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Federal Employees News Digest : Aug 5, 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: email@example.com 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. August 5, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 3 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com FDR to meet, greet and speak. FDR is held in great places---San Francisco, Palm Springs, New York City---and gets good summer rates that fit within the federal per diem guidelines. It is considered an honor to be selected for FDR. People keep coming back for its excellent workshops, networking and credentials programs. Getting picked by your agency to go to FDR means you are respected, loved and probably on the fast track. Normally FDR draws in 1,500 to 2,000 people. This year not so much. Maybe 400-500. How come? What happened? What does it mean? The how come and what happened are easy. Sequestration jitters, lack of funds and fear of sending federal workers to out-of-sight, off-site meetings that might wind up like some of those party-till- you-drop YouTube-documented events that brought shame and ridicule to feds--- with employees in the desert dressing as rappers or Jedi knights in pretty bad skits that, while they may have tempo- rarily amused workers, didn't go well with the general public, an anti-fed-anyhow Congress or, for that matter, most federal workers. Bottom line: This is a very, very bad year for conferences, even highly respected ones like FEW and FDR. And their attendance (or lack of same) figures show that at least for 2013, conferences are out. Travel is out. Training is out. For how long? That is the tough part. This could be a trend, or it could be a 24-hour (or one-fiscal-year) virus in the scheme of things. This time next year sequestration may be a nightmare that is hard to remember. Or it may be the nature of the new world. The shape of things to come for a long, long time. What the two sessions show (our descriptive grip in the dark as to what the elephant looks like) is that sequestration is no longer just a D.C. phenomenon. And it's not just furloughs that hit civilian federal workers at Hill AFB in Utah, and at Wright-Patterson in Dayton. Not just feds at the IRS centers in Kansas City, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Austin, who are losing pay. Not just a plague on the bureaucratic house. What this shows is that sequestration, after months of being a Washington-only, government-insider event, has spread its tentacles. Vendors at FEW and FDR con- ferences felt it. So did food sellers, jew- elry sellers, cab drivers, food servers and others who depend on federal salary dol- lars in their communities to stay afloat. If there is one thing that says it all, it comes from one of the vendors who came to both the FEW and FDR sessions and who came away sadder but wiser. It was the FEEA team. FEEA stands for Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund. It is the feds-helping-feds charity that dispenses grants, scholarships and no-interest loans to needy feds. Of which there are a lot right now. Since furloughs started, FEEA has been swamped with requests for $1,000 loans for DOD employees, some of whom have had their paychecks trimmed 40 percent. And from IRS workers who have lost 20 percent biweekly. But FEEA is running short of cash from employee donations and generous corporate sponsors. It picked up some donations at FDR and FEW. But not as many as usual, and certainly not enough to cover the cash outflow going for emer- gency loans. Sequestration, it seems, has come to Everytown, USA. How long it will remain, and who it hurts in the future, remains to be seen. But so far, it isn't pretty. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
July 29, 2013
Aug 12, 2013