OPM proposes new guidelines on administrative leave

In today's Federal Newscast, the Office of Personnel Management has proposed new regulations that define parameters for agencies in granting administrative leav...

  • The Office of Personnel Management has proposed new regulations that define parameters for agencies in granting administrative leave. The rules stem from the Administrative Leave Act of 2016, in which Congress addressed concerns that the use of administrative leave was being too broadly defined by agencies, resulting in significant costs to the government. OPM’s proposed rules put a 10-day cap on administrative leave, and offer three new subcategories of leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave. (Federal Register)
  • A push to realign and close some military bases has failed to make it into the 2018 National Defense Authorization Bill. The rejected Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) amendment offered by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) would have removed language preventing the shutdown of unused or underused facilities. Defense officials had expressed hope the base closures would save about $2 billion per year.  But political sensitivities in Congress made that untenable.  Opposition to the plan was driven by the potential for negative economic effects another round of base closings would have on local communities. (Daily Caller)
  • House lawmakers have reached an agreement on a major expansion of the GI Bill. The bill would remove the use-it-or-lose-it component of the post-9/11 GI Bill, letting veterans use the benefit to pay for college later in life. It would also boost government contributions to students attending private schools. Current benefits extend only to in-state public school tuition. Veterans would also get bigger payments under the amendment for attending science, technology, education and math programs. Veterans groups said the changes would impact hundreds of thousands of students. (Federal News Radio)
  • Federal officials have charged more than 400 individuals — including doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals — with fraud involving $1.3 billion in false Medicare billings. They said one in four of the cases involved the prescription and distribution of opioids. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price called it the “largest opioid-related fraud takedown in history.” (FBI)
  • Social Security’s trustees have reported the rising costs of disability insurance will outstrip income in just a few years.  In their annual report, the trustees said 2022 is the year disability costs will exceed income, while the trust fund is expected to hold out until 2028 because fewer people have applied for disability insurance. Still, for the next 20 years, disability costs were expected to rise fast thanks to baby boomer retirements. Long term, the fund was predicted to have a $12.5 trillion shortfall. (SSA)
  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it’s preparing for reductions in force at the agency. The NRC wouldn’t say how many employees would be impacted by RIFs because it’s still looking to find an alternative. Both the NRC and its unions said the RIFs have less to do with budget cuts and reorganization efforts, and more to do with the changing nuclear industry. (Federal News Radio)
  • Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, faced by the prospect of RIFs of their own, have received a show of support from the largest federal employee union.  The American Federation of Government Employees said it is sponsoring a “Love Letters to the EPA” contest. The contest requires a short video submission promoting the EPA’s work.  The winning entry gets $5,000. (AFGE)
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken a wrong turn in its IT planning, the Government Accountability Office said in a recent audit of the agency responsible for regulating the trucking and commercial busing industry.  GAO said FMCSA must update its information technology strategic plan to be more inclusive and detailed if it wants to be a truly modern agency.  (GAO)

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