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Welcome! We are committed to recruiting and retaining a world-class workforce for the American people.

Take a look at our blogs and share with others. Once you are on a particular blog page, you can give us the thumbs up. Connect with OPM on Twitter: @USOPM and Facebook.com/USOPM. Also, find us on other social media channels.

Yellow background that fades to a deep orange. On the left are strings, multi-color that twist down. One red string moves over and forms line across in the letter A in the word America, written in blue cursive text. On the right in white text in all caps are the words embracing, enriching and enabling. Then the cursive America is underneath.

As we recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to take this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to help agencies across government inspire people from all communities, including Hispanics, to pursue a career in Federal service.

The President is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and throughout his Administration he has reached out to incredibly talented Hispanics to help lead our government. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet, and White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz are just a few leaders that epitomize the rich diversity of this Administration. Their leadership has not only been critical to our ability to provide excellent service to the American people, but they continue to serve as incredible role models for all those already serving this nation and those considering a career in Federal service.

As the President said in his proclamation celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: “This month, let us reflect on the countless ways in which Hispanics have contributed to our nation’s success, and let us reaffirm our commitment to expanding opportunity and building an ever bright future for all.”

We want to inspire students still in school and those contemplating careers in the Federal service. To kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month OPM, in conjunction with Adelante, our Hispanic Employee Resource Group, will be hosting a student forum on Monday, September 19. I want to thank our partners who helped develop this program: the National Association of Hispanic Employees (NAHE), the Departments of State and the Interior, the Hispanic Employees Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies (HECFAA), and Prospanica D.C.

This forum will introduce students to the robust set of programs called Pathways that help students from high school through post-graduate school try out Federal service through a paid internship. Pathways also provides an entree into the Federal Government for recent graduates. The Presidential Management Fellows program is our premier leadership development program for recent advanced degree holders.

Monday’s forum will feature a panel of Federal leaders who will talk about their experience in the Federal Government and provide students with some advice about their own career paths.

The forum is open to current students who can participate in person at OPM headquarters or via webcast. For more information visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-hispanic-heritage-month-student-forum-tickets-27079618869

You can help us ensure every community is represented in government. Reach out to students, recent graduates, and others in your communities and tell them about the opportunities in Federal service. Reach out to your colleagues in the Federal Government and enlist them to act as ambassadors for the Federal service.

We will continue to focus on the recruitment of Hispanic Americans as part of our overall effort to recruit top talent for the Federal workforce.

So as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s remember that we need a workforce that reflects the diversity and cultures of our communities. As the President says in his proclamation: “Let us embrace the diversity that strengthens us and continue striving to ensure the American dream is within reach for generations of Hispanics to come.”


Background is three rectangles, two on top and one below. Top left rectangle is magenta and says 2016. Top right rectangle is gray, with the text

As we get ready to release the agency-by-agency Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results for 2016 on Tuesday, September 20, I’m excited to share a little preview of the data that shows for the second year Federal employees are more satisfied with their jobs and feel more engaged in their workplaces.

In 2016, 65 percent of the Federal employees surveyed said they are engaged in their workplace. That’s an increase government-wide of one percentage point over 2015 and is two percentage points higher than in 2014. Some individual agencies saw even larger increases.

This is a positive trend that we can build on. These results illustrate that employees across Federal agencies are more engaged in their workplaces and more satisfied with their jobs than they were a year ago. The results also show that what Federal employees tell us about their workplaces and their leaders matter. Federal leaders heard you and put in place initiatives designed to improve employee engagement. The 2016 results show those efforts are making a difference.

FEVS is a confidential survey that measures engagement by asking employees a range of questions to better understand, for example, if their managers communicate the goals and priorities of their organization, their supervisors support employee development, and their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment.  Such feedback is essential for agencies to find both what engagement efforts are working and pinpoint areas that need improvement.

So, what is Employee Engagement and why is it important?

Essentially, employee engagement captures the employees’ relationship with their work and the workplace.  It is employees’ sense of purpose and is displayed in their dedication, persistence and effort or overall attachment to their organization and its mission. Private sector studies have shown a link between employee engagement and increased productivity and improved customer satisfaction ratings. 

Having an engaged workforce is critical to the Federal Government’s ability to fulfill our mission to serve the American people. Engaged employees more likely to give their best, work more effectively in teams, share their ideas and creativity, and contribute more at work.

Given the challenges facing our nation and the Federal workforce, it is essential that we foster a culture of excellence and support our employees so they can reach their full potential.

