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    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:

    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, 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 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 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, 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 This process is also outlined in the “Registering for Account Access?” message board post found at:
    • 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:

    How Dependent Care (Children and Adults) FSAs can help with costs:

    If you choose (or are interested in choosing) a high deductible healthcare plan, the LEX HCFSA might be for you:

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

    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.


    Green background with a picture of people walking up a staircase made of books.  And the title 'The Pathways Program: Four Years Later. A New Report,' in white and black.

    As we celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Pathways Programs, I’m excited to share a study that highlights the way this program has significantly contributed to the Federal Government’s ability to recruit, develop, and retain a world-class workforce.

    The Federal Government is only as successful as the people who carry its mission forward. And, with more Federal employees becoming eligible for retirement each day, students, college graduates, and advanced degree holders are a great source of talent. Pathways includes internships, positions for recent graduates, and our Presidential Management Fellows program. If you are a student or recent graduate interested in the many opportunities in the Federal Workforce, please visit:

    In his 2010 Executive Order that helped establish what has become today’s Pathways Programs, the President said that “the Federal Government benefits from a diverse workforce that includes students and recent graduates who infuse the workplace with their enthusiasm, talents, and unique perspectives.” I couldn’t agree more.

    Research tells us that students and recent graduates about to enter the workforce believe in public service and want to make a difference. The Federal Government needs to tap into that innovative spirit and commitment to service. And that is exactly what our Pathways programs continue to do.

    Recently, OPM conducted a Pathways Programs study to analyze agencies’ use of Pathways, highlight best practices, and develop recommendations for how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the program.

    One exciting finding was that 93 percent of Pathways Programs participants surveyed said they plan to remain at their current agency or continue to work in the Federal Government in the immediate future. This is good news for our nation.

    To help build on our success, and working with our partners at the White House Office of Management and Budget and Presidential Personnel office, OPM this year began a Hiring Excellence Campaign (HEC) designed to improve, modernize, and transform the way we recruit and hire new talent into the Federal service. Improving the use of Pathways is one part of that effort. To find out more about HEC, or to register for an upcoming session, please visit

    At OPM we want to help agencies across government make the most of the Pathways program and do all they can to encourage students, recent graduates, and advanced degree holders to use Pathways to try out a Federal career.

    OPM has developed a Pathways toolkit to help hiring managers and HR professionals make the most out of these exciting programs. The toolkit includes a handbook for HR specialists, a toolkit for hiring managers, Pathways flexibilities charts, and a webinars to help supervisors and HR staff better use Pathways. You can get more information on these sessions at

    Each day OPM and our partners across government are working to improve the way we attract, develop, and retain the critical talent we need to fulfill our missions and service the American people. Tools and initiatives such as the Hiring Excellence Campaign, training opportunities on, and the Pathways toolkit are invaluable resources that can help us meet this important challenge.

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