Feds can now look to their phones for answers to ethics questions

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  • Federal employees can now access ethics rules or Hatch Act regulations from their mobile devices. Agriculture Department Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the launch of an Ethics App to answer questions about government ethics issues. The app provides feds with summaries of ethics rules as well as a video library. (Department of Agriculture)

 

  • The Interior Department IG is looking to see whether leadership was fair when it reassigned 50 senior executives. Deputy IG Mary Kendall told eight members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee her office opened the investigation earlier this month. It was requested by the senators who were concerned about the move. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said the Government Accountability office is looking into the effectiveness of the latest hiring freeze. GAO should be publishing a report on the matter later this year. Dodaro claimed the office already studied past hiring freezes and judged “they weren’t an effective tool for managing government.” (Federal News Radio)

 

  •  In advance of the Homeland Security Department’s third major recruitment and hiring event, 3,500 veterans applied for positions at DHS. The agency invited vets to apply for the 900 openings it has in a variety of fields. It hopes to fill at least 500 from the two-day veterans recruitment fair. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • Veterans will have an easier time appealing denied claims, under a new law the president has signed. The latest Veterans Affairs Department reform bill aims to shorten the appeals process, which can sometimes take five years. Now the VA will provide three avenues for appeal, the Board of Veterans Appeals, a higher level adjudicator, or the same adjudicator that denied the claim in the first place. VA must also provide veterans with more detailed information on the status of their cases. (White House)

 

  • The Veterans Affairs Department is looking for a one-stop shop for all things cloud. The future of cloud computing at the VA may include one front door for all agency mission areas to walk through. VA released a request for information seeking input from service disabled veteran owned small businesses on how they would provide a managed cloud service. VA wants to work with its vendor to define and coordinate enterprise cloud delivery and support around governance, engineering application migration and architecture. Responses to the RFI are due Sept. 1. (FedBizOpps)

 

  • The more than 200,000 members of the National Association of Letter Carriers reaped the benefits of its latest labor contract. They recently received a 1.2 percent retroactive pay raise, effective November 2016. They also got two backdated cost of living adjustment payments worth $21 and $333 to be paid annually. They’ll be getting a third annual COLA worth $270 on Sept. 2. (Federal News Radio)

 

  • A new tool from the Air Force aims to help government civilians better manage their benefits and entitlement information. The Government Retirement and Benefits Platform lets employees make changes and updates to their health insurance, life insurance, Thrift Savings Plan and other personal benefit information. It’s meant to replace the Employee Benefits Information System. (Air Force)

 

  • A new audit found the Defense Department wasn’t meeting its goals to quickly deliver weapons to foreign customers, and wassn’t quite sure why. The Government Accountability Office said DoD was falling short of two of the three key metrics the government uses to track how quickly it approves foreign military sales by U.S. defense companies. For even the most complex cases, the Pentagon has up to 150 days to review requests by foreign governments, but it only met the goal 61 percent of the time. Auditors also said they couldn’t report on how long it actually takes to deliver a fully-completed weapon to a foreign nation, because DoD doesn’t track that data. (Government Accountability Office)

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