Saturday, October 25, 2014

demonstration in Taipei, for gay marriage

同志大遊行(1)

There Is No Place at Which to Arrive

Can humility be practiced? Surely, to be conscious that you are humble is not to be humble. You want to know that you have arrived. This indicates, does it not, that you are listening in order to achieve a particular state, a place where you will never be disturbed, where you will find everlasting happiness, permanent bliss. But as I said previously, there is no arriving, there is only the movement of learning and that is the beauty of life. If you have arrived, there is nothing more. And all of you have arrived, or you want to arrive, not only in your business, but in everything you do; so you are dissatisfied, frustrated, miserable. Sirs, there is no place at which to arrive, there is just this movement of learning which becomes painful only when there is accumulation. A mind that listens with complete attention will never look for a result because it is constantly unfolding; like a river, it is always in movement. Such a mind is totally unconscious of its own activity, in the sense that there is no perpetuation of a self, of a "me," which is seeking to achieve an end. - Krishnamurti, J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

Friday, October 24, 2014

White House announces plan to train 50,000 people, including veterans, to install solar panels

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/us-train-veterans-install-solar-panels-part-initiative-reduce-carbon-dioxide-emissions/

A New Solar Energy Job-Training Pilot Program for Veterans

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/09/18/new-solar-energy-job-training-program-veterans

The White House announced that beginning 2014 fall the United States will launch a six-year job training program for America’s Veterans in the growing solar panel installation industry.

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/10/24/fell-swoop-obama-announces-solar-jobs-50000-veterans-addresses-climate-change.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Best air-filtering houseplants, according to NASA

http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/stories/best-air-filtering-houseplants-according-to-nasa

10 Best Plants to Grow Indoors for Air Purification

http://www.trueactivist.com/10-best-plants-to-grow-indoors-for-air-purification/

pug

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 CFR 9901.515 - Competitive examining procedures.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/5/9901.515

What is Competitive Examining?

http://www.opm.gov/FAQs/QA.aspx?fid=d5e0f29c-fcc1-4ee2-a9f1-67ef78c0dfe4&pid=a9629e62-25db-43a5-9680-1a21d1454e0f

COMPETITIVE HIRING

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/competitive-hiring/

創綠園頂《綠屋頂開心農場專案》蔬菜種植籃

http://www.pcstore.com.tw/herbs919/M18535760.htm

the Capacity for Boredom Is Essential for a Full Life

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/06/19/adam-phillips-boredom/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Taiwanese food

october is not equal to 3 months

S: I have been watched an interesting DVD for 3 moths.
C: what kind of DVD so interesting that you have to watch for 3 moths?
S: the DVD is "occupying a city in October"
C: October is just one month. How come it takes you 3 months to watch?

S: #@$%&*!+(%#*(^%@~$()_{$#@&+}$????
might writing too long (time) cause a mouse pad to break?
the mouse pad too cheap?
the hand too heavy?

one paper, one month

November ---- CE, due the end of Nov
December ---- VE, due the end of Dec

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Research Psychologist Angela Duckworth, 2013 MacArthur Fellow | MacArthu...

Grit, Not IQ, Predicts Success,Character is at least as important as intellect.

http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/09/26/angela-duckworth-grit/

Taiwanese food

pug looks seriously..........with all its soul............:)

The Civil Service Systems Governments Need for the Modern Era

http://www.governing.com/blogs/bfc/col-civil-service-public-workforce-update-modern-era.html

Time line of Veterans Preference in the Federal Civil Service

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide/#9



1865
First Veteranspreference (VP) in appointment law; for Union veterans separated for wounds or illnesses. Vets must have been honorably discharged and qualified for job.
1876
First VP in reduction in force (RIF) law
1919
After World War I, law grants VP to all honorably discharged veterans, their widows, and the spouses of veterans too disabled to work
1923
To distinguish between the preference and granted by the 1865 and 1919 laws, an Executive Order grants disabled vets 10 points and other vets 5 points, to be added to their individual numerical ratings in examinations (pt system first introduced)
1929
Executive Order places disabled vets at the top of examination lists of eligibles and continues 10 extra points
1944
VeteransPreference Act incorporates 1865, 1876, and 1919 laws, plus Executive Orders for extra points, passover protection, and rule of three. Continues to be cornerstone of Veteranscivil service legislation today (applied preference to active duty service during war, expedition, or campaign for which badge was authorized, must be separated under hon cond, rule of three)
1952
Amendment extended 1944 law to include active duty service from 4/28/52 - 7/1/55 Korean War
1966
Peacetime preference for Vietnam-era vets added active duty for >180 consecutive days between Jan 31 1955 and Oct 10, 1976; guard and reserve service not included
1967
Expanded 1967 act to all vets who served on active duty for >180 days (no req to serve during war, campaign, or conflict) between Jan 31, 1955 and Oct 10, 1976 (guard and reserve service not included)
1968
Executive Order creates VeteransTransitional Appointment, a new way for Vietnam-era veterans to enter Federal service without public examination. Forerunner of Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA)
1974
VRA enacted into law
1976
By law, veterans whose service begins after October 14, 1976 are granted preference only if they become disabled, or serve in a declared war, a campaign, or expedition. (This resulted from the end of the Vietnam conflict and draft, Department of Defenses desire to build a career military service, and Veteransgroups concern that preference was not appropriate for purely peacetime service.)
1978
Civil Service reform act creates new benefits for 30 percent or more disabled veterans; special appointing authority, and extra protection in hiring and retention. Preference ends for nondisabled retired majors and above. Efforts to broaden rule of three and make exceptions to numerical ratings in examinations defeated by Veteransgroups
1988
Law requires Dept. of Labor to report agencies' violations of Veteranspreference and failure to list vacancies with State employment services to OPM for enforcement
1990
VRA law amended to include post-Vietnam-era veterans, but end coverage of most Vietnam-era veterans
1992
VRA law revised to restore eligibility to Vietnam-era veterans
1997
Defense Appropriations Act grants preference to gulf war veterans and certain campaign medal holders in Bosnia (included guard or reserve service if for other than training)
2006
National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 109-163, granted preference to those serving on active duty in the armed forces for a period of more than 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on a date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The law also amended 5 U.S.C. 2108(1) clarifying that individuals discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces, as opposed to being separated, may receive veterans' preference provided they meet other applicable veterans' preference eligibility requirements.

