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Federal Employees News Digest : April 15, 2013
"So it is inherently 'the president's agenda.' The president is trying to have it both ways by saying, 'Oh, but this is just my good-faith effort at finding middle ground with the Republicans---it's their idea.' But the Republicans note, 'Look, the president says, 'Hey, let's cut your benefits.'" "Most informed people know that there's no rush. This proposal is just throwing chum at the sharks," Morrissey said. "But it's hard to get Social Security changes---and so here comes the pres- sure. When someone is trying to sell you a rug and tells you the deal is no good tomorrow, you know that's a bad deal, right? And that's exactly what they're try- ing to do. Social Security is in surplus for years to come; the deficits won't really hit for decades. There's no rush---if some- one's rushing it, it's because they feel this is their political high point. They've churned the water so much---and this is their moment." "As to whether the chained CPI pro- posal can pass---in fact, I think it's a very real danger," she added. Retirement surge continues The Office of Personnel Management said it received more than twice the fore- cast number of new retirement claims in March. It is the third straight month that OPM received more claims than it had forecast. OPM had projected it would receive 5,000 claims in March, but employ- ees filed 10,183 new retirement claims under the Federal Employees Retirement System and Civil Service Retirement System, according to OPM's monthly update on its progress on trimming its retirement claims backlog. In February, OPM received 20,374 new claims rather than the projected 5,600, and in January---a month when a large number of claims typically are filed--- employees filed 22,187 new claims, slightly exceeding the OPM forecast of 21,000 claims. In all, OPM had forecast receiving 31,600 new claims in the first quarter of the calendar year, but actually received 52,744---21,144 more than projected. Month projected Claims received Actual Claims received Jan-13 21,000 22,187 Feb-13 5,600 20,374 Mar-13 5,000 10,183 Source: OPM At the same time, OPM in March also logged its third consecutive month of pro- cessing more claims in than it had pro- jected---14,683 actual claims processed in March versus the 11,500 it had predicted. In the first three months of the calen- dar year overall, OPM processed 42,543 claims, compared to a projected 34,500 claims---8,043 more than forecast. After several months of receiving an unanticipated number of claims, the back- logged inventory of claims at OPM at the end of March was 36,603, up more than 10,000 from the 26,402 claims remaining at the end of December 2012. To see more, go to: https://www.opm. gov/about-us/budget-performance/strate- gic-plans/retirement-processing-status.pdf. CFC changes proposed The Office of Personnel Management published a proposed rule to revise Combined Federal Campaign regulations based on recommendations made to the agency last year by a special commission appointed to review the program. The recommendations---which are aimed at saving money, increasing trans- parency, and making sure 100 percent of collected funds go to CFC charities--- were issued in July 2012 by the CFC 50 Commission, an advisory group com- posed of federal employees, representa- tives of charities and other stakeholders. "These steps follow through on CFC 50 Commission's excellent recommenda- tions for strengthening the CFC," said OPM Director John Berry in a statement. "Getting 100 percent of an employee's donations to go to the charity they choose focuses energy on the CFC's core pur- pose." One of the changes in the proposed rule moves the campaign solicitation period, which currently runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15, to Oct. 1 to Jan. 15. Another rule change would allow new employees to make a CFC payroll deduction within 30 days of hire. The rule also would create a new Disaster Relief Program to let employ- ees contribute to relief programs within hours of a disaster. Cash, check and money order contri- butions would be eliminated under the new rule, and all CFC charity listings, related forms and pledges would be pro- vided through electronic means. Under the rule, all administrative costs would be covered by application fees paid by the charities that apply for CFC par- ticipation. The rule also would change and streamline a number of administra- tive functions. The proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on April 8, will be avail- able for public comment until June 7. To see more, go to: https:// www.federalregister.gov/arti- cles/2013/04/08/2013-08017/solicitation- of-federal-civilian-and-uniformed-service- personnel-for-contributions-to-private. ••• In Brief Union targets DoD contract spending The American Federation of Government Employees blasted the Defense Department for awarding bil- lions of dollars in contracts in March even as DOD civilian employees look forward to furloughs. April 15, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 37 4 Visit us on the internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued on page 5 continued from page 3
April 8, 2013
April 22, 2013