Stay tuned. Next week we will share agency-specific data on www.UnlockTalent.gov, the interactive dashboard that allows employees and leaders to track employee engagement agency-wide and within individual offices. Through the Fall we will continue to add more detailed information to the site.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the 2016 FEVS.  I also want to thank the supervisors, managers, and leaders across government who have taken the results of last year’s FEVS to heart and worked to make sure their employees are better engaged, satisfied and happy on the job. And I want to thank all our dedicated Federal employees for the work they do every day to serve this great country. 


Background is a dark blue filter over a picture of a cellphone with a calendar on the screen in someone's hand. Across the picture is a red banner with the words: The All-New FSAFEDS.com is Open for Business in white text. Next to the words on the left is a blue circle with a dark blue sign that says open on it.

OPM is happy to announce that the all-new FSAFEDS.com is open for business to serve our current FSAFEDS participants. We’re excited about the new tools and flexibilities that will help you to easily manage your Flexible Spending Accounts.

What You Need to Know

The FSAFEDS program had a blackout period for claims and reimbursements as we transitioned to WageWorks, our new contractor. The system was brought online on September 1. The address for the website, www.FSAFEDS.com and the toll-free telephone number 1-877-FSAFEDS (877-372-3337) remain the same.

  • When current enrollees access your account through the new website for the first time, you’ll need to set up a new username and password and confirm your contact information by completing a quick registration process. That can be completed by clicking on "Register" at www.FSAFEDS.com. This process is also outlined in the “Registering for Account Access?” message board post found at: https://www.FSAFEDS.com/support/messageboard/2016-09-registering
  • For your convenience, we now have an FSAFEDS Android and Apple app for your phone. With the app, you may view your balance as well as submit eligible receipts.
  • To help you manage your out-of-pocket outlays, FSAFEDS has a new minimum reimbursement amount of just $5. Prior to September 1, that minimum reimbursement amount was $20.
  • If you are enrolled in FSAFEDS paperless reimbursement and incurred claims after the blackout period began on July 29, your carrier started sending those claims to FSAFEDS on September 8.  They will be processed as they are received.

So what is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and how does it save employees money? An FSA with FSAFEDS is a pre-tax benefit account that's used to pay for eligible medical, dental, vision care, or dependent care expenses - such as day care for young children and elder care expenses - that are not covered by insurance. With an FSA, you use pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified out-of-pocket health and dependent care expenses instead of post-tax dollars. This allows the average participant to save 30 percent on eligible expenses, typically including co-pays, some over-the-counter medicines and supplies, payments for caregivers, and more.

In other words, with an FSA, you can both reduce your taxes and get more for your money by saving about  30 percent off what you would normally pay for out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses  if you used your “take home pay” dollars. Plus, there is no cost to employees to enroll and use this program.

For more information on Flexible Spending Accounts, you can visit the website. There’s even a calculator to help you figure out potential cost savings.

To sign up for an FSA, unless you experience a change in status, you need to enroll or re-enroll during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season  from mid-November through mid-December (or during your first 60 days of employment for new employees) but here are links to information that will help you be prepared when the time comes:

How HealthCare (Medical, Dental, Vision) FSAs can help with costs: https://www.FSAFEDS.com/explore/hcfsa

How Dependent Care (Children and Adults) FSAs can help with costs:  https://www.FSAFEDS.com/explore/dcfsa

If you choose (or are interested in choosing) a high deductible healthcare plan, the LEX HCFSA might be for you:  https://www.FSAFEDS.com/explore/lex-hcfsa

If you have more questions, you can always reach out to the Customer Service center at FSAFEDS via phone, email, fax, or physical mail: https://www.FSAFEDS.com/contact


Dark navy blue background. A picture of two white spotlights forming one single oval. In the center of the spotlight, there is the text USAJOBS with an American flag icon in the middle of the letter O. Underneath the image is the text: Celebrating 20 Years.

As we recognize the 20th Anniversary of USAJOBS, it’s a good time to reflect on how far the site, and the Federal hiring process as a whole, has come.

Until 1996 when USAJOBS.gov was launched, someone interested in working for the Federal Government had to go to a Federal building to look at job announcements that were either posted on a bulletin board, or in “reading rooms”.

From the first iteration of USAJOBS.gov through the enhancements of the past year to our new landing page unveiled in the lead up to the site’s 20th anniversary, our team has worked to improve its design, features, and tools and to make the site more user friendly. We are constantly working to improve the user experience and we are committed to continuing to evolve USAJOBS.gov from a job board to a career site.

