Over the last few days the IRS has become the focus of the media after evidence that some employees targeted specific political groups seeking a certain type of non-profit status. Lawmakers have called or hearings or the firing of those employees while outside groups have cried foul over their treatment by the IRS.
So what happens now? How bad is it? Is this a major scandal or the standard procedure for IRS enforcement of these tax-exempt groups?
For all of you federal employees out there feel free to chime in about how you feel about the unfolding story or comment anonymously to firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a great response from all of you readers last time we did this so we are opening it up for another round of comments from fellow feds.
Federal employees have a lot to deal with. Congress has slashed budgets governmentwide while the sequester has forced agencies to initiate furloughs. Feds are being asked to do more than ever with fewer resources and are being stretched to the limit.
But beyond all that, it seems that some federal employees are working in barely functioning facilities. There have been stories of mold, exploding toilets, cracked ceiling tiles and leaky plumbing. Agencies have multi-billion backlogs of repairs and maintenance that have not been funded in years, and feds are paying the price.
What is it like at your building? Has something broken and just not been fixed? Have you been told that repairs to bathroom fixtures are not on the table? Tell us all your horror stories about where you work by commenting on the blog, or feel free to email me at email@example.com to talk about your issues.
Every year in May people across the country join together to recognize the work done by federal employees. Public Service Recognition Week – organized by the Public Employees Roundtable – will be held May 5 to 11 and will include a public town hall meeting with Cabinet secretaries and a congressional breakfast to announce the finalists of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals.
The Federal Times will also be running several pages worth of stories about hard-working federal employees and their contributions to their agencies, missions and to the good of the country.
Here is a video of Federal Times Editor Steve Watkins with more about PSRW and the Federal Times.
Federal, state and local agencies are working together in the aftermath of 3 explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon that has left at least 2 dead and more than 20 people injured.
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick said in a press conference with reporters Monday that he has talked personally with President Obama and the FBI – who have pledged to help in any way required.
He said the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI, Massachusetts State Police and the National Guard were all working together along with local law enforcement and first responders.
“There is a lot of coordination in a very fluid situation,” Patrick said.
The Department of Homeland Security is in contact with state and local authorities and will provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response to the bombings, according to an agency spokeswoman.
Have you ever considered leaving your job? We know a lot of you have, whether for financial reasons or because you didn’t like the work environment. In the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey many of you filled out, you were asked:
- Are you considering leaving your organization within the next year, and if so, why?
How many of you said you were considering it? Did you go through with it or did you stay? What are the main reasons you would want to leave? For the people out there who wanted to stay, what is the main reason that keeps you where you work?
Feel free to comment on the blog post or send an anonymous email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what it is — the perks, the bosses, the pay or anything else — that keeps you satisfied, or pushes you to leave.
My name is Andy and if you haven’t guessed it yet, I am one of the reporters here at the Federal Times. For the last few weeks we have had a new feature on our blog, “Silver Screen Feds,” where we look at famous federal employees in cinema and television. This week my partner-in-crime and colleague Steve Losey is spending time with his family, so instead of doing all the work myself, you guys get a clip-show version of everything we have done so far.
Below are each of our entries in the ongoing series, so feel free to read and enjoy them. Post your own suggestions in the comments and let us know what you think.
In our first entry I took a look at the postal workers who save the day in the 1947 classic “Miracle on 34th Street.” And Stephen examined the tragic flaws that brought down the Environmental Protection Agency’s Walter Peck in 1984′s “Ghostbusters.”
Next, we examined a far less-honorable mailman — Newman from “Seinfeld” — and the surprising heroism of Drug Enforcement Administration agent Hank Schrader in “Breaking Bad.”
In our third entry we picked two federal employees who couldn’t be any more different: Dr. Edwin Jenner, the doomed researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the zombie apocalypse show “The Walking Dead,” and Ranger Smith, the hapless National Park Service ranger who can’t stop Yogi Bear from stealing them pic-a-nic baskets.
In our fourth entry we took a trip back to the Roaring Twenties and the lawless days of Prohibition, to look at the best and worst Treasury agents who ever busted up a still on-screen: Legendary lawman Eliot Ness from the 1987 film “The Untouchables,” and deeply disturbed Agent Nelson Van Alden from HBO’s series “Boardwalk Empire.”
And in our latest entry I took a look at the best team of federal employees ever to grace the big screen: Mission control from “Apollo 13.” And keep reading for Stephen Losey’s take on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Russ Cargill, from “The Simpsons Movie” — the first character we’ve profiled who descends into outright super-villainy.
Federal Times would like to find out how you feel about your managers — from your frontline boss to your agency’s head in Washington. With the sequester hitting, budgets getting slashed, and morale plummeting, are your bosses helping you make the best of a bad situation? Or are they only making things worse?
Sound off below, or e-mail email@example.com. If you’d like to remain anonymous, that’s fine.
The General Services Administration accepted a bid of $19.5 million on its vacant heating plant in the pricey Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. The agency had been under pressure from congressional committees to ditch the property.
Acting administrator Dan Tangherlini said the sale was just the latest in an all-hands-on-deck attempt to cut costs and unload excess property.
“GSA remains committed to using innovative ways to put excess properties to new uses. We are hosting auctions, requesting industry input, and offering proposed exchanges, which helps us to deliver on our mission to provide better value to the American people.”
The auction opened on January 18 with a closing soft closing date was set for of February 19, but because of the enthusiastic daily bidding activity, the online auction continued for an additional two weeks, according to GSA. Once the agency receives the bid they will transfer ownership of the building within 100 days.
American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox is not happy about the Transportation Security Administration removing small knives, along with bats and other items, from its prohibited items list.
“Any knife, regardless of blade size, can be used as a weapon. TSA has created a situation where [transportation security officers] will be required to discern the length and width of a knife blade in a very short period of time. Disagreements over the TSOs’ determination as to whether the knife will be allowed through checkpoints may result in a confrontation. Far too often, TSOs are threatened and even assaulted by irate passengers at the checkpoint; this ambiguous new policy will only escalate those incidents. In addition, TSOs face possible discipline from an increasing number of checkpoint disputes surrounding the new policy.
He said TSOs have been injured and even assaulted with items smaller than the 24 inch novelty bats now allowed.
The sequester is upon us. Budgets are being slashed, pay is frozen and your agency is not hiring anyone. Yet despite all of that, you have a job to do. The only question is, do you have the resources you need to get the job done? Are your workloads increasing?
The results of the government’s latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey suggest this is a problem across the government. The percentage of employees who disagree or strongly disagree with the statement “I have sufficient resources to get my job done” climbed from 34.1 percent in 2011 to 35.1 percent in 2012. And the percentage of employees who disagree or strongly disagree that “My workload is reasonable” also increased from 24 percent in 2011 to 24.9 percent last year.
We are interested in hearing from you all about these issues — especially if you work at the Veterans Affairs, Agriculture or Housing and Urban Development departments.
Feel free to comment below or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to vent to your heart’s content.
Tags: what do you think?