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DOD Can’t Supplement Furloughed Workers with Contractors – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Only about 1% of the Smithsonian’s massive collection of archives is on display at any given time at the museums. That means that 99% of the archives are off limits to the public and scientists alike. They are trying to fix that by digitizing the archives. Find out how that’s going with Gunter Waibel.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Defense Department managers may not use contractors or members of the military to handle work that would normally be done by civilian employees who face sequester-related furloughs starting next week, a top DoD official said in a recent memo. Using borrowed military manpower to compensate for the furloughs would be inconsistent with the department’s commitment “to protect the viability of the all-volunteer force,” reports Federal Times.
  2. The U.S. Postal Service will spend millions of dollars to overhaul worker safety practices under a settlement regarding alleged electrical hazards at mail processing plants, the Labor Department and American Postal Workers Union announced Monday. As part of the settlement, which applies to all facilities, Postal Service officials agreed to: provide safety training and protective equipment to employees who perform electrical work; revise policies and procedures for handling such work; and meet every three months with representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American Postal Workers Union to discuss compliance, according to the agreement between the three parties posted on the APWU’s website, reports Federal Times.
  3. Almost every Thrift Savings Plan fund, except for the government securities G-fund, ended the month of June in negative territory. That’s according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. It’s the first time since October that the C or S funds saw drops. The brutal declines haven’t been enough to erase gains the TSP has made so far this year, reports Federal News Radio.
  4. The Office of Personnel Management acknowledged that it has some improvements to make in monitoring how each agency uses federal telework programs. That’s according to the latest Government Accountability Office report. It found OPM did not have sufficient ways of measuring agency telework data. It suggested OPM help agencies set specific goals and work with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council to improve the reliability of its data. OPM says it’s working on solutions to the report’s findings, reports Federal News Radio.
  5. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says he’s going to keep the pressure on China over cybersecurity. He’ll emphasize the suspected theft of intellectual property by hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government. Reuters reports Lew is trying to keep that issue separate from the infamous National Security Agency surveillance program made public by a leaker now hiding in Russia. Lew says he’s already brought up the issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China. Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry host their Chinese counterparts in Washington next week. It’s the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, reports Federal News Radio.
  6. The Obama Administration has missed a Congressional deadline for issuing rules on imported foods. That delay has been highlighted by an outbreak of Hepatitis-A. The Wall Street Journal reports the disease is linked to pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey. Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, says the FDA isn’t sure what caused the contamination. The Food Safety Law was enacted in January 2011. In November of that year, FDA sent a proposed rule to the White House, reports Federal News Radio.
  7. And on GovLoop, if you missed DorobekINSIDER Live: Making Mobile Matter, don’t worry you can catch the archive here.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Washington Post: D.C. is one of America’s snobbiest cities, according to Travel and Leisure

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