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New regulations to implement the paid parental leave law for federal employees are in the works. Employees with questions about the new Federal Employee Paid Leave Act should direct them to their agencies’ human resources offices. Those subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act will have access to 12 weeks of paid parental leave. The law applies to leave taken in connection with the birth or placement of a new child on or after Oct. 1, 2020. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
The Trump administration said the methodology used to set federal locality pay areas and their rates is flawed. A group consisting of the Labor Secretary, Office of Personnel Management director and Office of Management and Budget director said the system lacked credibility from its very beginning in 1994. The president’s pay agent said it needs congressional action to make real changes. But it suggest the Federal Salary Council begin asking agencies to submit recruitment and retention data when making the case to set up a new locality pay area. (Federal News Network)
Des Moines, Iowa has been approved as a new locality pay area. The new location isn’t official until it goes through the Office of Personnel Management’s rulemaking process. It’s unclear how long that will take. The earliest federal employees in Des Moines may see new locality pay rates is January 20-21. Des Moines wasn’t included on the list of 53 locality pay areas the president approved earlier this month for 20-20 pay raises. (Federal News Network)
The pay raise federal employees will get in the new year varies a lot from place-to-place, and Washington, D.C. is at the top of the list. Congress and the president approved an average pay increase of 3.1% for civilian feds in 2020. But because of the government’s locality pay system, the actual raises depend on where they live and work. Out of the more than 50 locality pay areas, the raise for the National Capital Region will be the highest in the nation, at just over 3.5%. On the other end of the spectrum, feds who work outside of any designated locality pay area will get just 2.85%. (Federal News Network)
President Donald Trump named Robert Blair to be the new Special Representative for International Telecommunications Policy. He’ll work on efforts to promote a secure and reliable global communications system and serve as a liaison to industry. Blair’s current role is senior adviser to interim White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. (White House)
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation as of this morning is now called the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, or DFC. The new agency combined OPIC with part of the U.S. Agency for International Development, with bipartisan Congressional support and Trump’s signature in 2018. But the final change was held up by the continuing resolution. With 2020 government funding, and therefore new initiatives, secured, the merger could proceed.
The Navy is considering a budget proposal that would run counter to its previous plans of building a fleet of 355 warships. The plan is still being negotiated, but it would shrink the size of the current fleet from 293 ships to 287. Defense officials said it’s one of several options under consideration to cut costs and fund other naval priorities. (Federal News Network)
The military’s commissaries and exchanges will have 4.1 million potential new customers starting this week. Veterans with service-connected disabilities, Purple Heart recipients and former prisoners of war will be allowed to shop in the on-base grocery and retail stores. Congress mandated the benefit expansion as part of last year’s Defense authorization bill. The new rules take effect on New Year’s day. Eligible veterans will be able to gain access to military bases with their Department of Veterans Affairs health identification cards.
Raytheon has been awarded a $1 billion contract from the Missile Defense Agency. The multi-year procurement order is for 62 Standard Missile-3 missiles. The Defense Department said the total cost could end up being almost $2.5 billion. Production is expected to be done by March 2025. (Department of Defense)