House bill would give federal hourly employees locality pay adjustments

In today's Federal Newscast, a bill introduced in the House would apply locality pay zones to federal employees working for hourly wages.

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  • A member of the House wants feds who are paid hourly wages to receive the benefits of locality pay adjustments. Rep. Matt Cartwright’s (D-Pa.) Locality Pay Equity Act would require the Office of Personnel Management to use the current locality pay areas to update wages for federal hourly workers. (


  • An IRS contract award protest filed by Equifax has been shot down by the Government Accountability Office. GAO said the company’s complaint was based on an unreasonable interpretation of the IRS’ solicitation. The award had sparked outrage in Congress after Equifax announced its systems were hacked, putting 145 million people at risk for identity theft. The IRS will be proceeding with Experian, an Equifax competitor that won the original contract award. (Federal News Radio)


  • The Department of Homeland Security has told agencies to close a major path for cyber attacks. DHS issued its sixth Binding Operational Directive yesterday, requiring agencies to apply email and website security protocols over the next four months. DHS is giving agencies 90 days to implement the Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) protocol and the START TLS protocol, which signals to a sending mail server that the capability to encrypt an email in transit is present. The BOD also mandates agencies to further implement website and web services security standards over the next 120 days. (Federal News Radio)


  • A new feature on Congress’ website lets you see what agencies are sending to the House of Representatives. Users of can now view communications to the House, which include reports submitted by executive agencies, often required by legislation. The items posted go back to January 2015. (Library of Congress)


  • The Veterans Affairs Department has sent Congress its idea for replacing the Veterans Choice Program. The Veterans Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences Act will eliminate the 30-day, 40-mile eligibility rule for veterans looking for private-sector care. It also would include new “workforce tools” to help strengthen VA staffing levels. Both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees are expected to debate the bill in the next few weeks. (Department of Veterans Affairs)


  • The Army is considering adding extra deployment pay for soldiers. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Daily said the hope is to incentivize soldiers to stay fit for deployability. About 100,000 soldiers are currently nondeployable due to injury or obesity. Other ideas are being considered, like cutting tuition assistance for nondeployable soldiers. (Federal News Radio)


  • A new study said stingy policies regarding travel reimbursement may be hurting retention for military reservists. The military’s reserve components generally pitch their recruiting messages as requiring a commitment of just one weekend a month for inactive duty training. But the study by the Government Accountability Office points out that current DoD policies generally require reservists to pay their own way to travel to those training sites, no matter how far away they are. GAO said the department’s own officials have expressed concerns that the policies present a retention problem, but it’s impossible to say how significant the problem is, because DoD doesn’t keep sufficient data on the impacts of its travel policies. (Government Accountability Office)


  • A former high-ranking Navy employee has been sentenced for his role in a kickback scheme. William Hutsenpiller was the head of the Norfolk Ship Support Activity’s financial department. The Virginian Pilot reports he was sentenced to 40 months in prison after pleading guilty to receiving about $36,000 in gifts for steering business to defense contractor Global Services Corp. (The Virginian Pilot)


  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to end harassment and discrimination at the National Park Service. Zinke and Acting Director Mike Reynolds reveal a survey showing 38 percent of NPS employees reported experiencing harassment or discrimination — 10 percent reported sexual harassment within the last year. Three out of four said they didn’t report problems. Zinke and Reynolds rolled out a plan to end it with fresh policies, more investigators, and expanded employee training. (Department of the Interior)

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