Julie Bird

Articles by Julie Bird

Sequestation hurts DoD readiness, generals testify

Sequestration has forced the Army to defer refurbishment of 800 vehicles, 2,000 weapons, 32 helicopters and 10,000 pieces of communication gear returned from combat zones in 2013, or $1.7 billion of the planned $4 billion equipment reset, the Army's deputy chief of staff for logistics told Congress last week.

DOJ OIG faults lax financial management at DC Marshal's office

After finding more than $275,000 in unsupported costs in salaries, fleet cards and purchase cards by the U.S. Marshal Service Office of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice Office inspector general came up with a laundry list of 18 suggestions for improving accountability and financial management in the office.

Americans untrusting of USPS digital services, OIG survey finds

Americans want the Postal Service to stick around, with most interested in continuing to receive physical mail but willing to consider more self-service options, according to a new report (.pdf) by the USPS Office of Inspector General. Young people, in particular, were willing to consider a post office with expanded and digital services, the report says.

Congress questions details of STEM reorganization

The administration's plan to reorganize science, technology, engineering and math  education programs--cutting the number of programs from 226 to 110 while increasing funding by 6 percent in fiscal 2014--came under scrutiny Tuesday during a hearing before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

GAO suggests ways VA can rein in fee-basis care costs

With the amount of money the  Veterans Affairs Department spends on non-VA healthcare providers on the rise, the Government Accountability Office is pushing for better management and oversight of so-called fee-basis care.

DoD needs function-based analysis of total workforce mix, GAO says

The Defense Department should adjust its policies to determine the appropriate mix of military, civilian and contractor personnel based on critical functions, and explain in the meantime how it projects contractor numbers when budgeting, the General Accounting Office says in a new report.

Locals need help planning to mitigate infrastructure damage from climate change, GAO says

With climate change expected to pose a significant threat to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and wastewater systems, the federal government needs to work with local officials to start planning how to mitigate potential damage, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report (.pdf).

GAO: DoD fails to fully account for contractors performing inherently governmental functions

The Government Accountability Office says a haphazard Defense Department review of nearly $200 billion of annual contracted services makes it impossible to determine whether corrective actions were taken in cases where contractors were doing work government employees should be performing.

Federal courts warn sequestration cuts will be "devastating," "unsustainable"

Emergency measures to help the federal court system cope with sequestration are "unsustainable, difficult and painful to implement," a federal judge told a congressional committee Wednesday, and will seriously compromise court operations. Unlike other federal departments, the judiciary cannot cut programs or grants to manage the shortfall.

House committee criticizes DoD, DHS failures to implement anti-waste measures

Officials testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee had to have known they were in for a rough day Tuesday just based on title of the hearing: "DoD and DHS: Implementing Agency Watchdogs' Recommendations Could Save Taxpayers Billions."