December 24, 2015

Please find a copy of the OPM memorandum excusing Federal employees from duty for the last half of the scheduled workday on Thursday, December 24, 2015, here.

Answers to 18 related frequently asked questions are also posted here.

Year in Review

The FEAWM full membership meeting was held on Dec 8, at the Bluebonnet in Noho. Many thanks to all who could attend. Meeting minutes have been posted to the web site. Presented at the meeting was the 2015 Year in Review, available here, highlighting the great work of the Committees. Also, this was Jeff Anliker’s final official function as our Program Director. Jeff is a charter member and cornerstone of the Association, we wish him all the best in semi-retirement! Many thanks Jeff!

OPM Launches New Cyber Security Resource Center

Today, the US Office of Personnel Management established a verification center to help individuals who have had their information stolen in the malicious cyber intrusion carried out against the Federal Government. This verification center will help those who believe their data may have been taken but have not received a notification letter from the government.

The center will also assist individuals who have received a letter letting them know they were impacted by the background investigation records intrusion, but who have lost the PIN code that allows them to sign up for the free services that the Federal Government is providing.

While OPM is not aware of any misuse of your information, they are offering you, and any of your dependent minor children who were under the age of 18 as of July 1, 2015, credit and identity monitoring, identity theft insurance, and identity restoration services for the next three years through ID Experts, a company that specializes in identity theft protection.

To learn more, visit:

2016 General Schedule Localities and Rates

The President has transmitted to Congress a list of localities and rates for 2016. The list includes the new Albany-Schenectady locality.

This is posted as an alternative plan, meaning its an alternative from the plan that would be in place by statute. And of course, the alternative plan has lower locality adjustments than the statutory one. The good news, though, is that the overall raise should be around 1.3%, 1.0% to base and 0.3% (on average) to the locality adjustments.

Full salary tables should follow soon.

Localities and Rates (table from here)

FY16 National Defense Authorization Act Signed

The NDAA was originally vetoed, but after the budget deal was struck it was resubmitted to the President and signed into law on Nov. 25. This does not appropriate any money to the DoD, but it lays out major policies, programs, and projects, which should be funded by the Defense appropriation.

Interim FY16 spending authority is currently appropriated to all departments by a Continuing Resolution, set to expire Dec. 11, 2016.

Text of the NDAA is available here

Collecting Agency IT Points of Contact

The FEAWM Chair is putting together a training workshop to discuss the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity and how it can be applied to the federal and mission partner cyber environment associated with western Massachusetts. The goal is a workshop at HCC in the Jan/Feb timeframe, with a NIST or other agency specialist, who can walk the group through the framework and how it can be used. If you know someone in your agency that might be interested in this, please have them write to:
and they will be included in the planning.
The NIST Framework can be reviewed here.

New Leave Category for Disabled Vet Feds

On November 5, 2015, the President signed the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-75) (Act). The Act adds section 6329 to title 5, United States Code. This new section provides a separate new leave category, to be known as “disabled veteran leave,” to any new Federal employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more for purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability for which sick leave could regularly be used.

See link for full guidance.

Job Posting, MA National Guard Family Program

The Massachusetts National Guard Family Program has two openings within the Family Readiness Support program for Region #1 (Southeastern MA) and Region #3 (Western MA) . These positions’ home office will be Wellesley, MA, with Region #2 FRSA

MA Wellesley FRSA Job Posting

For more information, please see the attached flyer or contact Tanya Rioux at

The job announcement closes on Sunday, December 6th by 5pm.

President’s Pay Agent Memo

Not sure if this affects anyone in the 413, but FEB Greater Boston sent out a message with the memo linked below. Its a Nov 20 memo from the President’s Pay Agent regarding the Continuation of Locality Payments for certain Non-General Schedule Employees.
If you have any follow up questions, please contact OPM’s Pay Systems Office at
Memo indicating Continuation of Locality Pay