A Brief History of Veterans Preference, OPM

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide/

Preference Before the Civil War

The use of preference in Federal appointments extends back to the days of the Revolutionary War. Though no legal basis existed to govern the treatment of war veterans, certain soldiers were rewarded for their service by the Federal government. Early forms of preference were often based on European models and featured the use of pensions, bonuses for service, disability allowance, and hospitalization for injuries incurred while in uniform, as rewards for service to one's country. It wasn't until the heyday of the spoils system, however, that appointments to Federal positions as a reward for military service become a popular practice. These appointments, however, were usually reserved for ex-officers, and not for the rank and file soldier.

Civil War to the end of World War I

Towards the end of the Civil War, congress passed the first significant Veterans preference legislation. This act provided that,
"Persons honorably discharged from the military or naval service by reason of disability resulting from wounds or sickness incurred in the line of duty shall be preferred for appointments to civil offices, provided they are found to possess the business capacity necessary for the proper discharge of the duties of such offices."
Under this legislation, preference in appointments was limited to disabled veterans who were otherwise qualified for the work to be performed. This 1865 law stood as the basic preference legislation until the end of World War I.
Along the way, however, several modifications were made to the 1865 legislation. An amendment in 1871 contained the first instance of "suitability" requirements for job seeking veterans. The language read as follows,
"The President is authorized to prescribe such regulations for the admission of persons into the civil service of the United States as may best promote the efficiency thereof, and ascertain the fitness of each candidate in respect to age, health, character, knowledge, and ability for the branch of service into which he seeks to enter, and for this purpose he may employ suitable persons to conduct such inquiries, and may prescribe their duties, and establish regulations for the conduct of persons who may receive appointment in the civil service."
In 1876, another Congressional amendment gave preference for RIF retention to veterans, their widows, and their orphans. This amendment marked the introduction of the use of preference as RIF protection. It provided:
"That in making any reduction in force in any of the executive departments the head of such department shall retain those persons who may be equally qualified who have been honorably discharged from the military or naval service of the United States and the widows and orphans of deceased soldiers and sailors."
Determination of the "equal qualifications" of a person entitled to preference under this law was left to the appointing officer.
In 1888, a Civil Service Commission regulation gave absolute preference to all disabled veterans over all other eligibles. In other words, they would qualify with a score of 65, when the minimum passing score for everyone else was a 70, and would be placed at the top of the certification list.
A year later, President Harrison issued an Executive Order allowing honorably discharged veterans who were former Federal employees to be reinstated without time limit. This was the first appearance of reinstatement eligibility as applied to veterans. In 1892, reinstatement rights were extended to the widows and orphans of veterans. The reinstatement provision was the last significant addition to preference legislation until 1919.