Over the past year we have worked with stakeholders across government, convened work groups, and received user feedback through interviews and focus groups. We've used this feedback to implement user-friendly updates including a mobile-friendly website, a revised application process, and a new help center.

We have put metrics in place to measure and track whether the updates we’ve made are improving the user experience and meeting the needs and expectations of our users. Our partners at the General Services Administration (GSA) have provided us with a web analytics tool, Digital Analytics Platform (DAP), which will enable us to continually measure our efforts.

Some of the interesting data we have gathered tells us that more than 14,000 Federal job opportunities are available every day, 22 million applications are started each year, and 1 billion searches are conducted on the website each year.

In addition to these efforts, we are developing the Agency Talent Portal that will provide agencies with innovative and strategic recruiting tools. With the continued support of OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert, and working with the Innovation Lab@OPM, USAJOBS is striving to influence the Federal hiring process in a positive way from start to finish.

Beyond our redesign efforts, the USAJOBS team is participating in OPM’s Hiring Excellence Campaign, which is designed to connect Federal agencies with a talented and diverse applicant pool and help agencies hire the best qualified candidates.

Our goal moving forward is simple - for USAJOBS to provide easy-to-use tools and resources to support job seekers in their quest for Federal employment. In order to realize this vision, our team will continue to leverage data to its fullest potential to inform how we design USAJOBS.gov so we can help job seekers connect with the positions they want and agencies connect with the talent they need.

To learn more about USAJOBS please visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/About/

The cybersecurity report issued today by the Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGR) on the cyber intrusions at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not fully reflect where this agency stands today.

While we disagree with many aspects of the report, we welcome the committee’s recognition of OPM’s swift response to the cybersecurity intrusions and its acknowledgement of our progress in strengthening our cybersecurity policies, and processes. We also appreciate the panel’s willingness to work with us on these important issues and find many of the final recommendations to be useful for OPM and the Federal Government at-large.

It is therefore important to take stock of our progress and outline the course we are charting for the future.

Over the past year OPM has worked diligently with its partners across government and made significant progress to strengthen our cybersecurity posture, and reestablish confidence in this agency’s ability to protect data while delivering on our core missions.

For example:

  • We require those who log into OPM’s systems to use strong multi-factor identification forms. This level of security provides a powerful barrier to our networks from individuals who should not have access.
  • We are in the process of rebuilding and enhancing the web-based application system that individuals use to provide OPM with the information we need to conduct background investigations.
  • We are one of the first agencies in the Federal Government to fully implement the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as DHS’s Einstein 3a. These initiatives allow agencies to detect and prevent cyber attacks before they can reach our systems, and continuously identify cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities that might arise.
  • We have strengthened our legacy technology systems while developing a new, modern IT infrastructure, which will provide a secure environment for OPM well into the future.
  • We are working with our partners at the Department of Defense who are designing, building, and will operate the IT infrastructure for the new National Background Investigations Bureau, the OPM-based entity that will conduct background investigations for the Federal Government in the future. 

These are just a few of the initiatives we have underway, but there is more to this story. At OPM we recognize that cybersecurity is not just about technology – it’s about people. In addition to strengthening our technology, we have added seasoned cybersecurity and IT experts to our already talented team.

OPM has brought on a senior cybersecurity advisor who reports to the Director of OPM. We have hired a new Chief Information Officer as well as a number of new senior IT leaders. And we have centralized our cybersecurity resources under a new Chief Information Security Officer, whose sole responsibility is to take the steps necessary to secure and control access to sensitive information. We also have a strong working relationship with our Office of Inspector General.

The cybersecurity incidents at OPM provided a catalyst for accelerated change within our organization. Throughout this agency, management has embraced cybersecurity as a top priority. I am proud of the way the team at OPM rose to the challenge and appreciate the collaborative spirit with which our partners across government worked - and continue to work – side by side with us each and every day.

We hope Congress will also continue to support our efforts and provide us with the resources we need to continue to strengthen our cybersecurity posture now, and into the future.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the threats we face in the realm of cybersecurity are persistent, sophisticated and constantly evolving. To confront these threats we must remain vigilant in our quest to protect systems and information. At OPM we are committed, we are dedicated, and most importantly we are working tirelessly to continuously enhance the security of our data and fulfill our important mission for the American people.

 


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