Budget Negotiations Continue

It’s been a while but I am still here watching for news and information that impact federal employees/civil service and all of us.  Here’s an issue near and dear to my heart.

Some of you may be aware that I spent about 20 years of my federal career at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).  I happen to believe in the work USDOT agencies are intended to perform for our Nation and the world.  That work cannot be done without appropriate funding and strong/directed/consistent leadership.

Now what is this FAST Act?

Information on FAST Act from USDOT – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act”

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO),

Senate Panel Sets USDOT Highway Funding at FAST Act Levels, But With $2.2B Rescission

Since this is so much money, you must understand what all this spending is for.  Here’s more information for you just in case you have not been following the conversation.

Again from AASHTO – Federal Surface Transportation Authorization Portal

And from the U.S. House of Representatives – FAST Act

Bipartisanship in Congress?  I wonder why.  Please let me know your thoughts on this.

One more for the road – Federal budget fight causes migraines—again


Posted in budgets, Congress, Conservatives, debt ceiling debate, Democrats, federal budgets, federal government, federal government shutdown, highway spenging, infratrustructure, investment, partisanship, President, Republicans, safety, Senate | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Streamlining – A Good Word for This


Congress is taking steps to streamline the federal hiring process.  It is about time.  We have needed some movement along these lines for a long time.  Even the Partnership for Public Service likes this one.

Here’s the article in the Federal Times

Bill to streamline federal hiring clears the Senate, heads to Obama

The purpose of S. 1580, the Competitive Service Act of  2015, is to allow federal agencies to share their vetted lists  of best-qualified candidates with other agencies who are looking to hire for a similar position. Allowing agencies to share these lists and use them to hire for similar positions will help reduce the duplicative work that agencies are forced to undertake by making a new job announcement and starting the hiring process from scratch.”

From the September 15, 2015 version.

Here’s additional and most recent information about  S. 1580: Competitive Service Act of 2015 with some history.

Comments are welcome.

Posted in Congress, Democrats, employment opportunity, federal employees, federal government, hiring process, Republicans, Senate, Streamline | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wise Words for Today

“Just as it’s possible to bankrupt a successful company with poor management and lack of investment, its possible to take a government that is admired and envied throughout much of the world and – through neglect and ignorance – make it less than we need it to be. And the shame of the matter is that we may not realize this is happening until it’s too late to avoid a national catastrophe.” from Foreword by John Palguta, Partnership for Public Service (PPS) recently retired.


From “We are Not the Enemy Restoring Honor to U.S. Civil Service 2014 Review and Update.”  http://www.aubeyllc.com/we-are-not-the-enemy.html.


Some wise statements remain as part of our Nation’s history. Listen to the 2016 candidates with wise ears.  Your voice. Your vote.  It does matter.


Is the federal government really as bad as candidates and others say it is? If it is, how did this happen?  Remember that Congress and the White House works together or apart to tell the federal government what to do.


Your comments are welcome.

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Federal Internships -Apply Soon

Here’s a quick update on internship opportunities in the Federal Government nationwide. A few are still available. The window is closing quickly so if you know someone who is still looking for an internship, please pass this along.

From a search on http://www.usajobs.gov, these seem the most interesting

– Student Trainee (General) (Internship)  About the Position: This position is for a Student Trainee (General) GS-0099-02, located in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Operations Division, Northern Area Office, Blue Marsh Lake, Duty Station: Leesport, PA.
SALARY RANGE:$25,205.00 to $31,727.00 / Per Year
OPEN PERIOD: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 to Tuesday, February 23, 2016
– Student Trainee (Interdisciplinary)(Biological Sciences, Engineering, Physical Science)(Summer Hire) This is a Student Trainee (Interdisciplinary)(Biological Sciences/Engineering/Physical Sciences) GS-04 summer hire position with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) within one of the various directorates
SALARY RANGE: $31,521.00 to $40,977.00 / Per Year
OPEN PERIOD: Monday, February 15, 2016 to Wednesday, February 24, 2016
– Student Trainee (Engineering Technician) These positions are located in the Division of Facility Management and Engineering, Design and Engineering Branch. The duty station is in El Portal, California. Anticipated entry on duty date is May 16 – May 23, 2016, dependent on candidates academic calendar.

SALARY RANGE: $13.84 to $13.84 / Per Hour    OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, February 11, 2016 to Monday, February 22, 2016

– Pathways Internship Student Trainee (Financial Management) Defense Finance and Accounting Service’s (DFAS) mission is to lead the DoD in finance and accounting by ensuring the delivery of efficient, exceptional quality pay and financial information. We take pride in serving the men and women who defend America.
SALARY RANGE: $13.91 to $18.08 / Per Hour
OPEN PERIOD: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 to Monday, March 7, 2016
I think this is enough of a sample.  Some of these jobs do close as soon as they have a certain number of applicants.  A interested should move fast.
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Scholarship for Feds and their families

“FEEA’s 2016-17 scholarship contest is now open. The program is open to civilian federal and postal employees, their spouses, and college-age children. Students must be in a degree-granting program at an accredited college or university and must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. The sponsoring federal employee must have three years of service by August 31, 2016, in order to qualify for this year’s contest.”

Here’s the link to the instructions and application – https://apply.feea.org/scholarships/application2016.php


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Not Another Happy New Year Message!

I know you may be tired of getting these “Happy New Year” messages.  I’m not though.  I happen to like going into another year.  Its another chance to get things right.

After all the federal government is funded through the end of September 2016.  Federal employees are getting a pay raise. Things are looking up. Right?

2016 is a major election year.  The presidential candidates and Congress don’t want to be distracted by this federal government leadership stuff right now.

What do you think will happen come September?  Is it too early to care?

I don’t think its too early.  I will keep watch and report to you on what I believe is worth your attention.

Hang in there with me and let’s see where 2016 takes us.

As update, check out these things to watch for from chiefHRO.com.  They look interesting.





Posted in budgets, Congress, Conservatives, debt ceiling, federal employees, federal government, federal government shutdown, Obama, partisan politics, Presidential election, Republicans, Uncategorized, white house | Tagged | Leave a comment

Good News and Other Stuff

Just in case you haven’t heard, President Obama signed into law H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  You remember that I have a soft spot for transportation infrastructure research and investment particularly for maritime transport.  So when I saw this I was relieved.  This has been a long time coming.

By the way, the federal government with Congress spends quite some time coming up with catchy names for projects and programs.  FAST is pretty good.  What do you think?



FAST is supposed to include a “multimodal” freight policy.  I am particularly excited about this since freight and people travel on a variety of modes in a variety of ways.

What’s multimodal?


Now Congress has come up with a 5-day extension to keep the federal government funded until it can come up with a longer-term strategy by December 16th.  No one expects Congress to let the federal government shut down during election season.  I don’t feel the same “Oh My Goodness.  What are we going to do?” panic from federal employees this time.

The story.


I hope there will be no shutdown.  I am not certain that Congress can make a real decision on this right now.  I expect another continuing resolution to keep the federal government open with the same budget until after the 2016 elections.

I expect that federal agencies will continue dealing on their own with shrinking budgets without Congressional help or leadership.  Federal employees will continue to retire without transfer of knowledge or experience to remaining employees.  Federal employees who are left must continue to try to do more and more with less and less.  A truly broken system.

Your thoughts on this would are welcome.

Posted in budgets, Congress, Conservatives, Democrats, federal budgets, federal employees, federal government, federal government shutdown, highway spending, Highway Trust Fund, infratrustructure, investment, Republicans, retirement, transportation, Uncategorized, white house | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment