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IRS Asks Congress to Renew Expired Authority to Exceed Salary Cap

July 27, 2017 Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen asked Congress Wednesday to reinstate in fiscal 2018 an old provision allowing the agency to quickly hire highly-skilled employees for important technical positions at salaries above the federal pay cap. Reinstating the Streamline Critical Pay provision would help the IRS recruit and retain top talent...

IRS Pilot Lets You Settle Tax Disputes From Home

July 25, 2017 The IRS will debut a new online pilot program that gives people the option to resolve tax disputes face to face with an IRS representative. The program will use Cisco’s WebEx secure screen-sharing platform to connect any taxpayer with a remote appeals officer, allowing both parties to video chat and...

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HUD Secretary Praises Career Employees for Help in Transition

July 23, 2017 Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson praised career civil servants Thursday in a speech at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, saying they have been crucial in maintaining HUD operations despite a vacuum in the agency’s political leadership. “People have been doing two or three jobs at a time,”...

How to Get Your Devices and Data Ready for Summer Vacation

July 21, 2017 People face a number of risks when traveling: some minor, like sunburn, while others are more sinister. Travelers make a great target for online wrongdoers who know people on-the-go are easier to hack. “[Travelers] may be tempted to cut corners,” Nat Wood, associate director of consumer and business education at...

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New Law Aims To Cut Red Tape

July 19, 2017 An Obama-enacted law aimed at strengthening federal program management was hailed as “a gift to the Trump administration,” aligning with the president’s mission to cut through bureaucratic red tape and make government more efficient. But achieving the law’s aims may be hampered by vacancies in the White House Office of...

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House GOP Takes Cue From Trump, Targets Federal Retirement

July 18, 2017 The House Republican budget blueprint introduced Tuesday would reduce retirement benefits for federal employees in an effort to save billions of dollars over the next decade, mirroring some of the same cuts presented in President Trump’s budget in May. However, it does not spell out the changes in as much...

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Despite Visits from 'Passport Pete,' Overtime Requirement Takes Toll on State Department Employees

July 17, 2017 With passport applications spiking, the State Department has required many passport employees to work mandatory overtime for more than six months. The agency has implemented initiatives to mitigate the effects of the surge — including deploying a stuffed animal mascot to local offices — but some workers complain that the...

Survey: Feds Still Use Shadow I.T. to Do Their Jobs

July 14, 2017 More than half of federal IT employees think implementing digital workspaces could increase their weekly productivity by four or more hours, a new survey shows. The online survey, conducted by FedScoop and underwritten by VMware, found employees frequently use personal electronic devices like laptops and smartphones to access work information,...

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More Than 400 Charged in Largest Ever Federal Health Care Fraud Bust

July 13, 2017 The Justice Department has charged hundreds with health care fraud after a nationwide investigation revealed $1.3 billion in illegitimate insurance claims. In what the department billed as the largest health care fraud takedown ever, officials indicted 412 individuals, including 115 doctors, nurses and medical professionals, for allegedly participating in fraud...

Democratic Senators Join Online Net Neutrality Protest

July 12, 2017 Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, joined major tech firms and internet activists in the Battle for the Net, an online protest of congressional efforts to roll back regulations governing net neutrality. Both senators have spoken out against Republican legislation to reverse a 2015 amendment that prohibits internet...