OPM building public database of federal union agreements

  • Agencies have more guidance now on how they should comply with President Donald Trump’s May executive orders on collective bargaining. The Office of Personnel Management wants all agencies to submit copies of their current collective bargaining agreements for review. OPM said it’s currently developing a database that will show all bargaining agreements and their expiration dates. Publicly displaying these agreements is one of the requirements in the president’s EOs. A federal district court invalidated nine key provisions of those orders in August. (Office of Personnel Management)
  • Organizational changes are coming to the Defense Department as the Pentagon prepares to take over the governmentwide security clearance program. DoD is preparing to announce a restructuring as soon as Trump signs an executive order authorizing the transfer from OPM. Industry sources said DoD’s new security clearance entity will be called the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. The National Background Investigations Bureau’s workforce will join the Defense Security Service, along with DoD’s Consolidated Adjudications Facility and some counterintelligence resources to form the new organization. Altogether, the new entity is expected to have a workforce of roughly 10,000 personnel. (Federal News Network)
  • The Trump administration asks Congress for more federal authority in wildfire prevention. The White House said it wants to empower federal agencies to, in its words, actively manage forests and aggressively fight wildfires. It wants Congress to keep wildfire measures in the 2019 farm bill now in conference. One provision would expand the authority of the U.S. Forest Service and the Interior Department to clear deadwood on federal land. (White House)
  • The space force might be cheaper than previously expected. A new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies calculates the initial cost of building a military service for space at between $1.5 billion and $2.7 billion, much lower than the $13 billion figure previously calculated by the Air Force. According to the CSIS estimate, nearly 96 percent of the space force would come from assets already established in the other military services. (Federal News Network)
  • The Navy is testing a new performance evaluation system that will emphasize merit over seniority. Over the past few weeks, the Performance Evaluation Transformation team launched its third of five proof of concept tests. The test uses a commercially developed, web-based tool to assess sailors and give them a coaching routine to deliver candid and actionable results. (U.S. Navy)
  • At least one member of Congress wants to equalize cost-of-living-adjustments for all federal retirees. Rep. Gerry Connolly’s (D-Va.) “Equal COLA Act” would change current statute, which limits participants in the Federal Employee Retirement System to a 2 percent adjustment. Participants in the Civil Service Retirement System have no COLA limit, and are expected to get a 2.8 percent increase starting in January. (Federal News Network)
  • The Department of Homeland Security may soon create a department-level chief data officer, becoming only the fourth cabinet-level agency to do so. Some DHS components, including USCIS and FEMA, already have CDOs of their own. The department will conduct a study over the winter, looking into whether it should set up a headquarters-level CDO, and results are expected by next spring. The House passed legislation earlier this year that would have required the department to appoint a chief data officer, but the measure wasn’t taken up in the Senate. (Federal News Network)
  • The State Department recognized family members of its Foreign Service for their volunteer work abroad. Agency spokeswoman Heather Nauert gave the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad to the spouses of three Foreign Service officers, as well as one recently-retired foreign service officer. Their work ranges from standing up an emergency medicine program in Mozambique to providing books to children in Mexico. (Federal News Network)
  • The IRS and its partners planned to launch a National Tax Security Awareness campaign this holiday season. The program urges people to better protect their sensitive tax and financial data. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said the agency sees an uptick in tax data threats during the holidays. The campaign will highlight ways taxpayers can better protect their information from falling in the hands of fraudsters. The agency will also launch a Twitter account that will provide scam and security alerts to taxpayers. (IRS)