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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct. 15, 2012
October 15, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 14 3 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com phase of filling the remaining slots for the next fiscal year is underway. Among other requirements, applicants must be 35-60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program. Broader agenda DAV's Autry points out that part of the federal government's effort paralleling VRAP includes the current administration's push to step up progress in hiring vets. "President Obama put out an executive order, aimed at all federal agencies, making hir- ing veterans a priority," Autry told FEND. "In it there is also a challenge to the private sector to hire more veterans, too. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others have followed that lead and are stepping up a bit---and they've made some headway, in our estimation." In March 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13518---the Veterans Employment Initiative. It established a new Council on Veterans Employment chaired by the Departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs, and it set aggressive goals. According to the Office of Personnel Management, federal agency hiring of veterans did increase since the order. More than 481,000 feds across all agen- cies are military veterans. "October is Disability Employment Awareness Month---something especially of interest to us, including servicemembers who have suffered injury and sickness as a result of their service to the country," Autry continued. "People need to know there is a perfectly capa- ble workforce out there among these people who have suffered some disability---and that the focus on ability rather than disability is important to remember here. And I am talking about very real job skills." Autry pointed to statistics released in the Society for Human Resources Management's 2012 Guide to Public Policy Issues that would seem to demonstrate an opportunity for vets. The report cites SHRM research showing 52 percent of employers continue to report having "difficulty" filling some slots. Meanwhile, the report notes that unemployment among vet- erans is over 11 percent, despite many having scarce, desirable job skills. Another survey, sponsored by Monster.com and done last year, shows that communications gaps---the very different nomenclature and work cultures found in civilian and military life---also contributed heavily to the ongoing difficulties many vets have in transitioning into the civilian workforce that VRAP and the president's order are meant to help address. "The fact is, the federal government is making progress, but they have of course always lagged behind what the goal is," Autry acknowledged. "Based on the figures we have---and all the initiatives that we've seen made by the White House and the private sector toward getting veterans hired---it's all a step in the right direc- tion," he said. "But the economy has been unsteady, and when the hiring in general isn't there, that militates against the goals for hiring veterans, too." To see more, go to: www.fedshirevets.gov/ hire/hrp/reports/EmploymentOfVets-FY10. pdf and www.shrm.org/advocacy/issues/docu- ments/12-0061%20leg_issues_book_fnl.pdf/. Federal retirement claims jumped in September The number of federal retirement claims filed in September ran substantially above Office of Personnel Management projections, the agency reported in its most recent monthly update. OPM last month received 11,952 new claims for retirement under the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System---nearly 5,000 more than the 7,000 claims that were forecast. It was the third month that actual claims came in above projections. OPM had projected 8,400 claims for July, but received 8,660 actual claims; and 8,000 for August, but received 8,973. While the number of claims OPM processed in September---12,563---also ran about 1,000 claims ahead of projections, the actual month-to-month inventory of unprocessed claims dropped by only about 500 claims in September, to 41,176. OPM has projected that employees will file 7,000 retirement claims in each of the last three months of 2012, before jumping to an estimated 21,000 claims in January 2013. To see more, go to: http:// www.opm.gov/StrategicPlan/pdf/ RetirementProcessingStatus.pdf. Whistleblower reforms stand good chance, supporters say Lawmakers and good government groups have been working for years to expand protec- tions and rights for federal whistleblowers, and last month the House approved whistleblower legislation that many believe has a good chance to be passed into law. The House on Sept. 28 passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743), which would expand protections to those who disclose government wrongdoing. The bill also would extend protections to a new group of whistleblowers, and loosen the ability of judicial and executive authorities to stifle the activities of whistleblowers. Among other things, the bill suspends the sole jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for appellate review of Whistleblower Protection Act cases. According to the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower advocacy group, over an 18-year continued from page 1 continued on page 4 Don’t miss our discussion of weekly news topics. Discuss these stories and more with your fellow federal workers at www.FederalSoup.com. cSrS/FerS retirement claims (Dec. 2011 claims inventory= 48,378) Month Projected claims Received Projected claims Processed Projected Inventory (inventory plus claims less projected) Actual claims received Actual claims Processed Projected Inventory (inventory plus claims less projected) July- 12 8,400 11,500 50,978 8,660 12,304 44,679 Aug.- 12 8,000 11,500 47,478 8,973 11,865 41,787 Sept.- 12 7,000 11,500 42,978 11,952 12,563 41,176 Source: OPM
Oct. 8, 2012
Oct. 22, 2012