The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Wednesday the 22nd of August
- President Obama told Congress he is going to order a small pay increase for federal employees. But the raise won’t take place until next spring at the earliest. The Associated Press says it will be a modest raise, averaging 0.5 percent. In a letter, the president says federal employees have already sacrificed under a two-year pay freeze. But Congressional leadership has promised a six-month continuing resolution instead of a new 2013 budget. So the president would extend the freeze until after the CR, or April 2013. In response, the American Federation of Government Employees has urged a freeze on health care premiums.
- Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget looked at all the 2013 spending bills stuck in Congress. Acting Budget Director Jeff Zients said if they all pass, the White House will have to do a little sequestering of its own. Federal News Radio says that’s because the bills add up to more spending than allowed by last year’s Budget Control Act. The law allows OMB to cut enacted budgets if they’re too fat. That’s an alternative to the more famous, 10-year sequester which happens if there is no Congressional deal.
- Wildland firefighters are paving a path for other part-time feds to get health insurance. The government agreed last month to cover firefighters who were working around the clock to slow the fires in Colorado. The Office of Personnel Management said agencies can request the same benefits for temporary employees performing related services. Federal News Radio reports that could include forestry technicians, dispatchers and others who are helping fight fires out West. OPM said agencies should make a request based on what the employee does rather than on their job description. It said agencies also need to consider the size and scope of the disaster and the number of temps it needs to respond.
- Pentagon showing only modest progress toward cleaning its books. Government Executive says the Defense Department is at “considerable risk” of not meeting its internal goal of a clean budgetary statement by 2014 and fulfilling Congress’s mandate of auditable financial statements by 2017. Dan Blair, the Defense Department’s deputy inspector general for auditing, said that despite the Pentagon’s quest to get a handle on the billions of dollars it disburses, officials lack “certainty that they are paying the right person the right amount at the right point in time.” There is progress in applying new requirements, Blair said, “but the progress is difficult to see and slow.”
- The Army’s in the cloud. Federal Computer Week reports, the Defense Information Systems Agency says the enterprise e-mail program which includes 500,000 Army accounts have been migrated to the cloud. They’ve also migrated roughly 20,000 other Defense Department users – including the Joint Staff and the U.S. European Command.
- Norwegian weapons company Kongsberg has won a major deal with the U.S. Army to supply remote weapons stations for vehicles. Defense News reports, the contract is worth up to $970 million over the next five years. Kongsberg will also supply production, system support and technical engineering support for the remote weapons stations.
- And on GovLoop, please join us at the Your Data Center Blueprint Training. The webinar will help you consolidate data centers and bring new efficiencies into your agency. The webinar kicks off this Thursday at 2pm. There are still spots available so head over to our homepage to sign up.
On today’s program
- Those entitled, spoiled and self-serving millennials are entering the workforce in droves. Shhh I am one of them. Is that a good thing? The answer might surprise you.