Preference Between the World Wars

The first major expansion of VeteransPreference benefits occurred in 1919 in the form of the Census Act. This act, amended shortly thereafter by the Deficiency Act of 1919 granted preference to all honorably discharged veterans, their widows, and the wives of injured veterans. An excerpt reads as follows:
"That hereafter in making appointments to clerical and other positions in the executive branch of the Government, in the District of Columbia or elsewhere preference shall be given to honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows of such, and to the wives of injured soldiers, sailors, and marines, who themselves are not qualified, but whose wives are qualified to hold such positions."
This act is significant for two reasons: it no longer emphasized a service-connected disability as the primary basis for granting Veteranspreference, and it introduced the concept of spousal preference in the appointing process. This act redefined eligible veterans to mean all persons who served in an active military capacity and were honorably discharged, whether the service was in wartime or peacetime. Added were their widows and the wives of those too disabled to qualify for government employment. This act remained the basic Federal law for appointment preference until June 27, 1944, when the VeteransPreference Act of 1944 was enacted.
Two significant modifications were made to the 1919 Act. In 1923, an Executive Order was created which added a 10-points to the score of disabled veterans and added 5-points to the scores of non-disabled veterans. This was the first time the points were added to the examination scores in the appointing process. Under this Executive Order, however, veterans were no longer placed at the top of the certification lists. In 1929, another executive order restored the placement of 10-point disabled veterans to the top of certification lists.
In 1938, a Civil Service Commission rule required that the decision by an appointing official to pass over a veteran and select a non-veteran for appointment be subject to review by the commission. Language regarding the passover of eligible veterans existed in earlier executive orders, but these early versions only required that the CSC be notified if a passover occurred. The 1938 rule strengthened this requirement and marked the first time that the Commission could overturn the passover if it did not regard the reasons as being adequate.
VeteransPreference Act of 1944
Veterans preference, as it exists today, derives from the VeteransPreference Act of 1944. This act, to a large extent, resulted from the veterans organizations' desire to elevate the existing Executive and regulatory orders governing preference to the level of National policy. With a victorious end to World War II clearly in sight, both Congress and the Administration were sympathetic to the veterans organizations' objective. In his endorsement of the legislation, President Roosevelt wrote,
"I believe that the Federal Government, functioning in its capacity as an employer, should take the lead in assuring those who are in the armed forces that when they return special consideration will be given to them in their efforts to obtain employment. It is absolutely impossible to take millions of our young men out of their normal pursuits for the purpose of fighting to preserve the Nation, and then expect them to resume their normal activities without having any special consideration shown them."
The act, in essence, was a consolidation of the various preference provision already in effect by the various Executive Orders and CSC regulations. It went a step further by broadening and strengthening existing Veteranspreference rules by giving them legislative sanction. Thus, the Executive Branch could no longer change the provisions of Veteranspreference. Any changes must now be sought through legislation. In addition, the act made clear that preference was a to be a reward for patriotic duties by a grateful country willing to recognize the sacrifices of its servicemen when peace comes. The Act would help ensure that veterans obtain or regain an economic position they otherwise would have attained had they not served in the armed forces.
The Veterans preference Act of 1944 defined to whom and under what circumstances preference would be granted. It provided that Preference be given in competitive examinations, in appointments to positions in the Federal service, in reinstatement to positions, in reemployment, and in retention during reductions in force. Preference would apply to civilian positions - permanent or temporary - in all departments, agencies, bureaus, administrations, establishments, and projects of the Federal Government, and in the civil service of the District of Columbia. Further, the law provided that preference apply to positions in the classified civil service (now the competitive service), the unclassified civil service (positions excepted from the competitive service), and in any temporary or emergency establishment, agency, bureau, administration, project and department created by acts of Congress or Presidential Executive order. The legislative and judicial branches of the Government, as well as positions in the executive branch, which are required to be confirmed by the Senate, except Postmaster-ships, in the first-, second-, and third-class post offices were exempt from the Act.
The Act originally granted preference to non-disabled veterans, disabled veterans, wives of disabled veterans, and the widows of disabled veterans. These were substantially the same groups granted preference under previous laws and regulations with two exceptions. Non-disabled veterans whose only service was performed during peacetime and the wives of non-service-connected disabled veterans over 55 years of age were no longer eligible for preference.
VeteransPreference Since 1944
In 1948, the Veterans Preference Act of 1944 was amended to include the mothers of veterans. Mother preference was granted to certain widowed, or divorced or legally separated mothers of veterans (men and women) who (a) died under honorable conditions while on active duty in any branch of the armed forces of the United States in wartime or in peacetime campaigns or expeditions for which campaign badges or service medals have been authorized; or (b) have permanent and total service-connected disabilities which disqualify them for civil service appointment to positions along the general line of their usual occupations. In the case of such widowed mothers, preference was granted provided they were widowed at the time of death or disability of the veteran and had not remarried. The divorced or legally separated mothers were granted preference only if the veteran was the mother's only child. This provision was later amended in 1950 to allow preference to mothers who are living with their husbands but whose husbands are totally and permanently disabled.
In 1952, a bill was passed granting preference benefits to those honorably separated veterans who served on active duty in any branch of the armed forces of the United States during the period beginning April 28, 1952 and ending July 1, 1955 (the period after the termination of the state of war between the United States and the Government of Japan during which persons could be inducted under existing law for training and service in the armed forces). The bill also extended preference to the widows and mothers of such veterans.
The Vietnam conflict in the 1960s resulted in several modifications of the VP law of 1944. In 1966, legislation was passed which granted peace-time preference for Vietnam-era vets who served on active duty for more that 180 consecutive days between January 31 1955 and Oct 10, 1976; National guard and reserve service was excluded from this legislation.
In 1967 legislation was passed which expanded preference to all veterans who served on active duty for more than 180 days (no requirement to serve during war, campaign, or conflict) between January 31, 1955 and October 10, 1976. As with the previous year's law, National guard and reserve service was not included in this expansion.
The end of the Vietnam conflict brought with it yet another law, passed in 1976. This law put added restrictions on veterans whose service begins after October 14, 1976. For post-Vietnam era veterans, preference was granted only if theses veterans became disabled, or served in a declared war, a campaign, or expedition. This legislation was the result of the conclusion of the Vietnam conflict and its draft, the Department of Defenses' desire to build a career military service, and veterans organizations' concern that preference was not appropriate for purely peacetime service.
The Civil Service reform act of 1978 created new benefits for veterans with a 30 percent or more disability. It also gave veterans extra protection in hiring and retention. Under this act, preference was no longer granted to nondisabled veterans who retired at the rank of major or above.
In 1988, a law was passed that required the Department of Labor to report agencies' violations of Veteranspreference and failure to list vacancies with State employment services to the Office of Personnel Management for enforcement.
The last major legislation affecting Veteranspreference occurred in the form of the Defense Appropriations act of 1997. Under this legislation, preference was accorded to anyone who served on active duty during the Gulf War period (August 2, 1990 through January 2, 1992). This law also granted preference to certain service members who earned campaign medals for service in Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Endeavor (November 20, 1995 through December 20, 1996) or Operation Joint Guard (December 20, 1996 through a date designated by the Secretary of Defense).


