Under current employee compensation laws, federal workers have little incentive to return to work, which lowers productivity and increases costs, a recently released Postal Service inspector general report says. USPS paid out about $1.3 billion in 2013 in workers' compensation. That's a 35 percent increase from what the agency paid out in 2008 despite significant cuts to its workforce, the report says.
The Army will notify 500 majors over the next month that they must leave the military due to a drawn down in force strength, an Aug. 1 Army statement says. The cuts are part of a process to reduce the Army to an end strength of 490,000 by the end of 2015. The active Army will further reduce its end-strength by 20,000 Soldiers in both 2016 and 2017, the statement says.
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House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) blasted the Labor Department over what he calls wasteful spending on promoting the agency. Issa wants the DOL to hand over documents and information related to agency spending and claims he has information that the DOL spent $600,000 on informational elevator posters, $25,000 in entry fees for public relations contests and $100,000 to promote a book club.
Nearly half of middle-class military families are worried about their job and financial security, a recently released survey by First Command Financial Services says. About 46 percent of military families making at least $50,000 a year said they were concerned about job security.
The Federal Trade Commission is warning D.C. residents that callers claiming to be from the FTC or Internal Revenue Service could actually be scammers. "Even if your phone's caller ID says 'FTC' or 'IRS,' or shows Washington, DC's '202' area code, it could still be a scam. Scammers know how to show fake information on caller ID," an Aug. 27 FTC statement says.
The Congressional Budget Office raised its projection for this fiscal year's federal deficit to $506 billion--up about $14 billion from its last project in April. The deficit projection panned out much better than previous years for President Obama. Last year's deficit came in at $680 billion, while in 2009 it ended up being about $1.1 trillion.
The General Services Administration needs to better target the buildings it uses in swap-construction exchanges, a recently released July 24 Government Accountability Office report. GSA has completed two swap-construction exchanges in which the agency exchanges title to federal property for constructed assets or construction services, such as renovation work, the report says.
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The former acting cybersecurity head of the Health and Human Services Department is facing sentencing after being convicted Aug. 26 by a federal jury on child pornography charges, the Justice Department said.
The Congressional Research Service questioned whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency has done enough to prepare for risks to national security in an Aug. 12 report archived by the Federation of American Scientists. The CRS brief doesn't supply any answers or suggestions but rather lays out questions it thinks should be answered after reading FEMA's National Preparedness Report.