MSPB Delays Processing DoD Furlough Appeals – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • In the public sector, first time supervisors are being promoted into positions as a result of attrition, retirement, and the like. Tom Fox finds that now is the perfect time to address some issue new leaders may face to help them potentially avoid making rookie mistakes.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life:

  1. The Merit Systems Protection Board has put an indefinite hold on processing and adjudicating furlough appeals from Department of Defense employees. Federal News Radio reports that the decision was made due to the large number of appeals it had received over the past weeks from civilian DoD employees. The delay was put in place so MSPB could assess the nature of the claims, the location of the appellants and the offices where the claims were filed and whether the appellants were represented.

  2. The Defense Department is overhauling its lengthy process for approving new smartphones, tablet computers, and apps for DoD use. According to the Federal Times, the DoD holds that mean goal to review and approve mobile apps and devices within 30 days by coordinating with industry in advance so vendors are building to department standards. This will allow the department to verify that those standards have been met rather than retesting the technology, which slows the process.

  3. The Pentagon will allow only limited exceptions to restrictions on incentive payments for civilian employees. The Washington Post reports that the department posted new guidelines on how it will carry out an OMB directive restricting incentive payments government-wide due to sequestration. Most recently, the DoD cut civilian furlough days from 11 to 6, ending the requirement for employees to take one unpaid day off per week on average this week.

  4. On Friday, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) revealed he is working with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on a plan to close corporate tax loopholes, aiming to find up to $100 billion for a sequestration-addressing fiscal package. According to the Federal Times, the two are examining ways to prevent firms from directing billions in revenues to offshore tax havens, dollars the duo believe should be taxes by Washington. Tax revenue generated by closing loopholes could contribute to the $1 trillion “grand bargain” needed to turn off sequestration.

  5. Also on Friday, President Barack Obama promised a review of current government surveillance practices by an independent group of outside experts. Government Executive reports that the review group will be established by the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. Recently, Clapper has come under fire from Congress for erroneously telling legislators that the U.S. does not collect any type of data at all on millions of hundreds of million of Americans.

  6. On Monday, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that federal prosecutors would no longer invoke draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws for low-level drug offenses. According to the New York Times, the U.S. Attorney General also wishes to eliminate stop-and-frisk policy policies that target higher-crime and minority neighborhoods. Coincidentally, on the same day, a federal judge found the stop-and-frisk practices in New York were unconstitutional racial profiling.

  7. A new app, Hord, allows users to search for federal contracting notices and awards using keywords. They can also search by a contractor’s name to keep tabs on what their competitors are doing. Nexgov reports that the app was developed by the company GovTribe, founded by three former Deloitte consultants, and is free for now. The app is described as one of the many benefits of open government data.

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