VA history in brief

http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/archives/docs/history_in_brief.pdf

The Governmentwide Veterans’ Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan for FY 2010-FY 2012

http://www.fedshirevets.gov/pdf/Vets_Initiative_Strategic_Plan.pdf

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fed Figures 2014: Federal Hiring - Partnership for Public Service

www.ourpublicservice.org/OPS/publications/download.php?id=245

OPM Announces Increase in Percentage of Veterans Hired for the Federal Executive Branch

http://www.opm.gov/news/releases/2013/10/opm-announces-increase-in-percentage-of-veterans-hired-for-the-federal-executive-branch/

Report on the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch for Fiscal Year 2012

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/diversity-and-inclusion/reports/disability-report-fy2012.pdf

When Uber and Airbnb Meet the Real World

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/upshot/when-uber-lyft-and-airbnb-meet-the-real-world.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

Zach Wahls Speaks About Family

This Is What Happens When You Are Raised By Two Lesbians

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/07/04/this-is-what-happens-when-you-are-raised-by-two-lesbians/

A poster from Ohio State University's Yes is Sexy Campaign.

Friday, October 17, 2014

One student's path from homeless shelter to Georgetown

Hearing echoes of Berkeley in student activism today

Journal of Industrial Ecology

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1530-9290

Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen

http://www.jbjsoulkitchen.org/en
deadline--- the end of November

The Best Mi Quang in Los Angeles

http://www.kcet.org/living/food/the-nosh/have-you-eaten/the-best-mi-quang-in-los-angeles.html

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Whole Foods to Rate Its Produce and Flowers for Environmental Impact

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/16/business/whole-foods-to-rate-its-produce-and-flowers-for-environmental-impact.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&_r=0

Kesha accuses producer Dr Luke of sexual and emotional abuse

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/29625190

Should the terminally ill be able to choose when they die?

Certificate: A list of eligibles submitted to an appointing officer for employment consideration.

Competitive examining

A process for considering applicants to the competitive service under which all qualified U.S. citizens or nationals may apply, including current and former employees

No person shall be given any appointment in the competitive service unless such person is a citizen or national of the United States.  5 C.F.R. § 7.3 (b).

OPM may authorize the appointment of aliens to positions in the competitive service in “specific cases” when necessary. 5 C.F.R. § 7.3(c).
Agencies must fully specify the category rating plan before announcing the position

Quality categories must be established and defined by the employing agency prior to announcing the job.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Delegated Examining Operations Handbook, at 101,
available at www.opm.gov/deu

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/reference-materials/guidetosesquals_2012.pdf

explaining that the hiring agency chooses the selection method, advertises the position, evaluates each candidate’s qualification, and selects a candidate.

The agency then “forwards the candidate’s application” to OPM for consideration by an OPM -administered QRB)

Senior Executive Service

All SES candidates must have their qualifications certified by a Qualifications Review Board
(QRB) before being appointed as career members of the SES.

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/selection-process/#url=Qualifications-Review-Board
Congress chose not only to codify the Gilpatric memorandum in 1964 but to expand it.

Where the Gilpatric memorandum gave Department secretaries or their designees the authority to waive the restriction on hiring a recently retired military member, the statute assigned this authority to the CSC for any position in the competitive service, and following the CSRA, to OPM.

The law also applied the restriction to the entirety of DoD and not just to installations where the retiring military member had served recently.

Pub. L. No. 88-448; S. Rep 88-935, Mar. 4, 1964.

180-day rule

For 50 years, there has been a law that restricts the appointment within DoD of a retired member of the armed forces within 180 days of his or her retirement—the so-called “180-day rule.”159 However, this law contains exceptions to its restrictions.

5 U.S.C. § 3326(b)

Some Harvard Professors Oppose Policy on Assaults

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/16/education/harvard-law-professors-back-away-from-sexual-misconduct-policy.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&_r=0

Classification & Qualifications: General schedule qualification policies

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=Overview

Attorney Positions (GS-905 and GS-1222)

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is prohibited by law from examining for attorney positions or establishing qualification requirements for them. Therefore, Federal agencies that employ attorneys set their own requirements.

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=Technical-NotesUpdates

selective factors

A selective factor is a specific qualification, beyond the minimum requirements established by
OPM, which is absolutely required for a job because a person cannot perform successfully in the position without such qualification. A particular knowledge, skill, or ability can be used as a selective factor.

See U.S. Office of Personnel Management, General Schedule Qualification Policies, available at
www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general -schedule-qualification-policies/.

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=1072040&version=1076346&application=ACROBAT

Preserving the Integrity of the Federal Merit Systems: Understanding and Addressing Perceptions of Favoritism

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=945850&version=949626&application=ACROBAT

MSPB  2013
recognize that a perception is not the same as a proven fact. In general, it is difficult to use perception
data to determine actual rates of PPPs because most PPPs require an element of motive, and while observers can use circumstantial evidence to reach assumptions about motive, such assumptions may be erroneous. Additionally, the veterans’ preference PPP requires that the offender’s violation be done knowingly. In many cases, it may be unrealistic to expect an observer to have a complete understanding of the perceived offender’s knowledge level

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=1072040&version=1076346&application=ACROBAT

Federal Appointment Authorities: Cutting through the Confusion

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=350930&version=351511&

intent, motivation

5 U.S.C. §§ 2302(b)(6), (11) (internal punctuation modified); see Special Counsel v. Lee , 114
M.S.P.R. 57, ¶ 21 (2010) (explaining that it is not legally permissible to select one specific type of hiring authority over another if the intent is to afford preferential treatment to an individual), rev'd in part on other grounds in Beatrez v. Merit Systems Protection Board , 413 F. App’x 298 (Fed. Cir. 2011).

