Weekly Updates

IRS Emerging Technology Day & Other Updates

August 14, 2020
HCO Asks Managers to Complete Telework Agreements

Due to the March evacuation order, we have a population of staff working remotely who are not on a current telework agreement and/or who did not complete telework training. These requirements were relaxed to expedite the evacuation and to ensure we were minimizing our in-office populations. In our weekly call, HCO requested that we try to secure as many telework agreements as possible (even if only an ad hoc agreement) and have our teams who need it to complete the ITM course on telework. This will ensure that when the evacuation order expires, we aren’t left urgently needing to meet these requirements.

Professional Liability Insurance Reimbursements

One valuable benefit of your membership is a discounted PLI premium from our sponsor FEDS Protection. PMA previously negotiated a 50% cost share for managers paying these premiums with the IRS. The time is approaching for you to file for your 50% reimbursement from the agency. The agency begins receiving requests in August and issues payments typically in October. The reimbursement is available whether or not you’re a PMA member, and whether or not your carrier is FEDS. To claim your 50% reimbursement, follow the instructions in this article to fax your request to the Philadelphia Payroll team. Did you know that a policy from FEDS covers you at no additional cost for three years after you retire? Sign up today at FEDS Protection.

Become A Member

There’s never been a more important time to become a PMA member. Our voice is becoming louder and our leaders are listening. Through our consultative relationship with IRS HQ, we’ve worked to resolve questions, concerns, and inconsistencies around performance pay, leave administration, professional liability, retirement, safety, and leadership succession to name only a few. We are working diligently to strengthen our existing relationships throughout the IRS and to develop new relationships throughout government and with our sponsors so that we can grow our impact. We do all of this and more for a mere $3.50 per pay period – the best bargain I’ve seen in my career. I ask each of you to encourage your peers in the non-bargaining unit to consider signing up using the attached form. If you know a retiree who would benefit from our advocacy, we offer lifetime memberships to them for a one-time $100 payment.

No-Cost Professional Development Opportunities

The IRS asks managers and their proxies to attend 12450 Performance Management training on August 26. For more information, click here.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers is hosting a free, virtual summit September 15-22 called Leadership for a Changing World. The fact is that our world is changing – fast. We need to go deeper in our leadership skillset to navigate this moment. The summit features bestselling authors and leadership innovators such as Margie & Ken Blanchard, the world’s foremost experts on Servant Leadership, Peter Block, founder of the stewardship movement, and Mary-Frances Winters, leading authority in anti-racist leadership. The series is very exciting and I look forward to sharpening my skills! To learn more and register, please click here.

Save the date! All employees are invited to attend IRS Emerging Technology Day on October 13 from 8-12 Eastern. This exciting event is usually held face-to-face which limited attendance to those in the DC Metro area. This year, it will be a virtual event so we can all attend (though, apologies to our friends out west for the time!). I will share more information about registration once HQ has finalized the details.

AI World Government is hosting its annual summit October 28-30 virtually this year and is offering free registration to government leaders who register before August 21st. For those who attend, you’ll learn about all of the latest developments in AI and how we can leverage technology within the federal space. Please see the attachment for more information. You can register for the summit by clicking here.

FEEA Has Masks For Frontline Feds

We still have face coverings available through FEEA. They’re offering to send a cloth face covering to anyone who must return to work in a space with other employees and/or the public. Register here to receive a complimentary face covering. If you would like to place a bulk order of those masks for your team or department, please let me know. Thank you to those managers who’ve reached out to me for bulk orders for their teams! So far, we’ve fulfilled nearly 300 requests.

HCO Updates

OPM issued guidance to implement paid parental leave – a new benefit beginning in FY21 for new parents. HCO is working through this very dense document so that we can have more information for you. The good news is that HCO reports they expect to have everything in place for October 1. Read more

Please encourage your teams to take a moment to complete the Climate Pulse Survey each week here: Link to Survey. Roughly 4,300 people participated in the survey last week and we learned that some managers are failing to adhere to face-covering and social distancing policies. For those managers, at all levels, reporting to the office during this time, please remember your managerial and ethical obligations to follow established IRS policies regardless of your personal opinion. If you call an employee into your office, or visit an employee at their workstation, a face-covering is mandatory. If a cleaning crew advises that you must leave an area for a period of time so they can disinfect it, especially following a positive case in the POD, you must follow that directive. The purpose of these measures is to mitigate risk. The fewer opportunities we give COVID-19 to spread, the fewer people will become ill. If someone became ill because their manager failed to follow an established policy, that manager could be personally liable for damages. Please be careful.

News From Washington

This week, PMA met with representatives from the offices of Senators Van Hollen (D-MD), Lankford (R-OK), and Sinema (D-AZ), who recently announced the bipartisan Emergency Telework Act. We had a robust discussion around accountability, budgeting for new technologies, and how to mitigate the bureaucracy around telework in the future. PMA is proud to partner with the Congress to look beyond the pandemic to a new future where telework is available widely to our teams.

Be safe, wear your masks and let’s stop the spread together!

Weekly updates