Could Sequestration Impact Your COLA? Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • NASA CIO Linda Cureton tops the list of most social savvy CIOs. But she's not just a master of Twitter, she is also a Cloud Computing pioneer. Cureton sat down for our first ever Google Plus hangout interview to talk about the Tech Trends in 2012. Click here for the full recap.
  • All year we've been talking about how low employee morale is plaguing agencies. Pay freezes, budget cuts and the partisan debate over the value of feds' work has led to a steady decline in employee morale and an ebbing commitment. We comb through the number in the Best Places to Work Survey. Click here for the full recap.
But First: Days to Sequestration - 18 The fiscal cliff may bring about a change in the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for federal retirees’ pensions, Social Security benefits, military pensions and other indexed portions of the government’s budget, Federal Times reports. But federal employee groups and sympathetic lawmakers are also concerned about such alternatives — if they contain changes to federal employee pay or compensation. And as the clock ticks closer to sequestration the Pentagon says the automatic cuts would be much worse than they originally predicted. Federal News Radio reports,The assumption until recently has been that the Defense Department would be liable for an immediate cut of $52.3 billion from its 2013 ledger. But planners now are grappling with the possibility that the actual tab may be as much as $62 billion. The reasons are buried in the web of federal law that agencies would use to implement sequestration, should Congress and the President fail to agree on an alternative. The Budget Control Act, passed last year, provided the deadlines and some of the details for fail safe, across-the-board cuts that were never supposed to happen. But the 2011 law relied heavily by reference on an earlier sequestration plan, passed in the 1980s, which makes things more complicated. The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. Where is the best place to work in the federal government? NASA, the FDIC or the Surface Transportation Board are the best big, mid-sized and small agencies to work for according to a survey by the Partnership for Public Service. The group released its 2012 rankings based on the governmentwide employee viewpoint survey. It found a troubling story in the government overall - the satisfaction and commitment levels of federal workers have plunged to their lowest point since 2003.
  2. NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco will step down in February. Lubchenco has defended the agency's response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast in 2010. Federal News Radio says she oversaw a controversial transition to a new fishery management system in New England and, more recently, she answered Congressional calls for financial reform at NOAA's National Weather Service. Lubchenco said she wants to return to academia and her family on the West Coast. No successor has been named.
  3. Government Executive reports, Recipients of Recovery Act funds who failed to file a mandatory quarterly spending report were posted Wednesday on a “wall of shame” on the website updated by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.Continuing an earlier pattern, grantees serviced by the Justice Department had the poorest compliance rate, according to a blog post from the board’s executive director, Michael Wood.
  4. Federal News Radio reports the General Services Administration's drive to become more efficient and more centralized started with 632 ideas from its employees. Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini said the agency is implementing 10 of those ideas that could save as much as $6 million. Tangherlini said he's analyzing 40 more ideas to figure out how best to use them to change GSA. The agency will detail some of the 40 ideas in the 2014 budget request going to Congress in February. Tangherlini spoke at the Federal Cross-Agency Management conference in Washington.
  5. The Pentagon’s industrial security oversight agency, the Defense Security Service, released a report on “the increasing number of military and space technology espionage cases being uncovered in the U.S. each year,” Wired's Danger Room blog reports.
  6. In order to allow multinational access considerations for the Defense Department, the agency plans to adopt a European-developed ID to “allow allied military personnel and contractors to access secure military networks under specific circumstances,” according to AOL Gov.
  7. And on GovLoop, have you seen our new Technology Guide. The report features the top technology trends in 2012 and previews the hot topics in 2013. It is a must read. Check it out here.
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