IG: DOI not tracking conference spending

The Interior Department failed to accurately track its conference and could not provide actual cost information for 10 of its conferences, an Aug. 28 DOI inspector general report says. The IG looked at ten DOI conferences that exceeded $20,000 and found significant differences between estimated and actual costs, the report says.

Obama to propose 1 percent pay raise for feds

President Obama plans to raise pay for federal workers by 1 percent starting in January 2015, an Aug. 29 White House statement on the National Treasury Employees Union website says. But even with the sacrifice federal workers have made over the last few years with pay freezes, they will have to continue to endure a pay raise below the amount of private sector increase and also below the statutory formula for adjustments to the base General Schedule, Obama said in the letter to Congress.

IG issues lessons learned report about USDA's use of stimulus funds

The Agriculture Department's inspector general's audit is a look back and lessons learned from the 80 reports and 401 recommendations it has made, as of Aug. 15, regarding such programs funded to stimulate the economy. It's a "compilation report identifying the crosscutting themes, lessons learned, and conclusions" from the previous reports it's issued.

VA looking to expand medical facilities with new doctors

The Veterans Affairs Department launched an initiative aimed at recruiting new doctors the VA and expanding access to care for veterans, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said in an Aug. 29 speech to Duke University's School of Medicine. "We have taken action to get Veterans off of wait lists and into clinics in the short-term, but in the long-term, in order to provide timely access to care, we need to build capacity by hiring more clinicians," McDonald said.

U.S. unveils next steps in strengthening regulatory collaboration with Canada

The U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Forward Plan, which was unveiled Aug. 29, solidifies the partnership arrangements and framework among regulators from the two nations – activities that were developed through an initial plan launched in late 2011.


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DHS made the concessions in a settlement with 11 individuals who sued the government because they say they were coerced into agreeing to leave the country voluntarily.


Women can claim asylum on the basis of being in abusive marriages that they're unable to escape in their home countries, the top U.S. immigration appeals body recently ruled.