Agencies hired 6,000 more veterans in FY 2015 than prior year

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  • Executive branch agencies hired 6,000 more veterans in fiscal 2015 than they did the year before. Nearly 32 percent of new hires to the federal workforce in 2015 were veterans. They made up nearly 31 percent of the workforce last fiscal year. The Office of Personnel Management now uses a new Veteran Employment Performance Model to rate agencies’ abilities to hire and retain new veterans. Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert said 67 percent of agencies on the Veterans Employment Council scored a rating of effective or higher in 2015. (OPM)
  • The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the 2017 House version of the defense authorization bill would reduce direct spending by about $200 million over the next 10 years. It said changes to the Acquisition Workforce Fund and changes to the defense stockpile are the main reasons why. CBO estimated TRICARE reforms in the bill would only reduce direct spending by $12 million from 2017 to 2026. The reforms will require new active duty family members to pay an annual insurance fee. (CBO)
  • Drones remain a major concern for the Federal Aviation Administration. Administrator Michael Huerta announced the agency is establishing a broad-based advisory committee to provide advice on key unmanned aircraft integration issues. It will be led by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Huerta said the agency also plans to make it easier for students to fly unmanned aircraft for educational and research purposes. (FAA)
  • In order to help develop future capabilities, the Air Force Materiel Command is establishing a new Air Force Strategic Development Planning team. It will consist of 10 military and civilian airmen at the Air Force Research Laboratory. The team will explore both materiel and non-materiel solutions” to inform senior Air Force leadership strategic decisions. (DoD)
  • Think the Energy Department made a mistake in one of its energy conservation standards? You’ll now be able to tell them to fix it. The department published a final rule establishing a 30-day period after it posts or amends conservation standards. DoE admits in making such complex rules, they sometimes contain errors. (Federal Register)
  • A handful of the largest veterans groups are voicing their opposition to the expansion of the Veterans Affairs Choice program. It would let vets eligible for VA care to see non-VA providers anytime they want. Military Times reports seven organizations, including the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans, wrote a letter to the VA Commission on Care explaining their disapproval to the idea. They said it would reduce the amount of people using VA services, putting its programs in financial danger. VA Secretary Bob McDonald agreed with them. (Military Times)
  • Agencies are getting a voice, a playbook and performance standards for administrative shared services. The Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to agency leaders yesterday detailing new steps to help agencies move to federal shared service providers for financial management, human resources and acquisition management. OMB created both a customer council and a provider council. It also plans on issuing a shared services playbook this summer to standardize how agencies decide whether to move to a shared service provider and then how that move would work. (Federal News Radio)
  • An advocacy group has accused the Small Business Administration of using creative accounting and inflated numbers in its reports on contracting goals. Favoring Fortune 500 companies and relying on too many exclusions is a deceptive practice, according to the American Small Business League in its lawsuit against the SBA. The advocacy group is suing the SBA to trigger reforms on how the agency calculates its figures. (Federal News Radio)

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