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Next Meeting: January 17, 2019

Program

TO BE ANNOUNCED

Message from NARFE President Ken Thomas:

“NARFE is an advocacy-driven organization that relies on the talents and unyielding determination of its members to accomplish legislative victories. To combat threats that will arise during the 116th Congress, members must continue to strengthen their advocacy skills to make sure NARFE is effective when communicating with legislators. Please take this opportunity to register for LEGcon19 before the early-bird registration rate expires Saturday, December 15. Regardless of experience level, we must all continuously improve our grassroots skills as we are the only line of defense for the earned pay and benefits of federal retirees, employees and their families nationwide. I hope to see you in March.”

LEGcon19 Early-Bird Registration Expires Tomorrow!

The LEGcon19 early-bird registration rate of $199 expires tomorrow, December 15, so register now! This is your last opportunity to secure your spot at LEGcon19, NARFE’s legislative training conference, before the price increases to $225. On March 10–13, 2019, at the Mark Center Hilton Hotel in Alexandria, VA, hundreds of NARFE members from across the nation will converge to enhance their advocacy knowledge and take NARFE’s message straight to legislators on Capitol Hill. But, it doesn’t end there; attendees will also take this new knowledge back home to help lead advocacy efforts for their federations and chapters.

Position yourself as a go-to resource for your members of Congress through engaging training sessions that will help you master the art of congressional meetings. Take a deep dive into important policy issues, learn best practices for interacting with legislators and staff and hear from experts and your peers all in one place. This is your chance to raise your voice against cuts to the pay and benefits you earned through years of hard work in dedicated service to your country.

After registering for LEGcon19, don’t forget to book your hotel room at the NARFE rate of $175 per night plus tax. For online hotel registration and information click here. Additional information about the conference is available on the LEGcon19 website. If you have any questions about conference registration, please contact events@narfe.org. If you have any other questions, please contact the Advocacy Department at advocacy@narfe.org. We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Political Divisions Could Lead to a Partial Government Shutdown

With political controversies interfering with passage of seven remaining appropriations bills, the threat of a partial government shutdown is all too real. Lawmakers have until midnight December 21 to overcome any impasses and reach a funding agreement. Make a difference by calling your representatives in Congress and stress that federal employees must not be collateral damage in political fights. Under no circumstances is a government shutdown necessary, but instead only harmful to the American public and federal workforce.

Among other vital departments and agencies, the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, Agriculture, Interior, and Transportation still await fiscal year 2019 appropriations. It’s estimated that more than 380,000 federal workers would be furloughed during the partial shutdown. Even the estimated 420,000 affected employees who would work through the shutdown would not be paid until agency funding is restored. Middle-class federal employees do not have the luxury of going without a paycheck or guarantee of back pay while bills continue to pile up during the holidays. If no funding agreement is reached, dedicated federal employees would be forced to sit idly by waiting for Congress and the president to do their jobs before they can get back to work for the American people. Call your legislators today.

OIG Report Puts Reorganization Proposal under Further Scrutiny

In a recent report, “Assessment of GSA’s Management and Performance Challenges for Fiscal Year 2019,” the General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified internal controls as an ongoing issue for the agency. By synthesizing the results of numerous past OIG and GSA independent public accountant reports and audits, the OIG pieced together a large-scale trend of internal control weaknesses and mishaps that cross all areas of the agency’s operations. These weaknesses led to violations of laws and regulations, misreporting of estimates and figures and poor stewardship of public resources.

Considering this damaging new information regarding GSA senior leadership’s negligence in establishing firm internal controls, NARFE calls on the administration to reconsider its reorganization proposal to transfer the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) programmatic functions to GSA, including: retirement services, health care benefits and insurance programs, and human resources solutions. These programs deserve proper and careful management and any steps to move their services should be met with serious scrutiny by Congress. NARFE’s previous concerns that folding OPM’s functions into a larger organization could risk these vital programs receiving insufficient attention and resources are only heightened. GSA is in no condition to take on new responsibilities, especially those as complicated and significant as federal employee and retiree programs. Please contact your representatives in Congress and implore them to provide proper oversight of the administration’s reorganization plans.

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