Senators weigh in on Trump’s federal workforce executive orders

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  • Forty-five Democratic senators wrote to President Donald Trump to express their concern with the White House’s recent trio of federal workforce executive orders. The senators said the executive orders on employee accountability, official time and collective bargaining will not help to improve the federal workforce. They’re also worried some agencies are using these EOs to end existing collective bargaining agreements before they expire. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are among the members who signed the letter. (National Treasury Employees Union)
  • Civilian employees may have a shot at getting a pay raise in 2019. The Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee included a proposed 1.9 percent pay raise for federal employees in its annual spending bill. That matches what federal employees received in 2018. The path forward for a raise faces a long road in both chambers of Congress though. President Donald Trump recommended a pay freeze for civilian employees in 2019. (Federal News Radio)
  • The National Treasury Employees Union said a federal judge will hear its lawsuit challenging the president’s recent executive orders as its lawsuit is combined with other suits from federal unions. NTEU was among at least 15 federal unions to challenge the president’s orders. The legal arguments of each lawsuit differ slightly. NTEU said combining them all would expedite the unions’ collective cases. (National Treasury Employees Union)
  • Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee called on Health and Human Services to rein in improper payments. In a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, senators claimed the agency accounts for more than half of all federal improper payments. The Government Accountability Office reported out of $141 billion in improper payments. 63 percent came from HHS. The senators urged HHS to implement outstanding GAO recommendations to reduce improper payments. (Senate Budget Committee)
  • Two senators want agencies to be more aggressive in mitigating supply chain risks for technology products and services. Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced legislation to create a Federal Acquisition Security Council, which would develop policies and processes for agencies to use when purchasing information technology. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee)
  • The Office of Management and Budget is putting out the help wanted sign for technology spending analyses. Data scientists and other experts are needed to identify the challenges, gaps or benefits of how agencies currently are capturing federal IT spending. The OMB and the General Services Administration released a request for information seeking insights into existing capabilities to automate the collection of data from multiple, disparate sources to support the use of Technology Business Management or TBM standards. The tools and/or services should include advanced data analytics and business intelligence. GSA will host a virtual industry day on June 26 and a reverse industry day at the end of July. (CIO.gov)
  • The Office of Management and Budget told agencies not to count on money from the Technology Management Fund to move to the next-generation telecoms contract. Agencies have until May 2020 to transition from the current Networx contract, and onto the governmentwide Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract. OMB said agencies have known about EIS for years, and should instead rely on their working capital funds. The agency recently awarded half of the available TMF funds to the Agriculture, Energy and Housing and Urban Development departments. (Federal News Radio)
  • Multiple sources hold Federal News Radio the Trump administration is considering a significant reorganization of the Office of Personnel Management. Sources said the administration wants to move forward with its plans to move the governmentwide security clearance portfolio from OPM to the Pentagon. It also wants move HR Solutions from OPM to the General Services Administration. The Trump administration is also eyeing the federal employee health and retirement programs to move from OPM to GSA. Sources said the administration may rename GSA as the Government Services Agency. The administration is expected to release its final reorganization report later this week. (Federal News Radio)
  • Military spouses will now get free LinkedIn Premium memberships for one year after a permanent change of station. The online networking site is working with the Pentagon to give military spouses access to more than 12,000 online professional courses. The membership is also available to military spouses for six months after their significant other leaves the military. (Department of Defense)
  • The Defense Department said if it decides to combine commissaries and exchanges consumers will not see any difference. The combination will be purely from a back office perspective to streamline business practices and create efficiencies. Worries about the idea came from a draft memo that came out last year. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Navy’s top enlisted official is on temporary leave amid an inspector general’s investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct. Officials told the Navy Times yesterday that Steven Giordano requested the leave himself, but emphasized that he is still the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. The decision follows the same newspaper’s revelation last week that Giordano is under investigation by the Naval Inspector General for allegedly creating a hostile work environment. Former employees described his management style as “abusive” and “oppressive.” (Navy Times)