• Flynn Resigns while White House Says he was Fired

    Flynn Resigns while White House Says he was Fired

    Following reports that he misled senior White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December before President Trump took office, Michael Flynn resigned Monday night as the president’s national security adviser.

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FBI Warns Public of Disaster Fraud in the Wake of Nepal Earthquake

While the Nepal earthquake last week was a grievous tragedy that took more than 4,000 lives, it also served as an important reminder of the potential for disaster fraud.

Now that the rubble has settled, and disaster relief organizations are flocking to Nepal's aid, the FBI and National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) issued a statement warning the public to "apply a critical eye, and conduct due diligence before giving to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of disaster victims."

Before making a donation of any kind, consider the following recommendations:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including by clicking links contained within those messages, because they may contain computer viruses.
  • Be cautious of individuals representing themselves as victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
  • Beware of organizations with copycat names similar to but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.
  • Rather than following a purported link to a website, verify the existence and legitimacy of non-profit organizations by using Internet-based resources.
  • Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, because those files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • To ensure that contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make donations directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
  • Do not be pressured into making contributions; reputable charities do not use coercive tactics.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions. Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Avoid cash donations if possible. Pay by debit or credit card or write a check directly to the charity. Do not make checks payable to individuals.
  • Legitimate charities do not normally solicit donations via money transfer services.
  • Most legitimate charities maintain websites ending in .org rather than .com.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud by a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, contact the NCDF by phone at (866) 720-5721, fax at (225) 334-4707, or e-mail at disaster@leo.gov.

You can also report suspicious e-mail solicitations or fraudulent websites to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Posted in Performance Pickup

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Get Involved with Public Service Recognition Week

Celebrated annually during the first week of May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) is time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. Throughout the country, mayors, governors, agency leaders, communities and public service organizations participate in PSRW by issuing proclamations, hosting award ceremonies and special tribute events, and delivering messages about the value of public service.

The theme for this year is "Government Works" and provides an opportunity for employees and their agencies to showcase the important contributions our nation's public servants deliver on behalf of the American people every day.

Initiatives and resources for celebrating PSRW include:

SOCIAL MEDIA

RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

Find more ideas and resources on how your agency or organization can participate in PSRW at http://publicservicerecognitionweek.org/celebration_toolkit.

PSRW is organized annually by the Public Employees Roundtable (PER) and its member organizations. For more than 30 years, PER has served as a coalition of federal, state and local employee and good government organizations representing public employees and retirees across the country.

Posted in Performance Pickup

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Top Telework Trends in 2015

Nearly five years since the passage of the Telework Enhancement Act in 2010, telework continues to reshape how government, and its employees, accomplish agency missions.

The Federal Managers Association (FMA) recently spoke with two experts Mika Cross (CFPB) and Dr. Rebecca Ayers (OPM) on telework, mobility, work/life, and performance management in the spring 2015 edition of The Federal Manager, FMA's member publication.

That article,Top Telework Trends in 2015: A Conversation with Mika J. Cross and Dr. Rebecca Ayers, Office of Personnel Management, can beaccessed here.

Posted in Performance Pickup

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Lessons from FMA's Convention – Feedback Loops for Teleworkers

Members from the Federal Managers Association (FMA) descended upon Pentagon City this week for their 77th annual training seminar.

With a theme of "Building the Government of Tomorrow," this four-day seminar featured speakers from OPM, OMB, and EEO, as well as a keynote address from Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA).

FEDmanager was honored to be among those exhibiting at the convention, and took advantage of the opportunity to sit in on a few of the training sessions.

Tuesday afternoon, Rebecca S. Ayers, Ph.D., Manager, Performance Management Solutions, HR Solutions, Office of Personnel Management, taught a session on employee feedback best practices and how to build camaraderie among a team of employees who telework.

Ms. Ayers herself is the manager of a team who teleworks and she said it is a constant struggle to make everyone feel included and supported. If you find yourself in a similar situation, Ms. Ayers recommends encouraging your team to communicate often via instant messages, and plan to hold many virtual meetings or teleconferences, and use document sharing applications for collaboration.

When it comes to providing your employees with feedback, Ms. Ayers said to follow the feedback cycle of planning, monitoring, rating, and rewarding for best results.

When you are faced with an underperforming employee who needs a nudge, begin by considering the cause of the problem. Are the standards to which you are holding this person clearly communicated? Does the employee understand the mission of the company and their respective department? After taking this into consideration, begin thinking about the best way to deliver such feedback.

Ms. Ayers noted the important differences between formal and informal feedback, and when each is most appropriate. While formal feedback tends to occur behind closed doors, informal feedback can take on a number of forms, including: water cooler chats, an impromptu call or email, or a team meeting.<\/p>\r\n

When giving either form of feedback, she highlighted the importance of the "Feedback Circle" where the conversation begins with positive feedback, moves into constructive criticism, and finishes on a good note again.

No matter how go about providing your staff with feedback, Ms. Ayers said it is crucial to document the conversation and follow-up the conversation with an email.

Even if all your employees are star performers, there will come a time when you need to deliver constructive feedback, and planning ahead for that day will equip you with the tools you need to go about it in the most successful manner.

For more information about the annual FMA training seminar, visit their site: Federal Managers Association.

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This Week on FEDtalk

This Week on FEDtalk: Untold Stories of the American Presidents

Tune in to this special President’s Day edition of FEDtalk to learn all about the most interesting presidential stories you’ve never heard.

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Manager Matters

Religious Compensatory Time Challenges for Managers

In a recent IG report, employee abuse of Religious Compensatory Time (RCT) at the EPA resulted in big payouts and potential additional payouts.

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