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Q&A for federal workers: Retirement eligibility and patterns

“Also, employees generally may continue working after their retirement eligibility; only law enforcement and a few other occupations have mandatory retirement” writes Eric Yoder Is for washingtonpost.com. Question: With all this talk about reorganizing and downsizing agencies — wouldn’t retirements alone create enough vacancies to avoid layoffs?. Answer: Federal employees may retire voluntarily on hitting one of several combinations of age and years of service.However, retirement eligibility rates vary widely among agencies and within branches of agencies, so turnover might not happen where it’s needed. Source: washingtonpost.com Share This:

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California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, has a Third World drinking water problem

“The griping about how to divvy up the burden among water agencies, agribusiness and others is simply a bid to reopen negotiations that already concluded with a fair solution” writes The Times Editorial for latimes.com. The alternatives floated by water agencies would not raise the money needed to finance the necessary construction, operations and maintenance.The state general fund, as we have seen in recent years, swings wildly with the economy and is not a reliable source of the necessary funding. Source: latimes.com Share This:

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White House says its federal agencies can’t keep track of their own data

“Most federal agencies have no way of effectively detecting when data is stolen, found a new, 22-page report published by the White House Office of Management and Budget last week” writes Diamond Naga Siu for mashable.com. The Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination Report and Action Plan is an Executive Order-mandated annual assessment of the federal government’s cyber defenses.Although Williams said the report’s findings have been common knowledge among cybersecurity professionals, he said the low rate of cyber awareness from federal agencies was abnormal.This year, it concluded that 73 percent of federal…

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Trump makes it easier to fire federal workers

“The third restricts how much on-the-job time federal employees can spend on labor-union duties” writes Louise Radnofsky for marketwatch.com. Another order will create a federal labor-relations working group to analyze union contracts and encourage agencies to prioritize performance over seniority when they consider layoffs.The new “performance improvement period” will last 30 days across all agencies, under one of the orders signed privately by the president.WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump signed three executive orders making it easier for the federal government to fire employees it considers to be poor performers, the White House…

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Law enforcement has to get serious about cyber crime

“This partnership will help law enforcement scale with the rising tide of cyber crime and use the latest technologies possible to get control of this epidemic” writes Michael K for venturebeat.com. We must develop a system of tools to help people more easily report cyber crimes and, importantly, share evidence in a trustworthy manner with law enforcement.According to Juniper Research, the global cost of cyber crime will reach $2 trillion by 2019.Fighting cyber crime has to be a partnership between government and the private sector. Source: venturebeat.com Share This:

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The government’s scorekeeping agencies have revised their controversial estimate for how many more people would be uninsured as a result of changes Republicans and the Trump administration made to Obamacare.

“But others are excluded and either pay the full increase, go uninsured, or buy health insurance with fewer consumer protections” reports washingtonexaminer.com. To many of them, health insurance is less expensive because the federal government kicks in more.On the flip side, a lower number of uninsured would mean that the tax law results in fewer savings than Republicans touted.Previously the agencies estimated that 5 million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid, which is almost fully paid for by the government.Most people who buy health insurance through the exchanges, such…

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The Undemocratic Spread Of Big Brother

“Amazon is marketing a facial recognition product to local police agencies” writes Conor Friedersdorf for theatlantic.com. With this technology, police would be able to determine who attends protests.Earlier this week, the ACLU led a coalition of two dozen civil-rights organizations in a new protest mounted in defense of an old proposition: that “people should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government.” Facial-recognition technology threatens that proposition. Source: theatlantic.com Share This:

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Microsoft deal makes its cloud-computing platform available to 17 U.S. spy agencies

“Microsoft has for years provided basic computer programs to the intelligence community under contract with Dell, some of which make use of cloud-based technology” writes Aaron Gregg Covers for washingtonpost.com. But U.S. intelligence officials have not previously had access to the full suite of Microsoft Azure Government cloud services. Source: washingtonpost.com Share This:

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