Watchdog group claims ‘biased hierarchy’ persists at NPS

In today's Federal Newscast, senior National Park Service officials continue to receive immunity from disciplinary actions despite findings of misconduct. The ...

  • An independent watchdog group says senior National Park Service officials have continued to receive immunity from disciplinary actions despite findings of misconduct. The charges leveled by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility continue the perception of what it called a ” biased hierarchy” within the agency. PEER said Acting NPS Director Michael Reynolds has not followed up on his pledge to change the perception of favoritism within the park service. (PEER)
  • The director of the Office of Government Ethics has announced he is stepping down. Walter Shaub had been openly critical of President Donald Trump’s decision not to divest his financial interests prior to taking office, but had relatively little success in convincing administration officials to mitigate what he viewed as conflicts of interest. Shaub was appointed to lead the ethics office by President Obama in 2013. His term at OGE wasn’t set to expire until next year. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Office of Special Counsel has announced its support of a whistleblower at the General Services Administration. In a letter to the president, the OSC affirmed the findings of the agency’s inspector general. Former Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe had charged former GSA Administrator Denise Roth with misuse of service operating funds and overspending by the Technology Transformation Service. Roth and Sharpe have left the agency. But the acting special counsel said a reorganization hasn’t completely fixed GSA’s lack of financial controls. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Department of Homeland Security has announced it will host what it called a showcase of the latest in cybersecurity research and development. The Science and Technology Directorate’s cyber division said dozens of new technologies will be displayed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. July 11-13. Also on display will be case histories of how agencies are testing and deploying the latest in cyber defenses. The event features speakers from government and industry. (DHS)
  • The Defense Department said it plans to begin operating its new electronic health record system lands at a second military medical facility later this month. Defense officials said the system, known as MHS Genesis, will be deployed at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor northwest of Seattle by the end of the month. The planned “go-live” comes five months after DoD successfully launched the new system at Fairchild Air Force Base in western Washington. When the planned rollout is completed in 2022, the system will support the availability of electronic health records for more than 9.4 million DoD beneficiaries. (Healthcare Informatics)
  • The Navy announced it is offering a new incentive program to keep pilots in the service. The Aviation Bonus Program offers Navy pilots between $75,000-$150,000 if they agree to re-enlist for five years. The bonuses have been offered to officers whose enlistments expire in 2018. (Navy)
  • The Office of Personnel Management said its retirement backlog has fallen to its lowest level in a year. The inventory stood at a little more than 14,500 claims, or about 1,500 off from OPM’s steady state. The agency said it received 6,100 claims last month, or about 200 more than what it received last June. OPM said processing times were also slightly improved in June. (Federal News Radio)
  • The National Park Service has issued more information for potential bidders looking to repair the Washington Monument’s famous elevator system and install new security features. NPS said the project is expected to cost anywhere between $8-14 million and be completed by January 2019. (FedBizOpps)

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