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Time for annual OPM pay rate review

The Office of Personnel Management is asking agencies to review the special higher rates of pay they use to ensure sufficient recruitment and retention of certain General Schedule employees in specific occupations, grades and locations.

Employees should consider increasing TSP contributions for the remainder of 2017

With a little more than four months remaining in 2017, employees are encouraged to increase their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions. This week’s column discusses TSP contribution limits during 2017. Also discussed are the different types of TSP accounts, agency automatic and matching TSP contributions for FERS-covered employees, and the tax consequences of TSP contributions and withdrawals.

Report: IT breakthroughs offer promise of great improvements in fed workplaces, processes

This week, FEND’s Nathan Abse speaks with Ira Entis, a managing director at Accenture and the lead on the project team that researched and wrote the report, who offered an overview of the report—and his insights into where government and government employees can benefit from developing technological breakthroughs in IT.

Mini skirts and bias

I don’t think I had ever heard of confirmation bias, nor seen a definition, until this year. It has been around forever, but seems more powerful and widespread as people—depending on their politics or beliefs—seek out sources (liberal or conservative think tanks, cable news shows and commentators) that reinforce the “truth” of what they believe.

Federal role in prosecuting Charlottesville killing may be limited

Federal employees and managers joined the rest of the country in expressing shock—and condemnation—at the violence that came to Charlottesville, Va., as demonstrations staged there Aug. 12 by out-of-area fringe groups spiraled into a street melee.

Federal Benefits Q&A

Question: As a new federal employee, I want to buy back my five or so years of military time. Since I started civilian federal employment this year, I'm enrolled in the latest version of FERS called FERS-FRAE. Since buying back my military time moves my service computation date into the past, does that move me into a previous version of FERS (with the more desirable buy in) or am I stuck with this newest one?

Thrift Savings Share Prices

Thrift Savings Share Prices as of Aug. 16, 2017.

Filing a discrimination claim? Know your deadlines

Deadlines are important wherever you go, but in an EEO case, missing a deadline can be the end of your case, no matter how strong a case you have. If you go to the wrong department, or if you file an appeal one day too late, your claim will be denied. Therefore, it is important for you to know where to go in what order, and how many days you have in order to file appeals.

New travel per diem rates take effect Oct. 1

The General Services Administration has increased the per diem rates for fiscal year 2018, which will go into effect Oct. 1.

Ineligible EPA workers receive buyouts

While the Environmental Protection Agency successfully reduced its workforce as instructed, it also highlighted the agency’s “weak” management system, failed to produce other restructuring goals, and led to misuse of authority, according to an Office of Inspector General report.

OPM officials: Agencies ready for workforce reductions

Officials from the Office of Personnel Management during a Washington, D.C., television program this week, discussed the impact of agency reorganization efforts on the federal workforce.

Senator questions ACA exemption for Congress

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has sent a letter to the Office of Personnel Management acting director seeking more for information on the OPM rule that grants an Affordable Care Act exemption to Congress and its staff.

OPM officials discuss fed workforce reductions

Officials from the Office of Personnel Management during a Washington, D.C., television program this week, discussed the impact of agency reorganization efforts on the federal workforce.

New law gives vets unlimited access to education benefits

President Trump is giving veterans unlimited access to college assistance under the Forever GI Act that he signed into law Wednesday.

IG: EPA’s buyouts given to ineligible workers

While the Environmental Protection Agency successfully reduced its workforce as instructed, it also highlighted the agency’s “weak” management system, failed to produce other restructuring goals, and led to misuse of authority, according to an Office of Inspector General report.

Minority caucuses urge the removal of WH aides

The heads of the black, Hispanic and Asian caucuses are calling for the removal of three of President Trump’s White House officials.

Contractors warned to prepare for shutdown

The president of Professional Services Council, which represents 400 services and information technology organizations that provide services to federal agencies, said contractors should now begin planning for a government shutdown.

Higher travel per diem rates take effect Oct. 1

The General Services Administration has increased the per diem rates for fiscal year 2018, which will go into effect Oct. 1.

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