Millionaire status is fleeting for thousands of TSP participants

Also in today's Federal Newscast, the Marine Mammal Commission has its ethics called into question, and GAO is concerned the Navy is trying to impede Congressio...

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  • The number of Thrift Savings Plan participants with accounts totaling over $1 million has dropped significantly since December 2021. TSP millionaires now comprise about 1.7% of all accounts, compared with about 3% last year. There were roughly 112,000 in December. Now, there are about 72,000 TSP millionaires — a nearly 36% decline — according to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
  • The huge reconciliation bill the Senate passed on Sunday tees up multi-year federal hiring and training investments. The $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act would give the National Park Service $500 million over the next decade to hire front-line employees. The bill also supports additional hires and training at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department. The USPS would also get $3 billion to buy electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. The bill passed in a 51-50 Senate floor vote on Sunday, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. (Federal News Network)
  • The Office of Government Ethics or OGE is sending a warning to the Marine Mammal Commission for stonewalling efforts to oversee its ethics program. OGE said the commission failed to respond to multiple requests for documents related to a review of its ethics program. OGE said the non-response is part of a larger pattern of the commission failing to respond to requests for documents and information on time. OGE warns non-compliance could lead to the agency to take its concerns to Congress and the White House.
  • House Republicans again called for Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to provide answers on an oversight request about the department’s Clean Energy Corps. DOE plans to hire 1,000 new employees, which spurred House Science, Space and Technology Committee Republicans to request details. Committee members are concerned that the Clean Energy Corps will waste money and set a deadline of May 20 for the department to respond. If the plan is implemented, House Republicans said, the Clean Energy Corps will be the Energy Department’s largest expansion in more than 40 years.
  • Customs and Border Protection’s internal affairs division is going on a hiring spree. CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is hiring more than 300 investigators and other staff over the next year. OPR investigates allegations of misconduct and other complaints at CBP, the country’s largest law enforcement agency. Dan Altman is executive director of the investigative division at OPR. “The highest priority going into this growth is going to be to develop very capable, best-in-class teams that are going to be able to respond to use-of-force and critical incidents, bringing that critical transparency and accountability that both Congress and the public expect,” Altman said. OPR has until September 2023 to meet its hiring goals. (Federal News Network)
  • The State Department’s intelligence directorate is hiring a chief information officer. The department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research just created the CIO position earlier this year. The individual who gets the job will also oversee the bureau’s Office of Technology and Innovation.
  • Federal cyber experts, the time has come to see if you’re the best of the best. The 2022 President’s Cup Cybersecurity competition is accepting individual and team registrations through August 29. The three-round competition begins later this month and runs through the finals in December. The President’s Cup is open to federal civilian employees and Defense Department uniformed personnel. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency held the first President’s Cup competition in 2019. Last year more than 2,000 federal employees and service members competed from 15 agencies.
  • GSA is taking steps to improve the transition to the unique entity identifier process. The General Services Administration is listening to agency and industry feedback as it improves the unique entity identifier or UEI process. GSA outlined seven steps to address usability issues of this often frustrating experience. Among the changes GSA is implementing is providing details about all information and documentation at the beginning of the process, that the vendor should gather. GSA also is telling companies about all data the company should have upfront to ensure it has one ticket for all required entity information. These changes come four months into the transition to the UEI that has left many vendors frustrated and discouraged due to the ongoing problems.
  • The Government Accountability Office will take a deeper dive into some of the issues with a Thrift Savings Plan update. GAO will review the planning and implementation of a major update to the TSP from June. The agency will also look into the TSP board’s oversight of the project. That comes after Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) wrote a letter to G-A-O. They requested an investigation of customer service issues and missing account information for some TSP participants.
  • The Navy is setting up a new command to help with recruiting. The Navy is creating the Recruiting Reserve Command in hopes of enticing former sailors to join the service again. The command’s goal is to increase awareness about the Navy Reserve in current sailors, veterans and civilians. The Navy plans to start operations in September. Currently, all of the military services are struggling to meet their end strength numbers. A tough job market, paired with a shrinking talent pool of young people interested in the military, is causing issues for recruitment.
  • The Navy’s contracting methods hampered its efforts to meet sailors needs, according to the Government Accountability Office. In a new study, the agency said the Navy reduced the quantity of its orders in multi-year contracts compared to previous years. Those included buying fewer destroyers and V-22s than the budget called for. GAO said Congress is concerned the Navy is engaging in the tactic to impede Congressional oversight.

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