We support our LGBTQIA+ members and colleagues throughout the Service and celebrate their contributions to tax administration and public service. PMA advocates strenuously for workplace equity throughout the Internal Revenue Service, and the entire Civil Service. We encourage you to listen to this week's FEDtalk, Celebrating Pride in Government, featuring our incoming board member Linda Ortiz, EDI's LGBTQ Program Manager. You can attend the IRS's Pride Month event on Wednesday, June 22nd at 1PM Eastern on Saba.
As we continue to prepare for our return-to-office later this month, the pandemic continues unabated across the country and its territories with more than 92% of counties reporting substantial or high community spread. This year, the CDC began to focus on "community levels" which emphasizes hospital admissions and capacity in communities, rather than how many people are contracting COVID-19.
Under the new metric, roughly 60% of counties are considered having low community levels. In those areas, physical distancing for unvaccinated workers is required to the extent possible but there are no other workplace safety requirements. Masking is optional when community levels are low.
However, many campuses and large call centers find themselves situated in or near counties with medium or high community levels. When your level moves from low to medium, unvaccinated workers who report to the office or interact with taxpayers must test weekly, and proof of vaccination or recent COVID test is required for visitors and meetings with more than 50 people. Masking remains optional, while physical distancing for unvaccinated workers remains required to the extent possible.
When your community moves from medium to high, masks are required to be worn by all workers regardless of vaccination status and meetings with more than 50 people require Treasury approval. These requirements are in addition to the testing requirement for unvaccinated workers, proof of vaccination or recent test for visitors, and required physical distancing for unvaccinated workers.
When you are in a high community level, workers can request waivers of their in-office day if such a waiver would not negatively impact business. Workers may also seek a temporary hardship if they or a loved one is in a high-risk group.
When the IRS determines that a change will be made, your Commissioner's Representative will communicate the change by Friday. The change will become effective on Monday of the next week.
Are you a federal worker or contractors applying to obtain or maintain a security clearance? An applicant for a “sensitive positions” in the federal government? An individual required to complete a SF-85 for federal or contract employment? A contractor attorneys or human resources professional advising applicants on completing SF-86 and SF-85 applications? Then you don't want to miss this presentation.
Join PMA's General Counsel, Shaw Bransford & Roth, on Wednesday, June 29th at 11AM Eastern to learn how to avoid the most common mistakes people make when completing their SF-85 or SF-86 that can delay or disqualify you from your job. Learn more and register. This event is open to all, presented via Zoom, and tickets are $30. Learn more
Our team has been busy on the Hill working with appropriators as they formulate the FY23 budget. Yesterday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government marked up legislation ahead of sending it to the House for a vote. The bill would provide an additional $1 billion in funding for the IRS and is silent on pay raises - which would mean Congress is deferring to the President's recommendation of 4.6%.
We were pleased to see the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) finally receive its third confirmed, PMA-endorsed member, Cathy Harris. Ms. Harris will need to be confirmed one more time to serve as the MSPB's chair. However, cases can now be adjudicated with finality and we anticipate the complete board will do all it can to work through its five-year backlog of cases.
Internet Explorer (IE) is no more this week after Microsoft retired the browser after 27 years of service. "The Big E" played a major role in IRS automation and served as the foundation for many of the systems we use to interact with IDRS. The world stopped using IE beginning in 2012 and its market share was in the single digits by 2016. At the IRS, however, IE usage was 100% in 2016 and that continued well into 2019.
To be sure, the world isn't using Edge either - it only achieved 10% market share once the government had no choice but to transition away from IE. PMA is grateful to IE for its contributions to tax administration and we continue to advocate for a modern tax ecosystem where our members can use reliable, modern browsers.
Nothing frustrates a leader more than the people problems you can't solve. In this one-hour webinar, learn how to solve problems such as disengagement, poor communication, conflict, lack of accountability, and more. As a leader, this session will provide you with practical tools and strategies you can implement immediately in your team.
Join PMA's partner Arbinger Institute on Wednesday, June 29th at 12:30PM Eastern to learn from their Managing Partner and bestselling author Mitch Warner. Mr. Warner will share what it takes to not only solve those people problems but to create radically engaged teams. Learn how to help employees accomplish their individual objectives in a way that will enable others to achieve their goals as well.
If you can't attend live, register anyhow - all registrants will receive a link to the recording following the event. This event is hosted on Zoom, is complimentary, and open to all. PMA recommends using your personal device for the best experience. Register today
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.
We at PMA never expected that we'd include the name Kim Kardashian in our newsletter but she recently caused a stir at this year's Met Gala, when she briefly wore Marilyn Monroe's original 1962 Jean-Louis gown, in which Monroe famously sang "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy's birthday was on May 29th but was celebrated ten days earlier at Madison Square Garden, in New York. On May 19, 1962, we at the IRS were well into our very first post-filing season with our new nationwide IMF and BMF - the same systems we are using today.
Join PMA's partner, the American Management Association, for a 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.
• Communicating Effectively in a Virtual Environment on June 28th
• Best Practices of Managing a Virtual Workforce on July 19th
OPM Director Kiran Ahuja authorized a special CFC solicitation period that will open the CFC online donation portal through June 30, 2022. This special solicitation provides an opportunity for Federal employees, members of the military, postal workers, and retirees to create a new gift or an extra gift to support their favorite CFC-participating charities online or through the CFC mobile giving app. (The list is limited to the charities accepted by the CFC in 2021).
This special solicitation will provide for the following:
• One hundred percent (100%) of the gifts made in this campaign will go to charities (without a distribution fee).
• Funds pledged will be paid out to charities by the 15th day of the month following receipt of the pledge by the CFC Central Campaign Administrator.
• Any employee who did not pledge via payroll deduction in fall 2021 can make a payroll-funded gift through the CFC.
• Existing donors who pledged by payroll allotments in the fall of 2021 can make additional donations with electronic credit, debit, or ACH gifts on the CFC giving platform or the mobile app. (2021 Payroll pledges cannot be increased at this time.)
Donors can pledge to their choice of the more than 5,000 charities that were on the CFC Charity List. Many of these 501(c)(3) organizations are now working overtime, assisting refugees who need food, medical attention, housing, relocation, and other day-to-day needs. The CFC is uniquely positioned to supplement the Federal government’s overall response by allowing employees to pledge additional resources to charities and to those that are actively responding throughout the world. As a reminder, PMA's official charity, FEEA is CFC #11185.