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All signs point to federal employees’ paychecks looking a little larger by early next week. An email from the National Finance Center, obtained by Federal News Network, said the raise and a lump sum from the period of retroactivity will be in checks by next Monday.
Employees who saw a change in pay status nay not see a raise until May 20 though — including at least 20,000 employees at the IRS. The National Treasury Employees Union said about 20% of the total IRS workforce has experienced a change in pay status since the start of the year.
Unions call to end a culture of bullying at the Transportation Security Administration. The American Federation of Government Employees said new reporting shows workplace retaliation and bullying may have contributed to the death of a TSA agent in February. The agent jumped to his death from a balcony at the Orlando International Airport. (American Federation of Government Employees)
Mary Kendall, deputy inspector general at the Interior Department, will leave the agency for a similar job with Amtrak. E&E News reported Kendall will retire from the agency in May after about 20 years. Kendall’s departure announcement came just as her office began a new investigation into Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The agency for several years has also been conducting investigations into Ryan Zinke, the former secretary. She’s also served as acting IG since 2009. (E&E News)
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan moved quickly to shore up leadership at his previous agency. He named John Sanders, currently the chief operating officer at Customs and Border Protection, as the acting commissioner. Sanders comes from the technology side of the security industry, having been a founder of an imaging equipment company later acquired by SAIC. Before joining Customs and Border Protection, Sanders was chief technology officer of TSA, where he worked on the PreCheck program. (Department of Homeland Security)
FEMA alerted state, local and industry emergency managers not to overlook the importance of a secure supply chain. The agency released a Supply Chain Resilience Guide with recommendations and best practices to ensure products are not tainted. It used a five-phased approach around research, analysis, outreach, action and assessment, and refinement. FEMA has planned for a series of webinars later this month and released two “prep talks” about supply chain resilience case studies. (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
The Trump administration’s initial effort to reskill and retrain federal workers for cyber jobs is off and running. The Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy kicked off its initial class with 30 students, five more than it had planned, earlier this week. With such an overwhelming demand for spots in the course, the CIO Council found funding to support five more students virtually. Classes started April 15 and run through July 15, with the goal of training non-technical federal employees on cybersecurity skills. More than 1,500 federal employees applied to join classes. The council is expecting to open up applications this spring for a second academy session. (Federal News Network)
Two top Democrats from the House Oversight and Reform Committee submitted a new request to the General Services Administration for documents related to the Trump Hotel lease. Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and government operations subcommittee chair Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) have asked for them before, but this is the first time as the majority, which means they have subpoena power. The request came after GSA’s Office of the Inspector General released a report earlier this year claiming agency attorneys didn’t address Emoluments Clause concerns in their assessment of the lease. (House Oversight and Reform Committee)
Two new programs from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) want to come up with ways to combat machine learning. IARPA Director Stacey Dixon said the projects will focus on preventing adversaries from compromising training data behind AI tools. IARPA launched a draft broad-agency announcement for one project, called Trojans in Artificial Intelligence, back in December. Dixon said an announcement for the other program will be released later this year. (Federal News Network)
The Air Force is trying to recruit new civilian employees through their computer screens. The service held a virtual hiring fair last week were it interviewed more than 1,700 pre-screened candidates for civilian positions. Air Force HR specialists spoke with applicants via video chat. Qualifying candidates were recommended for a phone interview. (Air Force Personnel Center)
The Navy will build two new simulator facilities to give ship operators more practice and to update the current simulators they use. The move comes after a series of collisions killed 17 sailors a year and a half ago. A review found simulators were not up to par. The new facilities will be in San Diego, California, and Norfolk, Virginia. (Federal News Network)