On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- April was another good month for the Thrift Savings Plan. How good? Insights from the Thrift Savings Plan Board's Kim Weaver. Click here for the full recap.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- The sequester is hurting recruitment and retention of mid- and upper-level employees at the General Services Administration, acting administrator Dan Tangherlini said Monday. Federal Times reports, Tangherlini said those recruitment challenges will make it difficult for his agency to renew and revitalize its leadership ranks.
- Meanwhile the sequester is changing some contractor background reinvestigations. Federal Times reports, the arm of the Defense Department overseeing security clearances for contractors is cutting how much time people have to request so-called periodic reinvestigations. Known as PRIs, periodic reinvestigations are updated background checks to ensure people with security clearances are still fit to hold them. The Defense Security Service says it will now accept PRI requests from industry only 30 days before the anniversary of a person’s clearance investigation anniversary date.
- Budget cuts from sequestration reduced the number of contracts awarded by the Defense Department in April, Bloomberg Government reported. Only $19 billion in contracts were awarded by the Defense Department last month, which is a 52 percent drop from the $39.4 billion awarded in March. April’s total was also 34 percent lower than the $28.8 billion average monthly contract amount in the year ending March 31, according to Bloomberg’s analysis.
- Some furloughed federal employees could offset their forced time off with annual leave — but only under certain circumstances, according to updated guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. Federal News Radio reports, furloughed employees are generally barred from retroactively converting their furloughs days into annual leave — even if their agency "finds sufficient funds to cover the hours the employee was in a furlough status," the guidance, which was updated April 25, stated.
- In a first, the Securities and Exchange Commission has gone after a city. The SEC charged Harrisburg, Pa., with securities fraud. Without admitting the charges, the city agreed to settle, and the SEC levied no fines. According to the SEC order, Harrisburg misled buyers of municipal bonds about how bad its fiscal condition was. Harrisburg, the state capital, missed $14 million in interest payments to bond holders. Federal News Radio says the SEC says the city is nearly bankrupt. Harrisburg is operating under state receivership. The SEC has put all public officials on notice about misleading information in bond sales.
- The Homeland Security Department is shopping for an identity-management system that lets employees use their smart ID cards to get into buildings and log onto computer networks. Federal News Radio reports, the department wants a system that can support at least 300,000 employees and contractors at hundreds of workstations spread throughout the country. The George W. Bush administration issued a presidential directive telling agencies to implement this type of system nearly a decade ago. Like many agencies, DHS has moved slowly. Government auditors say most agencies use the cards as "glorified ID cards" without the full capabilities.
- And on GovLoop, you can now register for the May 15th DorobekINSIDER Live panel. This time around we are talking about the one year anniversary of the Digital Government Strategy. The free online webinar will feature government and industry experts.
DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
- Just because it is so amazing: Interior: One of the most spectacular #lightning strikes we have ever seen. Near the South Rim Grand Canyon.