Managing Public Employees in the Public Interest: Employee Perspectives on Merit Principles in Federal Workplaces

2013

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=790793&version=793798&application=ACROBAT

VRA, qualification

The categories of qualified individuals are:

(i) Disabled veterans.

(ii) Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized.

(iii) Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order No. 12985.

(iv) Recently separated veterans.

preference, veterans, excepted service

Williams v. Department of Air Force , 97 M.S.P.R. 252, ¶ 8 (2004) (explaining veterans’preference ranking order for a VRA appointment)

38 U.S.C. § 4214(b)(1)(C) (granting a preference in VRA appointments to veterans entitled to disability compensation)

5 C.F.R. § 302.201 (explaining the application of preference in the excepted service)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Taiwanese food

The Probationary Period: A Critical Assessment Opportunity

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=224555&version=224774

excepted service

excepted service has been used to refer to:

(1) the status of a person based on the nature of his or her appointment authority or position ( e.g. VRA or attorney); (2) a position based on the nature of the work (e.g. attorney or chaplain); or (3) an agency based on its mission ( e.g. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency).

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=1072040&version=1076346&application=ACROBAT

VEOA and PPP11, USERRA

VEOA created an additional PPP, codified at 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(11) (prohibiting a knowing violation of a preference right).

VEOA also created a procedure for veterans and preference eligibles to seek redress for a violation of a preference right. See 5 U.S.C. § 3330a.

VEOA is distinct from the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (codified at 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301-4333) (USERRA), which protects reemployment rights for individuals returning from a period of service in the uniformed services (including the reserves or National Guard) and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligations.

merit promotion procedures

This is also referred to as a “merit promotion program” or “merit staffing program.”

Compare 5 U.S.C. § 3304(f)(1) (merit promotion procedures) with U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Guide to Processing Personnel Actions , Glossary, available at www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysisdocumentation/personnel-documentation/processing-personnel-actions/gppa35.pdf (merit promotion program and merit staffing program).

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/personnel-documentation/processing-personnel-actions/gppa35.pdf

MERIT STAFFING PROGRAM—The system under which agencies consider an employee for vacant positions on the basis of personal merit.
Vacant positions are usually filled through competition with applicants being evaluated and ranked for the position on the basis of their experience, education, skills and performance record. (5 CFR part 335)

Register

Registers are used to establish a list of qualified applicants for positions that are frequently vacant so that the agency need not issue a new vacancy announcement each time it intends to hire

age requirement

unless the age requirement is essential to the performance of the duties of the position, agencies are, generally, permitted to set age restrictions for certain positions, such as air traffic controller, firefighter, law enforcement officer, nuclear materials courier, customs and border protection officer, or foreign service special agent. See 5 U.S.C. § 3307; 22 U.S.C. § 4823.

Veteran Hiring in the Civil Service: Practices and Perceptions, 2014, MSPB report
note # 62


Categorica l Grouping Treats Veterans Better than Rule of three

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=255795&version=256084&application=ACROBAT

Taiwanese food

試題問雨傘運動 學生天才應答

學生用數字言簡意賅地回答試卷。(網路圖片)

MSPB, Clean Record Settlement Agreements and the Law.

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=938820&version=942573&application=ACROBAT

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=938867&version=942620&application=ACROBAT

when asked about past employment, if an individual intentionally fails to disclose that he or she was removed or left a job by mutual agreement the individual’s lack of candor can be a basis for removal and debarment from Federal service

Obama streamlines federal hiring process

http://fcw.com/articles/2010/05/11/federal-hiring-process-memo.aspx

President Obama today issued a memo that overhauls the federal hiring process and banishes the "rule of three." The memo now requires agencies to let applicants use résumés and eliminates the essay questions that many agencies required all applicants to submit.
The Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) essay questions are often required of everyone applying for a federal government position, even though many of them could easily be eliminated based on education or work histories. Critics have long argued that the application process for federal jobs is too cumbersome, and the KSAs are one element contributing to that.
The memo orders agencies to "eliminate any requirement that applicants respond to essay-style questions when submitting their initial application materials for any federal job."
The rule of three previously allowed agency managers to narrow the applicant pool down to the the three highest-scoring candidates and select the eventual hiree from among those. The memo orders agencies to select from a larger pools of applicants.
The memo also instructs managers and supervisors to be more fully involved in the hiring process and holds them "accountable for recruiting and hiring highly qualified employees and supporting their successful transition into federal service."
Federal labor unions were supportive of the measures in the memo but criticized what they believe to be Obama's tepid approach to reforming the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP), which they said they believe agencies are using to sidestep the hiring process.
"Reforms to the competitive hiring process will accomplish little if agencies are permitted to continue to avoid competitive hiring by misusing excepted service hiring authority, particularly the Federal Career Intern Program," wrote Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, in the union's official response to the memo. "NTEU wants the FCIP ended now and is working to accomplish that goal. While the White House memorandum does not end the FCIP, I am pleased to see that it has directed the Office of Personnel Management to evaluate agency use of the FCIP and make recommendations about that program to the president within 90 days. "
"A fair review will show clearly that agencies are using the FCIP in ways not contemplated when the program was initiated," Kelley wrote. "Everyone agrees it is not an intern program under any commonly accepted definition. It has also proven to be particularly unfair to veterans. I am confident a review will result in a recommendation to end the program."
The American Federation of Government Employees issued an unsigned statement that expresses a similar sentiment.
"Numerous agencies have been using the FCIP almost exclusively for new hires, evading competitive procedures and veterans’ preference in the process," AFGE officials wrote. "While the Obama administration has committed to evaluate the use of the FCIP, there is already ample evidence that the FCIP is on the verge of replacing the competitive service."

