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The SEVEN stories that impact your life:
The Office of Management and Budget is cutting its furlough days by two. Instead of 10, employees will have just eight unpaid days off, GovExec reports. White House staff members have already taken six of the eight days.
More than four out of five federal employees at GS-13 or above are frustrated with their mobile device offerings and services at their agencies, according to a report released Monday by public-private IT partnership Meritalk, reports Federal Times. About 65 percent are also dissatisfied with slow connection speeds at their agency and 57 percent find their security procedures cumbersome, according to the report.
The General Services Administration is looking to the private sector for ways to aggregate and manage governmentwide travel spending data and reporting, reports Federal Times. While agencies spend about $15 billion annually on travel services, agency efforts to produce standardized, comprehensive data and analysis have not been successful, according to a request for information release Aug. 16.
Secretary of State John Kerry is welcoming back to the State Department four supervisors who were blamed for lax security in Benghazi. The four had been on paid administrative leave for eight months. The Daily Beast reports Kerry determined they did not deserve formal disciplinary action. Three of the four work in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Their absence has reported cause chaos in the bureau. Four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya died in the attack on Benghazi last fall.
The Government Accountability Office looked at the Postal Service's proposal to withdraw from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. Auditors say the Postal Service would save a lot of money, primarily because retirees would draw on Medicare. That raises red flags. GAO says Medicare is already fiscally unsustainable. On the flip side, it says most Postal employees would pay the same or less in insurance premiums. And it says the change would affect health care options for relatively few federal employees at other agencies.
Agencies are expected to deliver on several elements of President Barack Obama's executive order on open data by Nov. 1, including creation and publication of a list of data assets, reports FCW. To steer these efforts, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy released guidance that gets into the weeds about how agencies can fulfill the directives and incorporate open data policy into everyday activities.
The Transportation Department relies too heavily on cost-reimbursement contracts and needs more high-level input to guide it away from using those riskier vehicles, according to a report from the DOT inspector general, reports FCW.
There's a new resident at the White House. She's black, furry, hypo-allergenic and named Sunny. The Obamas have adopted the one-year-old Portuguese Water Dog. First Lady Michelle Obama has publicly fretted that First Dog Bo didn't have enough dog interaction. She resorted to hosting doggie play dates. The White House has posted photos of Bo and Sunny on its website. Bo has white paws. Sunny sports a pink bandanna. (The White House)
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