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Agencies make little improvement in processing security clearance claims

Federal agencies have failed to make significant improvements in processing security clearance claims, despite reform efforts.

Senator criticizes funding caps for Defense

One of the Senate’s longest-serving hands is criticizing existing “artificial” spending caps—the sequestration controls Congress enacted back in 2011—that he identifies as a key cause of underfunding currently affecting critical defense programs and operations.

Unions embrace temporary deal to avoid shutdown

Federal employee unions are applauding the fact that Congress and the White House have struck a temporary bargain—just in time to avoid a government shutdown.

Treasury suspends TSP G fund investments to avoid hitting debt ceiling

The Department of the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he has taken an “extraordinary” measure in order to avoid hitting the debt ceiling, by stopping investments into a retirement fund for federal employees.

Presidential Rank Awards honor top performing federal leaders

The Presidential Rank Awards were handed out at an event recently—honoring some of the most exceptional leaders in the federal workplace.

Administration has yet to make appointments to Federal Salary Council

The Trump administration has not yet made appointments to the Federal Salary Council, leaving the job of tailoring regional salaries undone.

Lawmakers consider making changes to harassment policies

As the process for reporting sexual harassment in the federal workforce has come under scrutiny, members of the House Administration Committee are examining needed changes.

Government expert, former Hill counsel faults top leadership for shutdown threats

A distinguished law professor—whose resume includes stints as deputy general counsel for the House and assistant legal counsel in the Senate—denounced the recent round of shutdown threats facing government employees and the wider country that they serve, in an interview with Federal Soup.

Shutdown deadline pushed back to Dec. 22, but political scientist deplores continuing threat

As of the morning of Dec. 7, the federal government continued to edge closer and closer to shutting down. But by the end of the day the House had passed temporary spending authority covering costs through Dec. 22—and the Senate seemed set to follow.

'Best Places to Work' report released

NASA, HHS and SEC are among the top best places to work in 2017, according to the annual rankings from the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte.

Agencies begin preparing for gov't shutdown

White House officials have told agency leaders to begin preparing for a lapse in appropriations if Congress does not reach a budget deal by Dec. 8, which will lead to a government shutdown.

$17M in settlement payments paid to feds for harassment claims

The Congressional Office of Compliance has reported that $17 million has been paid to federal employees to settle on the job harassment claims.

Shutdown threat remains real—but experts say “unlikely”

Christmas may come but once a year, but in recent times shutdown threats sometimes come more often. This year seems to be no exception, as the deadline for Congress to pass funding for government operations comes soon—December 8—and there is plenty of talk, again, of that that not happening and a resulting government shutdown.

STEM education: Strategies to filling federal job slots of the future

Nathan Abse recently spoke with Lois Joy, senior research manager for the nonprofit group Jobs for the Future. Her work focuses on helping minorities and women to develop STEM interests and education, and connecting them with high-skill careers. In the federal workplace specifically, Joy has worked on aiding the communities she serves to gain middle-level technical jobs at certain agencies—most notably the Department of Transportation and the Department of Education. In this interview, Joy discusses her group’s strategies, and the growing importance of STEM education.

Informed Investor: A Dependent Care FSA is a Smart Way to Pay for Eligible Dependent Care Expenses

In the fourth of four columns discussing employee choices related to the 2017 benefits “open season”, this week’s column discusses the dependent care flexible spending account or DCFSA. Among the items discussed are what a DCFSA is, what it pays for in a tax-beneficial way, how eligible employees can enroll in the DCFSA, and the contribution limits to a DCFSA.

GAO: Fed agencies need to do more to recruit black, women IT workers

While the number of Asian and Hispanic federal IT workers has increased in recent years, there has been no improvement for black and female workers in the field.

Thrift Savings Share Prices

Thrift Savings Share Prices as of Nov. 29, 2017.

Legal Matters: Not all retirements are the same

Just because someone is eligible for retirement does not mean that employee will retire at that age, though. According to a study conducted from 2014 to 2016 by the Office for Personnel Management (OPM), the average age of people retiring from the executive branch of the federal workforce increased from 61.2 to 61.7 years old.

House OKs bill extending probationary period

The House on Thursday passed a bill that extends the probationary period for new federal employees from one year to two years.

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