banish rule of three" Presidential Memorandum -- Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-improving-federal-recruitment-and-hiring-process

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process
To deliver the quality services and results the American people expect and deserve, the Federal Government must recruit and hire highly qualified employees, and public service should be a career of choice for the most talented Americans.  Yet the complexity and inefficiency of today's Federal hiring process deters many highly qualified individuals from seeking and obtaining jobs in the Federal Government.
I therefore call on executive departments and agencies (agencies) to overhaul the way they recruit and hire our civilian workforce.  Americans must be able to apply for Federal jobs through a commonsense hiring process and agencies must be able to select high-quality candidates efficiently and quickly.  Moreover, agency managers and supervisors must assume a leadership role in recruiting and selecting employees from all segments of our society.  Human resource offices must provide critical support for these efforts.  The ability of agencies to perform their missions effectively and efficiently depends on a talented and engaged workforce, and we must reform our hiring system to further strengthen that workforce.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 3301 of title 5, United States Code, I hereby direct the following:
 Section 1.  Directions to Agencies.  Agency heads shall take the following actions no later than November 1, 2010:
 (a)  consistent with merit system principles and other requirements of title 5, United States Code, and subject to guidance to be issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), adopt hiring procedures that:
 (1)  eliminate any requirement that applicants respond to essay-style questions when submitting their initial application materials for any Federal job;
 (2)  allow individuals to apply for Federal employment by submitting resumes and cover letters or completing simple, plain language applications, and assess applicants using valid, reliable tools; and
 (3)  provide for selection from among a larger number of qualified applicants by using the "category rating" approach (as authorized by section 3319 of title 5, United States Code), rather than the "rule of 3" approach, under which managers may only select from among the three highest scoring applicants;
 (b)  require that managers and supervisors with responsibility for hiring are:
 (1)  more fully involved in the hiring process, including planning current and future workforce requirements, identifying the skills required for the job, and engaging actively in the recruitment and, when applicable, the interviewing process; and
 (2)  accountable for recruiting and hiring highly qualified employees and supporting their successful transition into Federal service, beginning with the first performance review cycle starting after November 1, 2010;
 (c)  provide the OPM and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) timelines and targets to:
 (1)  improve the quality and speed of agency hiring by:
 (i)    reducing substantially the time it takes to hire mission-critical and commonly filled positions;
 (ii)   measuring the quality and speed of the hiring process; and
 (iii)  analyzing the causes of agency hiring problems and actions that will be taken to reduce them; and
 (2)  provide every agency hiring manager training on effective, efficient, and timely ways to recruit and hire well-qualified individuals;
 (d)  notify individuals applying for Federal employment through USAJOBS, an OPM-approved Federal web-based employment search portal, about the status of their application at key stages of the application process; and
 (e)  identify a senior official accountable for leading agency implementation of this memorandum.
 Sec. 2.  Directions to the OPM.  The OPM shall take the following actions no later than 90 days after the date of this memorandum:
 (a)  establish a Government-wide performance review and improvement process for hiring reform actions described in section 1 of this memorandum, including:
 (1)  a timeline, benchmarks, and indicators of progress;
 (2)  a goal-focused, data-driven system for holding agencies accountable for improving the quality and speed of agency hiring, achieving agency hiring reform targets, and satisfying merit system principles and veterans' preference requirements; and
 (b)  develop a plan to promote diversity in the Federal workforce, consistent with the merit system principle (codified at 5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(1)) that the Federal Government should endeavor to achieve a workforce from all segments of society;
 (c)  evaluate the Federal Career Intern Program established by Executive Order 13162 of July 6, 2000, provide recommendations concerning the future of that program, and propose a framework for providing effective pathways into the Federal Government for college students and recent college graduates;
 (d)  provide guidance or propose regulations, as appropriate, to streamline and improve the quality of job announcements for Federal employment to make sure they are easily understood by applicants;
 (e)  evaluate the effectiveness of shared registers used in filling positions common across multiple agencies and develop a strategy for improving agencies' use of these shared registers for commonly filled Government-wide positions;
 (f)  develop a plan to increase the capacity of USAJOBS to provide applicants, hiring managers, and human resource professionals with information to improve the recruitment and hiring processes; and
 (g)  take such further administrative action as appropriate to implement sections 1 and 2 of this memorandum.
 Sec. 3.  Senior Administration Officials.  Agency heads and other senior administration officials visiting university or college campuses on official business are encouraged to discuss career opportunities in the Federal Government with students.
 Sec. 4.  Reporting.  (a)  The OPM, in coordination with the OMB and in consultation with other agencies, shall develop a public human resources website to:
 (1)  track key human resource data, including progress on hiring reform implementation; and
 (2)  assist senior agency leaders, hiring managers, and human resource professionals with identifying and replicating best practices within the Federal Government for improving new employee quality and the hiring process.
 (b)  Each agency shall regularly review its key human resource performance and work with the OPM and the OMB to achieve timelines and targets for correcting agency hiring problems.
 (c)  The OPM shall submit to the President an annual report on the impact of hiring initiatives set forth in this memorandum, including its recommendations for further improving the Federal Government's hiring process.
 Sec. 5.  General Provisions.  (a)  Except as expressly stated herein, nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
 (1)  authority granted by law or Executive Order to an agency, or the head thereof; or
 (2)  functions of the Director of the OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
 (b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
 (c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
 (d)  The Director of the OPM, in consultation with the OMB, may grant an exception to any of the requirements set forth in section 1 of this memorandum to an agency that demonstrates that exceptional circumstances prevent it from complying with that requirement.

competitive service

The majority of federal, civilian positions are considered a part of the competitive service. Competitive service employees are hired through the regular application and hiring process outlined by the Office of Personnel Management.

