OPM issues guidance on back pay for hours long shutdown

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  • The Office of Personnel Management told agencies they may need to be flexible when applying retroactive pay for federal employees during the most recent, hours-long, government shutdown. New pay guidance said agencies should take into account the directions, or lack of directions, they gave their employees ahead of the lapse in appropriations on Feb. 9. Excused absences may also apply in some situations. OPM said employees who did come to work or were furloughed during the hours-long shutdown would receive back pay. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • New members to the Senior Executive Service said they wish they got more consistent information from their supervisors during the onboarding process. Over 800 new senior executives told OPM about their experiences joining the SES. OPM hopes agencies can use the results to improve the SES onboarding process. Around 68 percent say they were actively recruited to join the SES. Few executives said an executive coach actively helped them apply and prepare for the SES. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • Federal agencies could make better use of their old office equipment if they did more planning. The Government Accountability Office described how the EPA, IRS, Forest Service, Housing and Urban Development, and General Services Administration, don’t have policies to identify and relocate unwanted office property. They also don’t give other agencies enough time to see if they can use it. The five agencies reported 37,000 items as unwanted between fiscal 2012 and 2016. GAO recommends the Office of Management and Budget issue new guidance on the matter. (Government Accountability Office)
  • Navy Chief of Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said the branch may need to consider paying aviators more through incentive pay to keep them in the service. Burke said strike fighters, electronic attack and helicopters mine countermeasure squadrons are not retaining enough pilots to meet their needs.
  • Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter is joining MITRE as a distinguished visiting fellow. Carter is the current director at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Carter served as the last defense secretary under President Obama. Under his tenure the Defense Department opened all military roles to women and allowed transgender troops to serve openly. (MITRE Corporation)
  • Current Defense Secretary Jim Mattis defends the Pentagon’s new deployability policy, saying it’s a matter of fairness. Speaking to reporters this weekend, Mattis said the 286,000 troops who haven’t deployed in the past year are putting an unfair burden on their comrades – many of whom have served extra overseas tours to pick up the slack. But he said the onus isn’t just on troops to get themselves medically healthy. In at least some cases, the military services themselves will need to prioritize items like missed dental exams that are keeping otherwise-fit troops from deploying. (Department of Defense)
  • Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff Vivieca Wright-Simpson announced her retirement after 32 years at the department. Wright-Simpson’s retirement comes shortly after the VA Inspector General said she altered emails to justify VA Secretary David Shulkin’s European travel last summer. VA said it’s formally investigating the actions the IG described in its report. A VA spokesman said the department is also continuing to review the IG report before considering other disciplinary actions. (Federal News Radio)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement has trouble keeping track of undocumented immigrants who might be a threat to national security. ICE currently has 2.4 million people to supervise in its Known or Suspected Terrorist Encounter Protocol, or K-Step program. The Homeland Security inspector general found, in a sampling of cases, that all had instances of noncompliance. Some offices responsible for enforcement and removal operations of suspected terrorists lack access to DHS classified networks to check into data about them. (Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General)