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*** An oversight report found that guidance supporting the reopening of Environmental Protection Agency offices varied considerably across the 13 EPA regions. According to EPA's Office of Inspector General, two of the 13 regional offices did not require face coverings. There were also variances with regard to cleaning protocols, social distancing requirements and consultation with the General Services Administration to ensure adequate building ventilation. EPA's Office of Mission Support chalked up the variances to differing local conditions. The IG didn't discount that, but concluded that "the EPA should ensure that such differences do not place employees at an increased risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 disease merely as a result of their work location."

*** Peter Ranks, the Defense Department's deputy CIO for information enterprise, has left his post for one in the intelligence community, FCW has confirmed. Danielle Metz has stepped in on an acting basis to fill the role. Ranks was instrumental in rolling out DOD's expanded telework capabilities during the pandemic. Federal News Network first reported the news of Ranks' move.

"Under his leadership, we’ve made great advances in execution of the DOD Cloud Strategy and development of the software modernization approach while supporting the entirety of the DOD workforce with remote work capabilities during the pandemic – most notably, the work he led on Commercial Virtual Remote," DOD CIO Dana Deasy said in a statement. "We are thankful for all Pete has done to move the Department forward."

*** Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wants the Federal Labor Relations Authority to roll back three recent opinions that taken together, the lawmaker states, abridge the collective bargaining rights of almost 1.2 million federal employees. In a Nov. 30 letter, Connolly took aim at decisions covering management-directed policy changes, mid-contract bargaining and rules under expired collective bargaining agreements. Connolly notes that in each case, the Republican majority on FLRA created new policy on its own without adjudicating an actual union-management case. "None of these cases arose out of a dispute; all arose from requests by agency management for guidance," Connolly wrote.

Posted on Dec 02, 2020 at 2:08 AM


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