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Federal Employees News Digest : July 1, 2013
Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$39 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $39. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. July 1, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 48 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com reportedly dates a pole dancer and flees to Hong Kong apparently not realizing it is now part of China. Snowden managed to knock Bradley Manning---the Army soldier who gave up secrets to WikiLeaks---off the front pages. He also took up air time, ink and paper that otherwise would have been devoted to the IRS, GSA, Justice and State Departments, which all have problems with things they did---or did not do---that could be very, very serious. The age of both men, and the access they had, has lots of people wondering: What were they (the people who vetted, promoted and assigned them) thinking? The contractor community here and around the country is reeling. In some federal agencies there are six contrac- tors for each civil servant. That is a lot of people. An estimated half-million contractors have top security clearances. Many of them are former feds. But a 29-year-old who claimed he could tap into the president's e-mail account? That is pretty serious. Many top officials who have been doing the Sunday talk show circuit say his claims are exagger- ated, or not as bad as they sound. Back burner still hot Even though this fellow has grabbed the headlines for now, the other scandals (IRS, Justice, etc.) aren't going away, even if right now they may seem a bit watered down when compared to the NSA situ- ation. For example, there may be past links between the IRS case and the Federal Election Commission, where Lois Lerner once served as an attorney. She's the highest-level official (so far) who has been thrown under the bus for taking the 5th before Congress in the IRS matter. Democrats are saying this is a tempest in a teapot. Republicans say the IRS activi- ties in question didn't originate among a small group of regional IRS officials in Cincinnati. Federal workers, as a group, will also take another hit. Even if you've never been to a $50,000 conference, gotten expensive gift bags or put up in the presi- dential suite, a lot of people assume you have. Potential casualty? Amid all this, it is perhaps most interesting that Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, one of the best friends feds have ever had, resigned suddenly. Some people speculate that this steady stream of incidents---the IRS and GSA affairs and assorted scan- dals---got to him. That he could no longer put up with the pay freeze, which he con- sidered unfair. And that all of the pending scandals, at some stage, will pass through OPM in some way, whether it is investi- gations or signing off on administrative leave suspensions for high-level feds. One person who claims to know Berry (and the OPM job) well speculated that "it was the steady drip, drip, drip" that caused him to resign. She thinks the White House decision to end executive bonuses for career members of the SES, "was the straw that broke the camel's back." As a former agency head, she said she had seen the value of the awards to deserving executives. She said the awards are often given to a man or woman just about the time their kids are starting college, "or it makes for a dream vacation or gives them the nudge to retire on a high note." She said the total cost of the awards program was less than $2 million, a drop in the federal spending bucket. If Berry is looking for another job, or is just gone fishing, so be it. He's worked hard and deserves it. But it would be too bad, for him and lots of people in government, if he felt he had to resign in protest and keep it to himself. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
June 24, 2013
July 8, 2013