Buzz Factor

The most-read stories on FCW.com in the past two weeks

13 ideas for building better RFPs
Summary: Experts offer tips for writing effective requests for proposals.
Outlook: Even without acquisition reforms, agencies could conduct procurements more effectively.

Could pay freeze send feds to private sector?
Summary: If federal employees have their salaries frozen for two years, will many of them leave government?
Outlook: The pay freeze proposal on the table is not a done deal. But in the meantime, there’s a lot of chatter about the possible ramifications.

Pay freeze idea gets chilly reception
Summary: When President Barack Obama announced his proposed two-year pay freeze, federal employees and their unions immediately voiced their opposition.
Outlook: Feds might have to accept a pay freeze, but there’s not much chance many of them will come to like it.

Bad timing for feds nearing retirement
Summary: Federal retirement benefits are based in part on an employee’s salary in the years immediately before retirement. A pay freeze could fix those benefits at lower levels.
Outlook: Midcareer feds can probably recover, but those nearing the end of their tenure might be in a tougher spot.

Commission vote leaves 3-year pay freeze proposal in limbo
Summary: The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed a three-year freeze on federal employee pay — adding a year to Obama’s proposal — but couldn’t muster enough votes to compel congressional consideration.
Outlook: Although support is iffy, the proposal is still out there, and some in Congress might try to push it through.

Republicans target telework bill for oversight
Summary: The ink was barely dry on legislation that seeks to expand federal telework when Republicans started talking about oversight and restrictions.
Outlook: The bill will cost an estimated $30 million in five years to implement, while telework saved the government an estimated $30 million per day during the paralyzing snowstorms last winter. It should be a no-brainer.

Some lawmakers seek to dilute pay freeze proposal
Summary: Some Democrats and one Republican have asked that any pay freeze that goes beyond fiscal 2011 be left for the next Congress to decide.
Outlook: Feds are going to have a salary freeze. What’s uncertain is whether it’ll be for a year — or two or three.

WikiLeaks fallout: White House orders classified data security review

Summary:  The White House ordered agencies to examine their security practices to ensure they are keeping sensitive information out of the hands of unauthorized employees, following a massive release of classified diplomatic cables by the website WikiLeaks.

Outlook: Seeing as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is defiant, it's likely his efforts will continue to bedevil agency security leaders.

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