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The Office of Personnel Management wants to lift the current time limitations for seasonal appointments. OPM said it plans to issue proposed regulations that will allow agencies to keep temporary employees on board for longer than existing policy allows, and re-employ trained and experienced staff depending on mission needs. OPM said many agencies have resorted to making additional temporary appointments to keep federal firefighters on staff. Fire seasons are dragging on longer than normal. And agencies have told OPM they need more flexibility to keep temporary employees on board as long as the season goes. (Federal Register)
Agencies must reopen collective bargaining agreements whose terms have expired, and begin to implement the provisions of the president’s workforce executive orders. OPM said the executive orders are in full force, even if the two parties haven’t agreed to officially reopen an expiring bargaining agreement. OPM said agency agreements that have provisions that are inconsistent with the president’s official time, collective bargaining and employee removals EO’s should be rewritten. (Federal News Network)
More workers with security clearances will be enrolled in the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency’s continuous evaluation program in 2020. Currently, 1.4 million clearance holders are enrolled. The Defense Department said it wants to bump that number up to 3.6 million by the end of next year. It’s all part of the Trump administration’s push to stop the practice of doing periodic reinvestigations every five to 10 years, and move to an environment where clearance holders are continuously vetted against seven kinds of automatic data checks. (Federal News Network)
John Zangardi, former chief information officer for the Departmemt of Homeland Security, has found his new home in the private sector. Zangardi joined Leidos’ Civil Group as senior vice president of business initiatives and strategic partnerships. (Leidos)
The executive who oversaw the modernization of shared services strategy is leaving government. Beth Angerman, who led the federal shared services effort for the last four years at the General Services Administration, is ending her 15-year tenure in federal service. Federal News Network has confirmed Angerman told staff last week that her last day in government is Dec. 6. Sources said Angerman will take some time off before deciding on her next job. During her time at GSA, Angerman was known for her passion and optimism to get the governmentwide shared services effort moving in the right direction after more than a decade of fits and starts. She played a big role in modernizing the existing shared services strategy that combines both public and private sector expertise, and expanded the input and oversight by customer agencies. (Federal News Network)
GSA is trying to calm some frustrations over the new Beta.SAM.gov federal contracting website. It released another set of helpful hints around creating search filters and the best practices for setting them up to meet your needs. GSA also has released a how-to video and has updated its “frequently asked questions” section. Last week, GSA released a set of hints that gave users the step-by-step process to save searches and download contract opportunities. Vendors continue to be dissatisfied with the replacement for FedBizOpps.gov. (General Services Administration)
TRICARE recipients will have to use older methods to change their plans for the rest of open season. A computer glitch shut down DoD’s ability to allow people to change TRICARE plans, and it doesn’t expect the problem to be fixed before Dec. 9, when open season ends. It’s urging people to change their plans by phone or mail. DoD said it will not extend the open season period due to the glitch. (Federal News Network)
The Air Force said it referred new allegations against privatized military housing company Balfour Beatty Communities to its Office of Special Investigations. The new evidence comes from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where there are reports of Balfour falsifying maintenance records to receive contract incentives from the service. The Air Force already sent a letter to Balfour in September complaining about substandard living conditions at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The service wants a comprehensive plan and schedule for how the company will fix the issues or the Air Force will initiate formal action under the dispute provisions of its contract with Balfour. (Federal News Network)
President Donald Trump picked a new official to oversee the Navy’s installations. The White House said the president will nominate Charles Williams, a retired Navy rear admiral, as the next assistant secretary of the Navy for installations, energy and environment. Williams has four decades of experience in real estate management and development, according to the administration. He would replace Phyllis Bayer, who retired earlier this year. The Navy briefly considered eliminating the position altogether in order to make way for a new assistant secretary for information management, but backed down from that plan amid resistance in the Senate.
In the final stretch of preparations for the 2020 count, the Commerce Department’s inspector general said Census Bureau systems failed to meet peak recruiting demands – a claim the bureau disputes. The IG found systems for hiring and payroll were unable to perform at the scale needed to support peak recruiting efforts that will take place early next year. A Census spokesman pushed back on those claims, saying the IG relied on outdated testing documents. (Federal News Network)
An agency that services both government agencies and people with disabilities got a less than favorable evaluation of its cybersecurity. Auditors rate cybersecurity at the U.S. AbilityOne Commission as not effective. The commission’s inspector general hired accountants McConnell and Jones to do the look-see. They found the Commission’s security measures consistently implemented, but weak in continuous monitoring. Auditors said, though, the Commission had carried out 29 recommendations from last year. AbilityOne partners employ the disabled, who manufacture products the government purchases, such as vehicle parts and office equipment.
The IRS is seeking public feedback on how to make its services easier to navigate online. The agency has released a survey, and will use the results to make IRS.gov easier to navigate. The agency said responses to the survey are confidential and anonymous. Earlier this year the IRS laid out a roadmap for a six-year IT modernization strategy that will cost nearly $3 billion. (IRS)