Competitive service announcements are open to the general public and must be posted on USAJOBS.

Veterans’ Preference

special hiring authority established for veterans who

1. served on active duty for at least two years during a time of war

2. were disabled as a result of their time in service

Candidates receive an additional five to ten points on their total application score—five points for preference eligible veterans and ten points for veterans who were disabled as a result of their service. Veterans’ preference does not guarantee federal employment.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

a set of questions designed to establish a job candidate’s combination of knowledge, skills and abilities related to the job in which they are applying. KSAs require that several short answer responses to assess soft and technical skills, which help agencies select top candidates.

Category Rating

a method of categorizing job applicants and selecting the most qualified individuals based on their set of knowledge, skills and abilities. This alternative rating system does not rely on a numerical rating system and does not have to follow the rule of three (only contacting the top three candidates), thus increasing the amount of top candidates an agency has to choose from.

Rule of Three

Rule of Three:

a strategy within the federal hiring process where only the top three candidates with the highest number of application points are considered for employment. A candidate below the top three scoring applicants may not be selected for the position unless a higher scoring applicant declines or is appointed to the position.

Common terms in federal hiring

COMPETITIVE SERVICE

The majority of federal, civilian positions are considered a part of the competitive service. Competitive service employees are hired through the regular application and hiring process outlined by the Office of  Personnel Management. Competitive service announcements are open to the general public and must be posted on USAJOBS.

• Rule of Three: a strategy within the federal hiring process where only the top three candidates
with the highest number of application points are considered for employment. A candidate below
the top three scoring applicants may not be selected for the position unless a higher scoring
applicant declines or is appointed to the position.

• Category Rating: a method of categorizing job applicants and selecting the most qualified
individuals based on their set of knowledge, skills and abilities. This alternative rating system
does not rely on a numerical rating system and does not have to follow the rule of three (only
contacting the top three candidates), thus increasing the amount of top candidates an agency has
to choose from.

• Direct Hire: when hiring managers make job offers to applicants without having to go through
the full application process. Direct hire authority can be used for permanent, nonpermanent or
group positions for grade GS-1 through GS-15.

• Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP): a program intended for federal employees who are
being laid off and have been given special preference to find another position in a different part of
their agency.

• Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) – a program intended for federal
employees who are being laid off and have been given special preference to find another position
at an agency that isn't downsizing the same type of position.

• Reduction in Force: a personnel action that moves an employee to a position of lower grade and
pay. This may be necessary due to lack of work, shortage of funds, reorganization or a
reclassification of an employee’s position.

• Veterans’ Preference: special hiring authority established for veterans who served on active
duty for at least two years during a time of war or who were disabled as a result of their time in
service. Candidates receive an additional five to ten points on their total application score—five
points for preference eligible veterans and ten points for veterans who were disabled as a result of
their service. Veterans’ preference does not guarantee federal employment.

• Administrative Careers with America (ACWA) Examining: assessments for particular
positions, such as acquisitions, to determine if candidates have enough competencies and training
to be selected for certain administrative entry-level GS-5 and GS-7 jobs.

• Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs): a set of questions designed to establish a job
candidate’s combination of knowledge, skills and abilities related to the job in which they are
applying. KSAs require that several short answer responses to assess soft and technical skills,
which help agencies select top candidates.

 • Status Eligible: current or former federal employees who have held permanent, competitive
appointments. These personnel are eligible for noncompetitive movement within the competitive
service and can receive an appointment by promotion, reassignment, transfer, or reinstatement.

• Merit Promotion: using a process by which federal government promotes and hires employees
based on their ability to perform a specific job, rather than their political affiliation. The system is
designed to recruit a competent work force and provide equal opportunity for employment.

• Senior Executive Service (SES): refers to positions beyond the highest level of the General
Schedule (GS-15). Such positions involve heightened managerial and policy making skills and
responsibility and are set apart from most other positions in the competitive service.

EXCEPTED SERVICE


Through the excepted service, agencies can use a streamlined hiring process rather than the regular,
competitive process to meet a special or critical hiring need. Agencies can use their own evaluation
criteria to fill their vacancies. Agencies use this process to hire individuals with specific backgrounds or hard-to-recruit occupations, such as attorneys, chaplains, and medical doctors. Excepted service positions are not always posted on USAJOBS.

• Schedule A: used when there are special jobs or situations where it is impractical to use the
standard qualification requirements of competitive procedures. These are jobs such as chaplains,
doctors, interpreters, and other experts. Other instances where this appointment is used include: a
critical hiring need, a temporary or term job in a remote location, when a commission must be
rapidly established or when only non-citizens are available to fill the position.

• Schedule B: used for candidates that fit the qualification requirements for the position, but are
not required to complete the regular application process. For example, students under the STEP
and SCEP programs and the Federal Career Intern Program are eligible for this appointment type.

• Schedule C: used for the hiring of political appointees, when deemed appropriate by OPM.

