Some NLRB employees offered buyouts and early retirement

In today's Federal Newscast, the National Labor Relations Board says years of flat funding led to an imbalanced staff at NLRB headquarters and its regional off...

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  • The National Labor Relations Board is offering buyouts and early retirements to some of its employees. The agency said years of flat funding led to an imbalanced staff at NLRB headquarters and its regional offices. It’s asked and received authority to offer early retirement and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments to realign staff with specific office workloads. NLRB said it’s also reallocating some funds to offer the remaining employees more training. (National Labor Relations Board)
  • More data scientists are needed at all 56 FBI field offices. John Adams, executive assistant director of the FBI’s information technology branch, said the agency has also increased its outreach to students with in-demand IT skills. Adams said the bureau is struggling to compete with the private sector and its ability to offer higher pay to top talent. The FBI launched a major recruiting campaign this year aimed at colleges and universities with strong data science programs. (Federal News Radio)
  • Two more federal technology executives are on the move. The Interior Department is losing its chief information officer. The General Services Administration named an acting director of its Technology Transformation Service. Sylvia Burns becomes the second cabinet agency CIO to leave her role this week. She will join the FDIC as its deputy CIO for enterprise strategy in early September. Health and Human Services transferred its CIO Beth Killoran to a new role on Tuesday. Over at GSA, Kelly Olson will run the TTS on an interim basis. She replaces Joanne Collins Smee who is leaving federal service at the end of August. (Federal News Radio)
  • Last year’s hurricane season was tough on the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It said its staff was stretched too thin and its total workforce fell short of the agency’s staffing targets before hurricane season started. FEMA deployed 73 percent of its staff at one point to a hurricane-impacted area last fall. It also relied on a volunteer surge capacity force of over 4,000 federal employees from the Homeland Security Department and 34 other agencies. (Federal News Radio)
  • President Donald Trump nominated Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie as the next leader of U.S. Central Command. McKenzie currently serves as the director of the Joint Staff. He also served as director of Joint Staff strategic plans and policy from October 2016 to July 2017. McKenzie will take over for Gen. Joseph Votel. (Department of Defense)
  • The top commander at the Army’s Fort Lee has been relieved of command, but the reasons remain unclear. For the past year, Maj. Gen. Paul Hurley has been the commander of both the Army’s Combined Arms Support Command and the Virginia base where its headquarters are located. But as Newsweek first reported, he’s been relieved pending an official investigation. In a statement the Army provided to the publication, officials said Hurley was removed because of a loss in confidence in his ability to lead, but declined to provide further details. (Twitter)
  • A senior official at the State Department who retaliated against a career employee was promoted. Democrats on two House committees said Secretary Mike Pompeo recently appointed Brian Hook to head the agency’s Iran Action Group. Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) questioned the hiring in a letter to Pompeo. Earlier this year, a whistleblower provided emails showing Hook referred to a career employee as “a leaker and a troublemaker,” and pressured an employee to leave her agency post earlier than planned. The lawmakers asked the agency for records of any State employee reassignments since the start of the Trump administration. (House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee)
  • The Homeland Security Department continues to struggle to keep programs on schedule and on budget. The Government Accountability Office found 14 of the 24 projects it reviewed were delayed, over budget or both. Auditors said despite DHS’ strengthening of its portfolio management process, projects still face delays or increased costs because of technical challenges, changes in requirements and external factors. GAO recommended DHS take two steps, review why programs breached their cost or schedule and conduct post program reviews to learn from their mistakes. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Internal Revenue Service released a new format for tax transcripts aimed at stopping identity theft. The agency plans to redact personally identifiable information from forms when taxpayers request transcripts online or through the mail. It’s also created a new Customer File Number that lenders, colleges and other third parties can use to request transcripts instead of a taxpayer’s Social Security number. Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said the change will help combat tax refund fraud. (IRS)

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