Military Civilian Medical Quit Due to Furloughs – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Nearly two-thirds of the Senior Executive Service will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. Those retirements will leaving a huge leadership gap for agencies. McKinsey and the Partnership for Public Service teamed up to look at the SES problem.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life:

  1. Close to 3,400 military civilian medical workers have quit their jobs this year in the months following either the revelation or implementation of furloughs. USA Today reports that many of these departures were more than likely motivated by uncertainty regarding when and for long the furloughs would last. The majority of these job losses were from Army medical facilities, which is significant because the Army provides more than half of the military’s medical services.

  2. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a preliminary draft of the framework for best practices and voluntary standards for the securement of critical infrastructure systems. The Federal Times reports that this new framework will provide companies with guidelines for knowing which of their systems to protect and how well they can defend against and recover from cyber attacks. NIST is using this initial draft to solicit feedback from the public before preparing the final framework, which is due in February.

  3. The Ohio based company, RPM International Inc., has agreed to pay $60 million to settle a federal investigation into its use of inflated prices for roofing contracts with the General Services Administration. The Federal Times notes that this investigation started in 2010 when Gregory Rudolph, a former executive of RPM’s subsidiary company, Tremco Inc., reported that RPM was marketing expensive materials to the government without disclosing the availability of lower-cost identical items.  

  4. More than 175 patients at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia have been moved due to the discovery of mold in the facility’s rooms. Many of the patients are being housed in local hotels until the rooms are cleaned and restored, which could take up to two months. The Washington Post has shared statements from patients and VA employees that indicate that many of the patients have been treated for respiratory illnesses related to the mold and suggest that this problem should have been dealt with sooner.  

  5. Women’s groups are increasing their opposition to the potential nomination of Larry Summers as head of the Federal Reserve, advocating instead for the nomination of Janet Yellen, who is the organization’s current vice chairwoman. Both Summers and Yellen are the top contenders for the position with President Obama planning to announce his nomination for Federal Reserve chairman this fall. Politico observes that women’s groups primarily oppose the nomination of Larry Summers for comments that he made in 2005 as president of Harvard University. These comments were deemed to be discriminatory and sexist against women.   

  6. Despite not having a budget deal or even a stopgap resolution for the 2014 fiscal year, agencies are preparing their budgets for 2015. Specifically, the 2015 fiscal year budgets are due to OMB next month. Federal News Radio reports that OMB has released guidelines for agencies to help them with their 2015 budgets despite the government’s financial uncertainty. Part of this guidance includes instructions for cutting discretionary spending by 10 percent through the targeting of low-priority programs.

  7. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about a quarter of the U.S. workforce qualifies for student loan forgiveness, but the majority are not taking advantage of this option. Federal News Radio cites that the reason for this is that the loan forgiveness programs are often confusing and overly complex for applicants. In response, the CFPB is recommending that Congress reevaluate these programs and ensure that employers make their workers aware of the benefits. Knowledge of loan forgiveness programs would act as an incentive for helping government institutions such as schools meet the need for more workers.

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