OGE is asking agencies for best coaching practices

In today's Federal Newscast, the Office of Government Ethics wants to hear from agencies about the best ways to train and teach employees about ethical matters.

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  • The Office of Government Ethics wants agencies to share their best practices for lending advice and counsel to their employees. OGE says it’ll collect this information to determine how well agencies are advising their employees on ethical matters. It will then use this information to tailor the services it provides to other agencies. OGE says it’ll also share agency best practices so others can learn new strategies. (Office of Government Ethics)
  • Operations employees at the Social Security Administration will get two extra weeks to adjust to the upcoming cancellation of their telework program. SSA says the telework pilot will end November 22, instead of November 8. The agency says the new policy impacts some 11,000 employees at SSA field regional and headquarters operations units. SSA says the decision to end its telework policy will allow its employees to focus on the agency’s customer service challenges. (Federal News Network)
  • Employees of contractors who lose a recompete no longer have the right of first refusal to continue working on the same or a similar project. President Trump signed an executive order rescinding an Obama-era directive giving preference to the existing employees. The new order also ends any existing investigations or compliance actions into contractors potentially not abiding by the 2009 requirement. (White House)
  • The IRS is looking for industry feedback on new training for employees in its Section 508 IT accessibility office. The agency has asked vendors to provide two curriculums, one focused on technical assurance training, and the other focused on 508 compliance testing. Responses will be accepted through November 15. Employees must complete a final exam, and receive at least an 85% to pass the course. The IRS will accept responses from vendors through November 15. (FedBizOpps)
  • A new Federal Innovation Council from the Partnership for Public Service is made up of 13 federal leaders from across government who are seen as champions of innovation within their agencies. The council will focus on developing public-private partnerships, finding alternative acquisition methods, and addressing talent and culture challenges across government. (Partnership for Public Service)
  • When it comes to federal financial management, there’s always room for improvement. The Government Accountability Office looks at agency financial summaries yearly. But now it’s looked at how well the 24 departments and agencies under the Chief Financial Officers Act actually follow the law. Auditors find they’ve made a lot of progress, but no one fully meets all of the statutory requirements. Challenges include financial workforce planning, financial IT systems improvement, and using financial data more effectively in decision-making. (Government Accountability Office)
  • DHS officially launched its 5th attempt to address its legacy financial systems. The Department of Homeland Security released two solicitations seeking once again to address one of its longest standing and most complicated problems — consolidating and modernizing its financial management systems. One request for quotes is for a blanket purchase agreement worth as much as $1 billion over 10 years for a systems integrator to provide a host of services including implementation and data cleansing. The second RFQ is for financial management software-as-a-service. Multiple previous attempts to modernize and consolidate as many as 22 existing financial management systems have failed for an assortment of reasons. Bids are due for both RFQs on November 26. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Air Force is taking its Pilot Training Next idea to a new level. Pilot Training Next uses artificial intelligence, virtual reality and biometrics to train fixed-wing pilots faster. Now the 23rd Flying Training Squadron is creating a rotary-wing Next for helicopter pilots. The squadron graduated its first class in October and saw students seven to 10 days ahead of the usual training schedule. The program also saved the Air Force $60,000 per student. (Federal News Network)
  • The Marine Corps is increasing the time it will take for some enlisted Marines to promote to sergeant and staff sergeant. Starting next year, Marines must spend at least four years in service before being promoted to sergeant. That doubles the current requirement. Time-in-service requirements to become a staff sergeant will increase from 48 months to 60 months. Additionally, time-in-grade requirements will increase from 27 months to 36 months. (Marines)
  • The military services depend on the Defense Department’s combat support agencies for a wide variety of their missions. But the prices they pay aren’t exactly transparent. A new study by the Government Accountability Office focused specifically on the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and the Defense Logistics Agency. Those agencies are supposed to charge their military customers just enough to cover their costs, but GAO says they don’t share much information on how those prices are calculated. Because of that, it’s hard for the services to manage their own costs – or determine if they could save money by using fewer services. (Government Accountability Office)

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