Vets Sue Army for Failing to Recognize Substance Abuse Disorders in Landfills
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- House staffers could get a pay raise in 2023. That’s if Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) get through. They proposed an automatic cost-of-living adjustment of 4.6% as well as accommodations such as childcare subsidies, a First Home Buyer’s Assistance benefit and making staff eligible. the Civil Service Loan Relief Program. These benefits would apply to staff members of the House as well as staff serving on committees. The proposed increase in benefits is intended to make these positions more competitive and attract better talent.
- Industry groups are advocating for increased funding for IT modernization. Nine industry groups representing nearly all major defense and civilian technology contractors explain why Congress should invest more money in the Technology Modernization Fund and similar programs. Groups ranging from the Computer Industry Council to the Professional Services Council to the Alliance for Digital Innovation and the National Defense Industrial Association have told the heads of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees that at By the time they begin work on the FY2023 budget, they should provide predictable, sustained services and sufficiently robust investments. They call on the committees to meet or exceed the President’s request of $300 million for the TMF and provide additional funding for cybersecurity efforts.
- The Biden administration is giving agencies a playbook for making the most of $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. New guidelines from the Office of Management and Budget direct each agency to appoint a senior official to oversee the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act. OMB also leads agency equity teams to ensure funding helps support underserved and rural communities. The memo also outlines to agencies how agencies should avoid improper payments.
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health agencies lacked procedures for reporting and addressing political interference in their scientific decisions. The Government Accountability Office reports that many Department of Health and Human Services employees feared reprisals for speaking out. Often, these workers either didn’t know how to report the issues or believed that agency leaders already knew about the issues. The GAO said HHS should develop better procedures and train staff appropriately to help improve scientific integrity.
- The Social Security Administration did not fare well in the latest iteration of government-wide impulse surveys. SSA employees have one of the lowest scores among agencies surveyed on their thoughts on reintegration plans, with 26.7% saying they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the fact that senior managers clearly communicate return-to-work timelines. According to 31.9% of SSA respondents, agency leaders were protecting the health, safety and well-being of employees. These three- to four-question flash surveys are distributed by the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration.
- The Drug Enforcement Administration is settling a class action lawsuit filed in court by female special agents who were passed over for overseas assignments in the early 1990s. The DEA has announced it will pay $12 million to compensate 71 current and former employees who filed individual claims for damages. An administrative judge has yet to approve the settlement agreement. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said the settlement builds on the DEA’s ongoing efforts to promote the advancement of women in their workforce.
- Veterans are suing the military for refusing to give soldiers with alcohol and drug addiction honorable discharges. The lawsuit says the military does not recognize substance abuse disorders as mental health issues that can lead to soldier misconduct. The lawsuit notes that some soldiers turn to substances after experiencing traumatic events in the military.
- The Space Force wants to take a unique approach to its reserve and guard components. The Space Force wants to create a hybrid structure that will encompass both the needs of its reserve and the National Guard, according to the service’s highest-ranking officer. Called Spatial Component, the mixed organization would merge full-time and part-time tutors. Space Force officials say the component could ensure service members don’t have to choose between their personal lives and their careers. Space Force places particular emphasis on work-life balance as it continues to swell its ranks.
- The Defense Department’s director of suicide prevention is now the Biden administration’s chief statistician. The Office of Management and Budget appoints Karin Orvis as chief statistician, as well as head of the statistics and science policy branch in its Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. OMB has not had a permanent official to lead these efforts for more than two years. Orvis was previously director of the Office of Defense Suicide Prevention, which directs suicide prevention programs throughout the Department of Defense. As Chief Statistician of the OMB, she will oversee a decentralized network of statistical agencies. (Federal News Network)
- After more than a decade, the head of the National Archives and Records Administration is retiring. April 30 was David Ferreiro’s last day as Archivist of the United States. He has led NARA since his confirmation in late 2009 during President Barack Obama’s first term. During his 12 years at the helm, Ferreiro oversaw a major transition from paper record keeping to electronic record keeping. Ferreiro also led the establishment of the Citizen Archivist program which allows volunteers to transcribe and label documents. Assistant Archivist Debra Wall will serve as the acting Archivist of the United States until the White House selects a permanent replacement.
- The CIA chooses a longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur as its first chief technology officer. Nand Mulchandani is the CIA’s first-ever CTO. His job is to keep abreast of cutting edge innovations and he will report to Director William Burns. Mulchandani was previously acting director of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. He has also co-founded several tech startups. Last year, the CIA created a new Transnational and Technology Mission Center to focus on emerging foreign technologies, as well as climate change and global health.