GOP Senator has idea to completely change makeup of federal workforce

In today's Federal Newscast, a Senate Republican seeks to shake up the federal workforce, as part of his vision for his party's agenda.

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  • Cozy up to your computer and think about your colleague or a group of federal employees who deserve one of the most prestigious awards in the federal career civil service. Nominations for the Presidential Rank Awards are open. The Office of Personnel Management says PRA nominees should be extraordinary leaders who have displayed an earnest commitment to public service. Last year, President Joe Biden selected 230 winners from 37 agencies for Presidential Rank Awards. Nominations for the class of 2022 are due by March 25th.
  • More than 100 organizations say it’s time to confirm nominees for the MSPB. The Merit Systems Protection Board’s five year streak of not having a quorum could end if the Senate confirms the three nominees. More than 100 civil society organizations are asking Senate leaders to do just that. The groups, including Federally Employed Women, the Government Accountability Project and the Senior Executives Association, said MSPB plays a key role supporting whistleblower protections as a crucial safeguard against waste, fraud and misconduct in government. They urged the Senate to vote on the MSPB nominees immediately to reinvigorate the panel.
  • A Senate Republican seeks to shake up the federal workforce, as part of his vision for his party’s agenda. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Flo.) is calling for members of Congress and most federal employees to only serve a maximum 12 years on the job, as part of his own GOP agenda, ahead of this year’s midterm elections. Scott’s Rescue America plan makes an exception for feds working in national security. The agenda also calls for moving most agencies out of the Washington area, and selling non-essential federal buildings and land to pay down the national debt. The plan also seeks to immediately cut the IRS’s funding and workforce in half.
  • The Postal Service is doubling down on its package business, and offering same-day or next-day local shipping for small businesses. The agency is launching this service as part of its USPS Connect program. USPS is launching this service as part of its 10-year reform plan, focused on cutting costs and increasing revenue. USPS Connect also offers same-day or next-day delivery of first class mail, and is targeted for customers who send business or legal documents.
  • The Department of Homeland Security’s research arm is teaming up with Israel. DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate issued a call for proposals this week for the U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Homeland Security program. The Israel Ministry of Public Security is also a partner on the project. The 2022 focus areas include technologies to combat cyber crime, secure critical infrastructure, and maintain border security, among other areas. The deadline for proposals is April 25, with awards expected in September.
  • A White House leader calls for a “new social contract” for the digital age. White House National Cyber Director Chris Inglis believes both the government and the private sector need to step up to achieve more security in cyberspace. In a new article published by Foreign Affairs, Inglis lays out the big thinking driving his actions as the first national cyber director. He believes companies need to invest more into secure technologies, while the government needs to treat industry as a vital partner. Inglis said his office has a key role to play by regularly reviewing budgets and translating national strategies into planning priorities for agencies.
  • The Defense Department is joining six other countries in addressing the responsible use of space, the challenges to space sustainability and threats from other nations outside of the earth’s atmosphere. DoD released its Combined Space Operations Vision for 2031, laying out objectives to responsible military behaviors in space. Those include reducing conflict through transparent communication and establishing a robust space infrastructure.
  • The Army National Guard says it’s starting to see a decline in demand for soldiers. After two years of record high deployments, the Army National Guard said it is starting to see some reprieve. The component currently has about 15,000 soldiers out in the field helping with COVID-19 and more than 40,000 deployed in total. The Army National Guard chief said waning COVID cases will help keep some soldiers home and take some of the burden off the service. He predicted that once COVID retreats more, then the Guard will go back to handling more traditional threats like extreme weather. (Federal News Network)

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