TOP HEADLINES

Report: DoD security clearances dropped by 15% over last two years

The Defense Department reduced the number of employees and contractors who hold security clearances over the last two years by more than 700,000 people, according to documents obtained by open government expert Steven Aftergood on his Secrecy News blog.

VA moves to standardized claims for disability benefits

The Veterans Affairs Department is now requiring veterans seeking disability benefits to use a standardized claims and appeals form that the agency says will make the process easier and more efficient. "This change will help VA provide faster and more accurate decisions to our veterans, their families and survivors," says Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey in March 25 statement.

Postal manager sentenced to 40 months in prison for contract bribery

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a former Postal Service station manager to nearly four years in prison after he exchanged USPS contracts for bribe payments, says a March 24 USPS inspector general statement. 

Senate Committee calls for Obama to nominate IGs for 10 agency vacancies

All 16 members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee sent a letter Monday to President Obama urging him to nominate permanent inspectors general at the 10 agencies who currently have vacancies.

USPS IG and economist spar over Postal Service's role in the private sector

Disagreement over the Postal Service's role in business outside of mail delivery sparked debate at a March 25 Brookings Institution event. The Postal Service needs to act as an intermediary between those who have access to digital services and those who don't, USPS Inspector General David Williams said at the event.

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FierceHomelandSecurity

A Transportation Security Administration official said the agency is ramping up marketing to enroll more eligible low-risk travelers who pay to go through an expedited screening program, but will continue to use a process that ferries higher-risk travelers through that same security checkpoint.

FierceCities

Provo, Utah will be the first community to try an experiment in democracy this spring by encouraging citizens to propose new legislation to the city's municipal council through an online forum.