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*** The Department of Agriculture is cutting promised separation payments to employees who are leaving jobs at the Economics Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture rather than relocate to new headquarters in the Kansas City region. The buyouts, originally slated at $25,000 in a June offer, have been cut to $10,000. The agency said that the "volume of applications" seeking the buyout pushed amount approved for individual separation payments.

Employees have until Aug. 26 to decide whether to seek separation payments, with separations taking place by Sept. 27.

"It's hard to imagine USDA management finding more ways to demoralize the workers at these two agencies, yet they continue to top themselves at every turn," said J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. "Two-thirds of employees rejected the agency’s orders to move by Sept. 30, so USDA should have planned better for that reality and budgeted accordingly," he added.

*** Soraya Correa, the chief procurement officer at the Department of Homeland Security, announced that an initial solicitation for IT hardware contract vehicle FirstSource III will be forthcoming in January 2020. Correa also announced that the ordering period on FirstSource II will be extended to Sept. 15, 2020 and that performance on that contract will end Sept. 14, 2021. There's no word yet on the ceiling value of FirstSource III. FirstSource II was awarded in September of 2013 and had a ceiling value of $3 billion.

Posted on Aug 21, 2019 at 2:11 AM


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