FEMA employees may see pay reduced for working too much

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  • Hardworking FEMA employees might have to give back some of their overtime pay. Strange as it sounds, the extended hurricane and wildfire season has caused some employees to work beyond their statutory limit of premium pay. Bloomberg reports, the law lets agencies take back excess pay by deducting it from future paychecks. The agency said it’s forced legally to take that step. Last month, FEMA told employees they might be ordered to keep working without further compensation. (Bloomberg)


  • Kirstjen Nielsen has been confirmed to be the next homeland security secretary with a 62-to-37 vote. Elaine Duke will move back to her role as deputy secretary after serving as acting for the past five months. Nielsen has previously served as former DHS Secretary John Kelly’s chief of staff when he led the department. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee)


  • A key federal acquisition and technology management role has finally been filled. The Senate unanimously confirmed Emily Murphy to be the next administrator of the General Services Administration yesterday. She said her priorities include reducing duplication within GSA’s internal processes and across government, generating more competition at the contract and task-order level, and increasing agency transparency. Murphy has been serving as a senior adviser to Acting Administrator Tim Horne since January. Previously, Murphy worked for the House Armed Services and Small Business committees as well as for GSA and SBA. (General Services Administration)


  • This year’s annual Best Places to Work rankings show a few surprises among the familiar faces at the top and bottom. NASA, once again, is the number-one large agency. It managed to improve its employee engagement score by over two points. The Homeland Security Department is still ranked last, but did improve by over six points this year. (Federal News Radio)


  • The State Department’s inspector general is offering agency management some new ideas for how best to reorganize and restructure the agency. The IG listed three dozen questions management should consider, around topics such as the workforce, centralized decision making and using data to inform decisions. (State Department Office of Inspector General)


  • The Army is looking to invest in mobile networks with quick setups, and ways to improve the reliability of satellite communications, according to its new chief information officer. Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford said the Army is heavily reliant on satellites and is looking for ways it can prevent jamming in its communications. (Federal News Radio)


  • The Army said it’s now accepting applications for its first cadre of direct-commissioned cyber officers. It’s modeled after the commissioning programs the military uses for some other specialties, like doctors, chaplains, and lawyers. Civilians with the cyber skills the Army is looking for will be fast-tracked. Officials said they can become officers with as little as 16 weeks of military training. But the Army is taking a cautious approach to the new program. For now, it only intends to use it to commission five new officers per year. (Army)


  • An analysis by the Defense Department’s inspector general reveals a troubling lack of oversight. The new report found the military services did not consistently turn over fingerprint cards and final disposition reports of military members convicted of crimes to the FBI. The IG said 24 percent of cards and 31 percent of reports were never turned over to the bureau between 2015 and 2017.  (Department of Defense Office of Inspector General)


  • Another measure is taking place due to a mass shooting this year. The Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced they are reviewing whether or not bump stocks violate federal regulations outlawing machine guns. They’re taking input from the public during the review and said they will proceed as quickly as possible. (Department of Justice)