TSA leaders promise to make the agency a better place to work

In today's Federal Newscast, Transportation Security Administration administrator David Pekoske promises a series of changes to improve TSA's human capital prac...

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  • Transportation Security Administration leaders pledged to make the agency a better place to work. A few weeks after an inspector general report revealed just how much employees dislike the TSA, administrator David Pekoske promised a series of reforms to improve its human capital practices. The reforms will stem from an analysis Pekoske hired ICF to perform. The agency releases a summary but not the full report. ICF acknowledged the problems, but says other agencies with similar issues have been able to improve.  (Transportation Security Administration)
  • The Trump administration will face some tough questions as a House committee examines its proposal to merge the Office of Personnel Management with the General Services Administration. The administration will describe the financial, strategic and structural reasons for the OPM-GSA merger. But federal employee unions, organizations and a former OPM director will challenge the administration’s rationale and plans. OPM’s inspector general says it’s unclear the merger will result in the cost-savings and efficiencies the administration says it will. (Federal News Network)
  • Maryland and Virginia senators join House Democrats in expressing skepticism for the Trump administration’s proposed OPM-GSA merger. All four wrote to acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought, saying they’re especially concerned the new Office of Federal Workforce Policy will be staffed with a presidentially-appointed director who isn’t Senate-confirmed. The senators also say they need more detail about the administration’s plans, before they can agree to them. (Sen. Mark Warner)
  • Three Virginia Congressmen say federal employees should have additional telework options during upcoming metro station closures in the D.C. area. In a letter to acting OPM director Margaret Weichert, Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) say thousands of federal employees will have a challenging commute this summer when six metro stations in northern Virginia close for maintenance. OPM urged agencies to offer more telework flexibility during the past Metro SafeTrack project back in 2016. (Rep. Don Beyer)
  • The Office of Personnel Management awarded Federal Management Partners a $15 million contract to develop, implement and promote modern human capital strategies and standards through the HR Line of Business effort. Under the five-year contract, OPM wants the vendor to support the ongoing evolution of human capital standards through the adoption of shared services. OPM also expects to improve the acquisition of and delivery of human capital services as well as reducing duplicative spending. Finally, OPM seeks an integrated set of systems to share employee data across agencies throughout their entire career. (FedBizOpps)
  • The Army still does not have a process to pay National Guard troops working in the jobs they’re promoted to, but have not been recognized yet. Congress gave the Army secretary the authority to give backpay to guardsmen waiting for promotion approval last year. The Army tells Federal News Network it’s still developing plans for how to handle the issue. (Federal News Network)
  • More skepticism from Capitol Hill about DoD’s multi-billion dollar JEDI Cloud contract. The House’s version of the 2020 Defense spending bill continues to question DoD’s decision to award JEDI to only one vendor. Appropriators are proposing to bar the Pentagon from moving any of its software systems to the cloud service until they deliver more details on how they’ll create a more competitive landscape with other cloud contracts. DoD promised to pursue a “multi-cloud” strategy earlier this year, and lawmakers say they want the Pentagon to follow through. (Federal News Network)
  • More women are applying to the Air Force Academy than ever before. They made up 30% of the applicants for the 2022 class. Air Force Deputy Chief for Manpower, Personnel and Services Lieutenant General Brian Kelly says the service is purposefully targeting women to increase diversity.
  • New internal customer experience guidelines are finalized by the Veterans Affairs Department. They lay out how it will serve veterans and their families. VA says by changing the code of federal regulations, it ensures Customer Experience Principles are a core part of the agency’s foundational values and organizational characteristics. The guidelines focus across three areas: ease of access, effectiveness of care, benefits and memorial services and emotional support. (Federal Register)
  • There was a sharp decline in audit rates at the IRS over the past few years. In its 2018 Data Book, the agency reports auditing nearly a million tax returns last fiscal year, or about half a percent of all returns it received. It’s less than half the rate it reported in 2010, according to recent statistics from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. (Internal Revenue Service)
  • Two new members are added to the Government Accountability Office’s commission which oversees payments and access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Comptroller Gene Dodaro selects attorney Thomas Barker, and Georgetown University professor Tricia Brooks to serve on the commission. The 2009 CHIP Reauthorization Act led to the creation of the commission, which is tasked with notifying Congress on CHIP and Medicaid issues. (Government Accountability Office)

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