OPM: Ease up on the new Senior Executive Service requests

In today's Federal Newscast, the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general explains to Congress how the agency might have been taken for over a...

  • OPM said for the next two years agencies should move or convert existing positions to comply with the President’s reorganization executive order. Agencies should fill at least 90 percent of their existing allocations. Typically requests for new SES positions are submitted every two years. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has provided details on needed improvements in 13 areas that need improvement at VA. He described the solutions in his first *State of VA* address to reporters on Wednesday. He was blunt about the current problems with accountability procedures at VA saying they’re *broken.* And he called for de-mystifying the temporary Veterans Choice Program that allows some veterans to receive health care in their communities rather than traveling to a VA facility. VA will present its plan for redesigning the Choice program to Congress next week. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Justice Department has settled a False Claims Act lawsuit with an electronic health record provider for $155 million. eClinicalWorks and some of its employees will pay one of the largest fines under the 2009 Recovery Act program designed to promote electronic health records. The company allegedly paid kickbacks to certain customers in exchange for promoting its product. (Department of Justice)
  • It’s enough to send a Senator into anaphylactic shock … how much Health and Human Services (HHS) may have overpaid for EpiPens. EpiPen maker Mylan under-rebated HHS by nearly $1.3B over ten years. The Inspector General told Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Mylan wrongly classified EpiPen as a generic product, not a brand-name, so it would owe Medicare far less in rebates. Grassley said the Justice Department was about to settle for too little. (Sen. Chuck Grassley)
  • A former member of the Air Force has been sentence to 35 years in prison for trying to provide material support to the Islamic State. The Justice Department said Tairod Pugh has also been charged with obstruction of justice. While in the Air Force, Pugh was an aircraft mechanic. Officials said he attempted to travel to Syria in 2015 to support the terrorist group. (Department of Justice)
  • The Navy said it is re-evaluating the way it rates personnel performance. It would need permission from Congress to tie pay to performance, but that’s the end goal. Officials said they need a much more objective, standards-based evaluation system before they move in that direction. The system being tested right now would give a more accurate reflection of performance  and opposed to the current tendency to give higher marks to people with more seniority.  The Navy said the new evaluation process can be completed in about six minutes, on a smartphone – compared to two hours under the current paper-based process. (Federal News Radio)
  • The head of the Small Business Administration (SBA) said she is tackling the federal government reorganization directive through efficiency and effectiveness. SBA Administrator Linda McMahon told Federal News Radio the agency wants to combine and streamline anything it can within its program offices. Agencies have to meet with administration officials by June 30 to review their reform plans. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department (DHS) is cancelling its $1.5 billion contract vehicle for agile development services. Multiple industry sources confirm DHS alerted the companies and the Government Accountability Office that it would no long move forward with the troubled small business procurement known as Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland or FLASH. Since November, DHS has made two sets of awards under FLASH and faced more than 20 protests in total. It’s unclear whether DHS will release a new solicitation or move its agile work to an existing contract vehicle. (Federal News Radio)
  • After a harsh report on it’s information security flaws in 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has put in several information security controls, but more action is needed. GAO finds FDIC addressed 15 of the 21 weaknesses identified, but the remaining six include flaws to key areas of security like reporting major incidents. (Government Accountability Office)

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