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McKinsey & Company published an article yesterday that really captured the challenges we face as leaders within the IRS. The question of whether or not the Civil Service can change from within is one we encounter regularly in our work on Capitol Hill. We believe the answer is "yes" - our members can learn to avoid the self-sabotaging habits outlined in this piece.
We are highlighting the article for our members because we hope it will resonate with you. As we work to improve our agency and onboard thousands of new hires, we will need to change how we do business with one another. We have to make those changes together - no one manager can do this all on her own. By challenging ourselves and our colleagues to be more openminded and entrepreneurial, we can ensure that the IRS will succeed in the 21st century.
Leave Bank Open Season is underway through July 22nd. If you sign up during this period, you will be a member through pay period 26. You can learn more about this program on IRS Source.
Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were approved for young children, beginning at 6 months old. OPM reminded agencies that workers may use sick leave to accompany and care for family members seeking these vaccines.
This week, OPM issued FAQs clarifying that workers may use sick leave to travel for medical care, or to travel with a family member for their medical care. For example, if you or a family member needed to receive care out of state at a specialized hospital, you would be permitted to use sick leave for that purpose.
The Partnership for Public Service, in collaboration with Deloitte, published a report on civil servants' trust in government and their leaders. This first-of-its-kind look confirms what we hear anecdotally from our members each day. Civil servants report higher levels of trust in career leaders, rather than political appointees. They also report a low level of knowledge about Civil Service regulations and processes. The report makes some important recommendations which may help you improve your leadership practice. At PMA, we are using this report to consider future professional development opportunities for you.
House Appropriations voted to pass the FY23 IRS budget - they moved six of the 12 spending bills to the full House for a vote. The other six moved through subcommittees. While we are pleased to see this process working, the fiscal year begins in only three months. There remains a risk that a CR may be in our future.
The Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act passed out of committee and is now on the House floor pending a vote. PMA contributed to this legislation in partnership with Oversight Committee staff and Rep. Gerry Connolly. H.R. 7951 would require agencies to provide 30 days’ advance notice to Congress and OPM if they plan to limit telework access for federal employees, in addition to gathering more data regarding telework, including its cost and environmental benefits. The bill also empowers OPM to establish standards for agency telework data collection and use, devise supervisory and managerial telework training programs, and publish guidelines for management of telework.
The SCOTUS ruling in Egbert v. Boule vastly limited the types of Bivens cases that can be heard in federal court, and leaves open the door to a possible reversal of Bivens in the future. This is welcome news for members and, particularly, for field agents who may face constitutional claims from taxpayers. You can learn more about the Egbert ruling in FEDmanager.
And, while you're there, be sure to read our piece about inclusivity and why it is so important to employee engagement and morale.
OPM Director Kiran Ahuja marked the end of her first year in the role with an interview on the agency's challenges and accomplishments. OPM shared some of the agency’s major accomplishments under her tenure:
• The agency has released two hiring authorities focused on early-career talent and is revamping the government’s Pathways Program for internships;
• Implemented President Biden’s executive order, which defines DEIA efforts broadly, into hiring and retention initiatives;
• Assisted agencies with strategic workforce planning for application of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law; and,
• Worked on an additional pay increase beyond raising the federal civilian minimum wage to $15 per hour this year.
However, this is not a time for celebration, according to the director. In the same spirit, OPM has more reforms on its agenda, including:
• Restructuring the still heavily paper-based retirement claims process that has seen its backlog grow following the COVID-19 pandemic;
• Improving the ability of agencies to attract new talent, and improving the retirement claims system’s backlog; and,
• Implementing recommendations from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to move from a transactional-oriented model to one centered on being a government-wide leader in strategic human capital management.
We finished our first week returned to the office and work will never be the same again. Increased telework, hybrid meetings, and Teams implementation all create a new landscape and new opportunities for carelessness or misconduct. We recommend members listen to this podcast presented by attorneys at our General Counsel's firm, Shaw Bransford & Roth. In the recording, you'll hear how these changes are impacting federal employment law, TIGTA cases, and more.
Bias affects how we make decisions, engage with others, and respond to various situations and circumstances, often limiting potential. In this presentation, we will discuss:
• The impact of bias on behaviors, decisions and performance
• The three bias traps that our brains are constantly facing
• Ways to face bias with courage and create a space where everyone is respected, included, and valued
Join PMA's partner, Franklin Covey, for this complimentary one-hour webinar on Wednesday, July 13th at 1PM Eastern. This event is free and open to all. Register today
PMA is wrapping up our 40th year as the only association advocating exclusively on behalf of IRS managers, management officials, other non-bargaining workers, leadership development program participants, and retirees from those roles. Through our renewed relationship with the IRS, we’ve worked to identify problems and recommend solutions around many complex workforce issues such as performance pay, leave, professional liability, and safety, to name only a few. We are working diligently to strengthen the IRS and enhance management through our relationships in Congress - at times even sharing our members' individual stories to fortify congressional understanding of our working conditions. We do all of this and more for only $4.50 per pay period – an incredible value.
If you're reading this and you're not yet a member, use the attached form to join us today! If you know a retiree who would benefit from our advocacy, we offer lifetime memberships to them for a one-time $125 payment. Membership also comes with many additional benefits such as discounted rates from our sponsors GEICO and FEDS Protection. PMA members participating in a FEHB plan may be able to get free, state-of-the-art hearing aids through our partner Eargo. Just mention PMA and they will waive your copay for most health plans. This benefit is available to anyone in your family using your FEHB plan.
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The Individual and Business Master Files (IMF, BMF) celebrate their 60th birthday this year! PMA wants to help Congress and the American public appreciate how badly the IRS needs modernization funding. Part of our IMF/BMF@60 campaign will feature facts and context to help frame the true age of our primary computing database. As a reminder, the IRS still relies on the oldest continually operating database in the entire federal government.
Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was published in July 1960, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. In December 1962, a film based on the novel opened in theaters with Gregory Peck starring as the protagonist, Atticus Finch, an Alabama lawyer. With themes of racial injustice, class, and gender roles, the book's release occurred as the movement for civil rights was at the front of public consciousness. Ms. Lee's novel was #2 on the New York Times Bestseller List when we finished our first filing season using our new national database, the same one we still use today.
Join PMA's partner, the American Management Association, for the final installment in their complimentary series, offered from 12-12:30PM Eastern. If the day or time doesn't work for you, register anyhow - you can view a recording of the webcast afterward at your convenience.
• Best Practices of Managing a Virtual Workforce on July 19th
The 13th annual government-wide food drive is on, now through August 31st. Last year, IRS workers donated 146,685 pounds of food to local food banks across the country. Here are some ways you can participate in this year's drive:
• Give directly (food, services, time or through CFC) to the food bank or pantry of your choice;
• Purchase food through your favorite online grocer and have it delivered directly to a food bank or pantry;
• Drop off donations at your local food bank, food pantry, or some office locations; or
• Plant-A-Row in your own or neighborhood garden, and donate the extra produce to a local food bank or pantry.
HCO is leveraging Direct-Hire Authority to bring on 75 Human Resources Specialists in any POD. The announcement is open through September 30th.
SB/SE is looking to fill 321 Revenue Officer vacancies in over 140 locations throughout the nation. Below are links to register for virtual information sessions where applicants can join and listen to experienced employees talk about the day-to-day life of a Revenue Officer.
• Wednesday, July 6th at 12PM Eastern - Register
• Tuesday, July 12th at 4PM Eastern - Register
• Thursday, July 14th at 1PM Eastern - Register
Please be sure to share throughout your network.