More Bureau of Prisons pay incentives get death penalty

  • The Bureau of Prisons is planning to remove pay incentives for officers at yet another federal prison. Correctional officers at Canaan federal prison in Philadelphia will soon see pay cuts. The BOP plans to remove a 10% retention bonus for the officers. The American Federation of Government Employees is urging the BOP to reverse course. The facility is about to open more units and bring in more inmates, according to AFGE. The union said without the incentive, officers may leave their jobs. The announcement comes after the BOP cut retention incentives for officers at the Thomson federal prison in Illinois earlier this month.
    (Bureau of Prisons ends retention pay for USP Canaan workers - American Federation of Government Employees)
  • Senior technology executives are shuffling chairs at the Department of Homeland Security. Beth Cappello, the deputy chief information officer at DHS, is retiring after 33 years of federal service on March 9. DHS wasted no time in finding her replacement. DHS CIO Eric Hysen said in an email to staff that Rear Adm. Christopher Bartz will be the next DHS deputy CIO. Bartz currently serves as the Coast Guard’s assistant commandment for command, control, communications, computers and IT, and CIO. Bartz's first day is February 5, allowing for over a month of overlap with Cappello, who has been deputy CIO since 2019. She has worked for DHS since 2006.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to make its IT shop a more attractive place to work are paying off. VA’s Office of Information and Technology (VA OIT) ranked number one among agencies with more than 100,000 employees, according to last year’s Mission-Support Customer Satisfaction Survey. VA OIT has held the top spot on the survey for three years in a row. It ranked fourth in its category in 2020. The VA implemented a Special Salary Rate for its IT and cybersecurity employees last summer, giving them an $18,000 average pay raise.
  • Auditors are recommending changes to how the government measures its cybersecurity progress. The Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) metrics are intended to evaluate agency cybersecurity efforts. But many agencies feel those metrics don’t accurately measure their information security programs in some cases, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. Agencies told GAO the FISMA metrics could be updated to better reflect federal performance goals, cyber workforce issues, and risk-based approaches to cybersecurity, among other changes. GAO recommended that the White House Office of Management and Budget work across agencies to revise the metrics moving forward.
  • The Navy's Fleet Forces Command is developing a new plan focused on how the service can quickly switch to a warfighting footing if necessary. The Global Maritime Response Plan will lay out necessary procedures and processes that will allow the service to rapidly mobilize its forces should a conflict break out. The initiative will reorganize the service’s structure, bolstering some key organizations while closing down lower priority commands. Adm. Darryl Caudle said the effort originated from a war-game task, during which his team examined various ways to sustain a prolonged conflict. The first revision of the plan will be delivered by the end of 2024.
    (Fleet Forces working on wartime plan - Surface Navy Association)
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has a new inspector general. The Senate confirmed Jennifer Fain to the position last month, after President Joe Biden appointed her to oversee the FDIC's IG office. Fain has worked in the federal IG community for more than 22 years and led oversight work for the U.S. Export-Import Bank. In the past, Fain has also managed auditing, inspection and evaluation work at the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    (Jennifer Fain appointed FDIC inspector general - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General )
  • Today is the last day to apply for an opening as chief data officer at the Office of Personnel Management. OPM is looking for a senior executive to manage human capital data both within OPM and governmentwide. The CDO will be tasked with leading the execution of OPM's strategic data plan and will also serve as the agency's chief AI officer. The opening at OPM comes after the agency's previous CDO left the job last year.
    (Chief data officer job announcement - Office of Personnel Management)
  • The Department of Homeland Security’s research arm is looking for data technologies to help train machine-learning models. In a new solicitation, DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate is asking for solutions to generate synthetic data that models and replicates the shape and patterns of real data. DHS components, like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the DHS Privacy Office, are particularly interested in synthetic data capabilities. Industry has until April 10 to respond to the solicitation.
  • The holiday season is over, but the Postal Service is keeping busy. It expects the public to return $173 billion worth of 2023 holiday purchases, nearly a 30% increase from 2022. USPS said more returns are an important source of growth for its package business. More package revenue is a cornerstone of its 10-year reform plan, meant to help the agency dig out from its long-term financial losses.
  • Fleet Forces Command wants to improve maintenance and repair by bringing digital tools to sailors. A new Fleet Maintenance Optimization initiative will equip Navy's personnel with systems and tools that will allow operational and maintenance centers to have a better understanding of ship conditions in real time. This won’t necessarily reduce the workload, but it will allow sailors to gain situational awareness, make better decisions and improve ship readiness. The effort will also allow sailors to significantly improve their maintenance and repair skills.

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