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*** The Office of Personnel Management awarded a $400 million contract to ID Experts to extend credit monitoring services to more than 22 million people affected by the OPM hacks. 

ID Experts was initially awarded the contract in 2015. The new contract took effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The initial deal is slated to last through June 2020, at which point its options kick in. The ceiling value of the contract is about $416 million. To date, ID Experts has made about $340 million from credit monitoring contracts tied to the aftermath of the OPM hack. OPM is required by law to provide coverage to those affected by the breach through fiscal year 2026. 

*** During the last shutdown, significant portions of the government were closed for 35 days, 20 of which Congress was not in session. The Keep Congress Working Act, introduced Feb. 12 by Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), would require all members of Congress to stay in Washington, D.C., and prevent a recess of more than 12 hours during any lapse in appropriations. 

While key lawmakers have reached an agreement in principle that would avert the next shutdown that looms later this week, President Donald Trump has criticized the deal. The current temporary funding measure is set to expire Feb. 15.

*** The new Congress took its first step toward bringing Transportation Security Administration screeners under civil service protections extended to other government employees. 

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) introduced a bill that would extend Title 5 rights to TSA employees. Title 5 covers protections such as collective bargaining and due process rights. Bringing TSA screeners under that provision would also put them under the general schedule for pay.

Extending Title 5 rights to TSA employees is major legislative priority for federal unions. The issue gained more public attention during the most recent government shutdown, during which many TSA employees worked without pay.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox, whose union represents TSA agents, said that agency’s employees constitute "one of our fastest growing entities."

"This is our opportunity to move things forward," he said. "If you get them under Title 5 that will increase their pay very clearly."

Thompson introduced a similar bill last year but it never came up for a vote.

Cox said he expects the bill to pass the House, "and there's a whole lot of senators that will be up for reelection come next year, and I would hope that they would think long and hard about how they would vote."

Posted on Feb 13, 2019 at 12:40 AM


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