Former Census Bureau Director John Thompson says he still believes the 2020 count will be more efficient and cost effective than previous ones, but he urged Congress to fully fund the agency’s request in 2019.
Three Republican lawmakers introduced an amendment to a “minibus” of four appropriations bills that would eliminate the Budget Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office, and therefore the positions and salaries of 89 employees at CBO. It’s the first time members of Congress have used the Holman Rule since the House reinstated it back in January.
The House will vote this week on a bill that would replenish the Veterans Choice Fund with an additional $2 billion. But to offset the costs, VA would continue to collect housing loan fees and would trim pensions for some veterans living in nursing facilities that are covered under Medicaid.
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) reintroduced the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency (PAGE) Act after a similar bill died in the previous Congress. The legislation would give agencies the authority to remove or suspend new employees “without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all.”
Both the Trump administration and Congress are offering new goals to cut government improper payments over the next five to 10 years. Experts in the field say the targets aren’t impossible but need attention and investments in agency technology and personnel.
Restoring veterans’ trust and mending gaps between the department’s headquarters and its employees in the field are top priorities for Tom Bowman, the president’s nominee to be the deputy VA secretary.
In a new white paper from the National Academy of Public Administration, federal experts say a breakdown of the federal human capital system ultimately led to some of agencies’ biggest challenges in recent years, from the cyber breaches at the Office of Personnel Management to the 49,000 vacancies at the Veterans Affairs Department.
A 2018 budget proposal from the House Budget Committee asks federal employees to contribute more toward their retirement as a way to find $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts next year.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will consider a series of bills this week that could impact the federal workforce. Among them is legislation that would give participants more options to withdraw investments from the Thrift Savings Plan.
The Veterans Affairs Department spends too much money on bricks and mortar and not enough on its own doctors and nurses, former VA Secretary Anthony Principi told Congress. Some lawmakers are once again calling for a full review of VA capital assets, which span encompass more than 6,000 owned buildings and 1,500 leased facilities and span more than 170 million square feet.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is preparing reductions in force (RIFs) to employees at three offices at the agency. An NRC spokesman said the agency is looking at alternatives to RIFs, but it sent an initial 120-day notice to the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents many NRC employees.
The Homeland Security Department Science and Technology Directorate’s cybersecurity division is in a more comfortable place now with many of its top research and development priorities. It’s transitioned more than 75 major projects to practice and is finding a solid footing in the Silicon Valley start-up space.
The Trump administration wants to increase early retirement and separation incentives from a cap of $25,000 to $40,000 for all civilian federal employees. It also wants to create a governmentwide industry exchange program, which would let federal employees temporary work in a private corporation or association for no more than two years. The administration submitted both proposals to Congress to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Senators have two very different proposals to redesign the Veterans Choice Program. Both pieces of legislation represent very different ideologies and sides of a debate that Congress, the Veterans Affairs Department, veterans service organizations and federal employee groups have been having for the past three years.
According to the Veterans Affairs Department’s new reports detailing all major disciplinary actions for its workers, VA is on track to fire fewer people in 2017 than it has during the past six fiscal years. Federal employment experts say the new adverse action reports lack some significant details about VA’s efforts to improve accountability and transparency.