On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
It has been 17 years since the federal government last faced a partial shutdown. Every shutdown is different. The politics that cause them are different. But there are lessons to be learned from past shutdowns. We get insights from three former OPM directors.
Your Shutdown Reader:
GovLoop: When Will the Gov Get Back to Normal? 5 Reasons Shutdown is the New Norma
CNN: What happens at your agency if there is a shutdown
A Financial Times analysis of data culled from a 2010 US census report finds out where the automatic cuts are being felt the most.
Federal Times: Unease, frustration grip federal workforce as shutdown looms
Washington Post: Feds make their pitches for ‘essential’ and ‘nonessential’
Washington Post: Agencies prepare to furlough workers in face of partial government shutdown
GOP Lawmakers: House Could End Standoff With Up-Or-Down Vote On Clean Bill
Washington Post: What a shutdown would mean for the Treasury Department
Federal News Radio: DoD would furlough roughly half of civilian workforce during shutdown
Federal News Radio: Shutdown roulette - what are the real effects on government?
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
Iranian hackers have accessed the Navy’s unclassified computer network and internal intranet service in recent weeks, according to U.S. officials. The most recent incident occurred on September 15. The Washington Post reports that the Iranians did not steal any valuable information, but that such incidents are complicating upcoming talks between the Obama administration and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program.
On the job injuries for U.S. postal workers could be costing the federal government anywhere from $1-3.7 billion per year. The GAO observed that in 2012 alone, there were more than 32,000 injury reports from postal workers, 36 percent of which occurred during mail delivery. CBS News describes the dangers associated with mail delivery, stating that for those on foot, dog bites are the number one injury while vehicle collisions threaten those in mail delivery trucks.
The Navy is reevaluating its security clearance procedures in light of the shooting at the Navy Yard. Defense and military officials are debating whether or not security clearance investigations should continue to be conducted by contracting firms, with some arguing for government officials to take over this task. The Federal Times reports that officials are also considering different methods for making security clearance evaluations more thorough and sensitive to a candidate’s violent tendencies or past.
William L. Bransford, a lawyer and writer for the Federal Times, passed away this past week at age 66. One of the founders of the practice of federal personnel law, Bransford had dedicated much of his career to providing legal assistance to federal employees. The Federal Times states that Bransford also supported federal workers through his position on the board of the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, an organization committed to providing financial assistance to feds in need.
The price of health insurance for federal workers is rising, but at its lowest rate in decades. The total premium costs for those in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will increase by 3.7 percent next year. This increase will result in another $3.28 being withheld from individual paychecks on a biweekly basis and $7.20 from those with family plans. The Federal Times reports, however, that despite the rising costs, this is the first time since the 1980s that the growth rate has remained below four percent for three consecutive years.
The U.S. Postal Service is pushing for a congressional overhaul of its current health benefits structure. USPS officials state that if given greater control over its healthcare costs, the agency could reduce its debt and return to being profitable. Federal News Radio reports that USPS officials are requesting a postal-specific health care plan that will either operate within FEHB or allow the agency to negotiate directly with insurers. Such a plan would also attempt to improve conditions for USPS retirees by better integrating FEHB health care plans with those of Medicare.
DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
The Atlantic: The NSA Has Its Own Social Network. NSA gathers data on social connections of Americans. The National Security Agency has used its data troves since 2010 to map out social connections of some Americans, learning more about their associations, their locations and other personal data, reports the NYT’s James Risen and Laura Poitras. “The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents,” they write. Obama administration officials say agents tapped the graph for data on both foreigners and Americans.
MotherJones: Somebody stole 7 milliseconds from the Federal Reserve.
Do you remember the 8-track tape? Thirty-six years later it still wows humankind with new discoveries.