APPOINTMENTS

• Temporary: a nonpermanent position generally lasting for one year, but may extend to two
years. Temporary appointees can earn vacation days and sick leave, but do not qualify for other
benefits, such as health insurance. Due to the nonpermanent nature of temporary appointments,
these employees cannot be promoted and cannot achieve competitive status. The types of
positions involve intermittent or seasonal work schedules.

• Term: a nonpermanent position similar to a temporary appointment. Term appointments begin
with a trial year where the employee can be let go. After the trial year, the position can last up to
four years beyond the initial start date. Term employees earn vacation days, sick leave, health
insurance, life insurance and retirement benefits. Like temporary employees, term employees
cannot be promoted and do not achieve competitive status.

• Career Conditional: in the competitive service (not excepted service or temporary or term
appointment), new federal employees work as a career-conditional appointment. An employee
must complete three years of substantially continuous service before becoming a full career
employee. After 90 days, an individual is eligible for competitive status.

MSPB, The Rule of Three in Federal Hiring: Boon or Bane

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=253660&version=253947&application=ACROBAT

Prohibited Personnel Practices—A Study Retrospective

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=506980&version=508422&application=ACROBAT

2 methods to conduct competitive examining

two statutorily authorized methods to conduct competitive examining:
(1) the rule of three
(2) category rating

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=1072040&version=1076346&application=ACROBAT

Delegated Examining Operations Handbook: A Guide for Federal Agency Examining Offices

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/competitive-hiring/deo_handbook.pdf

competitive examining process & flowchart

There are six major steps in the competitive examining process. Each major step involves tasks that the human resources specialist must perform in the process. After completing each task within each major step, the human resources specialist continues to the next step and task until all the steps and tasks are completed.

Step 1: Identify Job and Assessment; proceed to Step 1 - Task 1.
Task 1 - Review Hiring Flexibilities; proceed to Step 1 - Task 2.
Task 2 - Conduct Job Analysis and Identify Competencies/KSAs; proceed to Step 1 - Task 3.
Task 3 - Identify Assessment Tools; proceed to Step 1 - Task 4.
Task 4 - Submit Request to Delegated Examining Office; proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Recruit and Announce Job; proceed to Step 2 - Task 1.
Task 1 - Recruit; proceed to Step 2 - Task 2.
Task 2 -- Create a Job Announcement; proceed to Step 2 - Task 3.
Task 3 -- Satisfy Public Notice Requirements; proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Recruit and Announce Job; proceed to Step 3 - Task 1.
Task 1 -- Review for: Age, Citizenship, CTAP/ICTAP, Veterans' Preference and Other Requirements.
If applicant does not meet Step 3, Task 1; proceed to Step 3 - Task 3.
If applicant does meet Step 3 - Task 1; proceed to Step 3 - Task 2.
Task 2 -- Qualification Review:
If applicant does not meet Step 3 - Task 2; proceed to Step 3 - Task 3.
If applicant does meet Step 3 - Task 2; proceed to Step 4.
Task 3 -- Notify Applicants. End of process
Step 4: Assess Applicants; proceed to Step 4 - Task 1.
Task 1 -- Rate and Rank (including Veterans' Preference); proceed to Step 4 - Task 2.
Task 2 -- Apply either Case Examining or Competitor Inventory Procedures; proceed to Step 5.
Step 5: Certify Eligibles; proceed to Step 5 - Task 1.
Task 1 -- Place Eligibles in Order of Selection (Apply Veterans' Preference); proceed to Step 5 - Task 2.
Task 2 -- Issue Certificate; proceed to Step 6.
Step 6: Select; proceed to Step 6 - Task 1.
Task 1 -- Audit (Verification); proceed to Step 6 - Task 2.
Task 2 -- Process ends

http://archive.opm.gov/deu/deo_flowchart01.asp

flowchart 
http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/competitive-hiring/deo_handbook.pdf

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)

http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/

tango, dictionary

http://candle.fl.nthu.edu.tw/collocation/webform2.aspx

just the word, dictionary

http://www.just-the-word.com/

Netspeak, dictionary

http://www.netspeak.org/

Details & Transfers

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/details-transfers/

Reinstatement

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/reinstatement/

Competitive hiring

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/competitive-hiring/

Hiring Authorities

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/

MSPB, merit principle survey

http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=576793&version=578506&application=ACROBAT

OPM, Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Glossary

Glossary of Terms Used in Processing Personnel Actions

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/personnel-documentation/processing-personnel-actions/gppa35.pdf

OPM Central Personnel Data File (CPDF)

https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/central-personnel-data-file-cpdf-status-data

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/data-policy-guidance/reporting-guidance/ge60.pdf

MSPB surveys

the 2010 Merit Principles Survey (MPS)

the 2011 Federal Merit Systems Survey (FMSS)

the 2011 Fair and Open Competition Survey (FOCS)

Looking back at peace-promoting work of Yousafzai, Satyarthi

Making room for micro-entrepreneurs in the sharing economy

taskrabbit

https://www.taskrabbit.com/

airbnb

https://www.airbnb.com/?af=1922719&c=A_TC%3Dm84nccm9s3%26G_MT%3De%26G_CR%3D22111491256%26G_N%3Dg%26G_K%3Dairbnb%26G_P%3D&gclid=CJ3SqavPqcECFcaXvQod8G8AHA

Street art inspires redesign of accessibility icon

Free Trade Explained In An Excellent Comic

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/free-trade-explained-in-an-excellent-comic/

Sunday, October 12, 2014

emphasize

http://sentence.yourdictionary.com/emphasize

your dictionary

http://sentence.yourdictionary.com/emphasize