Republican Lawmakers Drop Hold on OPM Nominee – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • It's finally here, the long talked about retirement tsunami. "If you look at federal employment statistics there is not just a large percentage of folks who are eligible to retire but an increasing number of folks that are actually taking up the government on that offer," said Tom Fox. 

The SEVEN stories that impact your life 

  1. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) decided to drop his opposition to a final confirmation vote on Katherine Archuleta’s nomination to head the Office of Personnel Management. According to Federal Times, the decision came shortly after OPM clarified that the government will continue to help pay for health insurance for members of Congress and their staffers. However, since Congress is on break this month, the Senate is unlikely to begin debating Archuleta’s nomination until early September.
  2. In April, the Federal Trade Commission announced the winners of a $50,000 competition for ideas on how to combat illegal robocalls. Federal Times reports that David Frankel, a contestant that did not win, decided to seek some answers and found out that the FTC failed to conduct the contest according to its own published rules. Frankel has now lodged a complaint with the U.S. Federal Claims Court, suggesting that the FTC simply ran the contest as a publicity stunt instead of looking for real ideas.
  3. The Veterans Affairs Department is under pressure for more details about the extent of “repeated compromises” of VA’s network by nation states. According to Federal News Radio, tensions are increasing between the House Veterans Affairs committee and the VA as a report surfaced showing veterans are at a higher risk of identity theft than the average american. The committee is continuing to pressure the department to answer questions about how it’s protecting the veterans’ data.
  4. Today, the Office of Personnel Management addressed the growing concerns about how members of Congress and some of their staff would receive their health benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Federal News Radio reports that under OPM’s new rule, participants would still receive an employer contribution toward their health insurance premiums, even though they may no longer be eligible for premium tax credits for Exchange plans. Those contributions will be no more than what they would make to the FEHB program.
  5. The Federal Election Commission’s lead member has called for an inspector general’s review to help determine whether the FEC coordinated with the International Revenue Service in targeting groups based on their political beliefs. According to the Washington Post, the decision came in response to a request last week from Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), the House Administration Committee head, who asked the agency to hand over all of its communications with the IRS since 2008.
  6. Despite all the official-sounding support for federal employees who report waste, fraud, and abuse, they actually risk punishment when they do and only get some justice when reporting retaliation. The Washington Post reports that supervisors are rarely punished for retaliating, which makes the discipline against two senior officials at the Energy Department’s Bonneville Power Administration so different. Administrator Bill Drummond and Chief Operating Officer Anita Decker were placed on leave following allegations of retaliation against employees.
  7. Customs and Border Protection’s development meetings concerning the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), which tracks international cargo crossing U.S. borders is getting a lot of attention. According to FCW, the meetings are always overcrowded due to one of the agency’s eight-month-old effort in agile development aimed at taming the torrent of paperwork that accompanies the freight. The development meetings bring commercial and government representatives and officials together to create fast deliverables and insure everyone is on the same page.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

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  • Huffington Post: 39 Years Ago Today, Nixon put in his resignation

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