year. But to snag one of the 6,000 or so spots in the SES, employees have to attain a very specific set of skills and knowledge. The Office...

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