On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
In the ongoing war on government budgets there is another victim, the internship. “We’ve seen agencies really dial back their internship programs in the face of these budget cuts,” said Tom Fox. “If you are having furloughs, hiring freezes and pay freezes it’s only natural you would see a decline in internships as well.” Click here for the full recap.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
The Supreme Court opened the door for thousands of same-sex spouses of federal employees to get medical coverage and an array of other federal benefits legally denied them up to now. By a 5-4 ruling, the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bars the government from recognizing gay and lesbian unions for purposes of providing benefits. Among other benefits, same-sex spouses will be eligible for medical coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, dental and vision coverage, and survivor benefits from the government’s workers’ compensation and pension programs, reports Federal Times.
- An IRS technology official at the center of a House investigation into whether he pushed for contract awards worth up to $500 million to a company owned by a friend pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify at a House hearing Wednesday. The hearing came a day after a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report said Greg Roseman, an IRS deputy director, may have influenced the IRS to award information technology contracts to Strong Castle, reports Federal Times.
- The Senate confirmed Penny Pritzker to become the next Commerce secretary. Pritzker easily won confirmation with a 97-to-1 vote. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was the lone no vote. Pritzker, whose family founded the Hyatt Hotel chain, had butted heads with Obama’s union supporters and initially understated her income by $80 million in a disclosure form required for her nomination, reports Federal Times.
- The long-awaited multi-billion contract award for the Next Generation Enterprise Network is at hand. After several delays, an announcement now is expected by June 30. FCW reports, the news is blunted by the firing of the longtime face of the program, Naval Enterprise Networks Program Manager Capt. Shawn Hendricks. Victor Gavin, program executive officer-enterprise information systems, said in a June 24 announcement that Hendricks was fired “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead.”
- While some agencies are canceling furloughs altogether, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is considering a second round. The American Federation of Government Employees represents agency staff. It said enough is enough and noted that the agency has a backlog of more than 70,000 cases. The EEOC plans to decide next week whether to require employees to take three more days of unpaid leave, bringing the total to eight furlough days, reports Federal News Radio.
The Merit Systems Protection Board has granted whistleblowers a victory. It says the new Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act applies retroactively. It helps federal whistleblowers whose cases were pending when the law was passed. The board said it was swayed by the large and varied arguments on behalf of former Coast Guard employee Thomas Day. He sued the Homeland Security Department, accusing it of retaliation. He was reassigned after reporting kickbacks to a contractor, reports Federal News Radio.
And on GovLoop, if you missed yesterday’s DorobekINSIDER Live: Making Mobile Matter, don’t worry you can catch the archive here.
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