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.
The government's data on its own property wasn't sufficiently reliable to supper good decisions about excess and underutilized property, Government Accountability Office July 29 prepared testimony says. The Federal Real Property Council had not ensured that key data elements of the Federal Real Property Profile were defined and reported consistently and accurately, the testimony says.
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Federal procurement officers tend to favor lowest price over technically acceptable contract vehicles because of the scrutiny placed on spending in tough budget times and that makes it difficult for those contracting officers to take risks, Federal Acquisition Service Regional Commissioner Tiffany Hixson said in an interview. "Right now there is a culture of being risk averse almost to point of taking no risk for fear of being criticized," Hixson said. "That's really driving some of the LPTA preference."
Talks of another possible government shutdown in October are starting as Congress has stalled on passing appropriations bills and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has fired the first shot. But this time, defunding the Affordable Care Act isn't the impediment like it was last year. It's President Obama's use of executive power.
The House Oversight Committee chairman wants answers from the Commerce Department about why reports show that patent examiners and paralegals lied about their hours while teleworking. At the end of July, the Commerce Department inspector general found that many paralegal specialists at the PTO "were frequently paid to do nothing". The practice persisted over several years even as a backlog of appeals cases grew during that time.
The federal government's complex hiring rules favoring veterans have caused federal workers to think vets get unfair treatment, a recently released Merit Systems Protection Board report says. "Some of the perceptions of inappropriate favoritism may have been a result of the complex hiring process and a proliferation of hiring authorities, which can invite misunderstandings and provide opportunities for suspicion," the report says.
Medicare could catch more duplicative payments if it improved post payment reviews done by independent contractors, a recently released July 18 Government Accountability Office report says. The GAO says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services doesn't have the information it needs to know whether contractors are conducting inappropriate duplicative claims reviews because CMS doesn't adequately monitor data on the contractors.
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A team of university researchers said, in lab tests, they were able to hide firearms and other contraband from full-body, backscatter X-ray machines that were used at U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013.
The department on Aug. 18 published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, asking the public and other stakeholders how to 'fullly mature' the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, or CFATS, program and improve it.