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Supreme Court upholds legal immunity for federal employees

January 26, 2007 The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to federal employees' immunity from on-the-job lawsuits. In a 7-2 decision last week, the high court ruled that the government can insert itself as the defendant in lawsuits against federal workers who claim innocence, even if the alleged act was not part of...

Rating Benefits

January 25, 2007 How do your 1.8 million federal co-workers feel about their pay and benefits? The Office of Personnel Management surveyed 220,000 of them to get an idea. Some of the results released last week could have been expected. But there were some surprises, too. Of 10 categories of compensation examined in...

Thrift Savings Plan executive director resigns

January 24, 2007 Gary Amelio is leaving his post as executive director of the Thrift Savings Plan for a private firm, plan officials announced Wednesday. Amelio, who came to the TSP in 2003 and oversaw the 401(k)-style retirement savings vehicle's growth to $206 billion, will become president of retirement services for ULLICO Inc.,...

GAO employees move toward vote on union representation

January 23, 2007 A group of employees in the Government Accountability Office is attempting to form a union in the agency to combat, in part, discontent with a new compensation system. As many as 1,500 GAO analysts will vote whether or not to join the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers in...

Medicare subsidy could have softened rise in health premiums

January 22, 2007 The government's decision not to use a Medicare drug subsidy in the federal employee health plan was responsible for an average 2.6 percent higher premium last year, according to a report released Monday by the Government Accountability Office. GAO found (GAO-07-141) that premium hikes in 2006 -- the first year...

Commissioner leaves SSA after six years

January 18, 2007 Jo Anne Barnhart's eyes welled when she discussed leaving behind the 65,000 employees of the Social Security Administration when she steps down as commissioner on Friday. "This agency is an amazing -- it's an amazing place," Barnhart said. "There's no way to really express what the people in this agency...

OPM tightens rules blocking criminals from federal work

January 18, 2007 The Office of Personnel Management wants stricter rules for blocking some Americans from becoming, or continuing to be, federal employees. OPM submitted draft regulations in Thursday's Federal Register to extend the period of time -- to three years from one year -- that most federal agencies can bar certain people,...

Feeling the Squeeze

January 18, 2007 Most federal agencies are starting the new year with an old budget, and employees are feeling the squeeze. The continuing resolution lawmakers have passed for agencies other than the Defense and Homeland Security departments funds them until Feb. 15 at the lowest of the following three levels: House-passed fiscal 2007,...

Employees report more respect for managers than senior leaders

January 17, 2007 Federal employees tend to think more highly of their immediate supervisors than they do of their agencies' top leaders, according to the results of a survey released Wednesday. Sixty-six percent of employees responding to the survey answered positively about their immediate supervisor's performance. That dropped to 49 percent when employees...

Thrift Savings Plan hacker attack prompts extra precautions

January 16, 2007 Hackers breached the accounts of some Thrift Savings Plan participants in late December, stealing $35,000 and prompting officials to encourage extra safeguards. Officials with the 401(k)-style retirement savings plan for federal employees said every participant who was affected by the theft have been notified. Computers of about 25 participants were...

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