Fiscal Cliff FAQ – Plus Your DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Do you like where you work? It seems like a simple question on the surface, but for agencies who are fighting for personnel, budgets and morale the question is gigantic. So every year the Office of Personnel Management goes out to agencies and asks that question. Click here for the full recap.

The Washington Post has compiled everything you absolutely you need to know about the fiscal cliff:

What is the fiscal cliff?

What’s in it?

What matters most in it?
What happens if we go over?

How has Washington tried to solve the fiscal cliff in the past?

What do the parties agree on?

How can we solve it?

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday outlined changes to its closings and early-dismissals protocol, building on its policy overhaul after the 2010 “Snowmageddon” traffic jams that clogged roads for hours. The Washington Post says this year’s changes include “delayed arrival” announcements. They will tell federal employees either to remain off the roads until a designated time or instruct them to postpone their usual start times by a certain number of hours. Those guidelines would apply when weather and road conditions are expected to improve enough to open government offices, OPM said.
  2. BP has been suspended from new federal contracts. Federal News Radio reports, the Environmental Protection Agency temporarily suspended the BP oil company from new federal contracts, grants and other covered transactions, citing the company’s “lack of business integrity” and criminal proceedings stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  3. The Army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks is expected to testify in court for the first time as early as Wednesday. The Washington Post says supporters of Pfc. Bradley Manning, 24, have alleged that he was mistreated while held in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico, where he was kept in solitary confinement for more than eight months beginning in August 2010.
  4. One way for the government to save $147 million each year? Replace the $1 bill with the coin. The Wall Street Journal reports the Government Accountability Office says the U.S. should replace dollar bills with dollar coins, a move that could be unpopular with the public but ultimately save the government money.“We continue to believe that the government would receive a financial benefit from making the replacement,” Lorelei St. James, a director at the GAO, said in remarks prepared for a Congressional hearing scheduled for Thursday.
  5. There’s been a slight increase both in the number of bid protests filed and sustained last year. Total protests filed numbered 2,475, a 5% increase over FY 2011. The Government Accountability Office says this was the largest number of protests filed in any of the last five years and may well reflect industry concern over sequestration, as previously discussed on the blog, and the resulting increased importance placed by competitors on each contracting opportunity.
  6. Thrift Savings Plan managers say federal retirement accounts can withstand another debt-ceiling showdown. The government is on track to reach its borrowing limit at the end of next month but could postpone default for a few more months by using emergency measures. It can tap into federal pensions or temporarily stop investing in them. Earlier this year, the Treasury Department suspended investments in the G-Fund as Congress debated raising the debt ceiling. But the law requires Treasury to repay with interest. GovExec reports the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board says the process does operate smoothly.
  7. And on GovLoop – you still have time to attend our half day in-person training event going on next Thursday here in the District.NextGen plus will feature:
    1. Insights to become a brilliant communicator
    2. Launch your gov career with savviness
    3. Learn to network within and outside of your organization
    4. Training takes place next Thursday
    5. Register before Saturday and you’ll save some money!

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Here Are The Hottest Products Shoppers Are Searching For
  • Looks as though sarcasm is easily lost in translation — or easily ignored. The online version of the People’s Daily, the official organ of China’s Communist Party, lauded a story from the satirical news site that named North Korean dictator Kim Jong Eun 2012’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”

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