President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request allots $152.7 billion for the Veterans Affairs Department, with $86.1 billion of that being mandatory spending and $66.5 billion in discretionary spending, according to a VA budget document (.pdf). The amount requested is an inflation-adjust 7.89 percent increase over the estimated fiscal 2013 budget.
Federal workers could see a one percent pay increase in fiscal 2014 if President Obama's budget is passed. That bump would lift a federal worker pay freeze that's been holding back salary increases for the last 3 years.
President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget requests $526.6 billion for the Defense Department, including $155.8 billion for the Navy, $144.4 billion for the Air Force and $129.7 billion for the Army. By function, the budget includes $209.4 billion for operation and maintenance, $137.1 billion for military personnel and $99.3 billion for procurement.
President Obama sent to Congress Wednesday a $3.77 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2014, a total amounting to about $14 million less than estimated fiscal 2013 spending. When accounting for White House-projected inflation, that proposed topline is 0.37 below current year spending.
White was approved by a Senate voice vote and will replace Elisse Walter, who has been interim SEC chairman since Mary Schapiro resigned in December 2012. White had previously served as U.S. attorney in Manhattan from 1993 through 2002. She is the only woman to hold that position in the 200-year-plus history of the office, the SEC statement said.
If the government were to follow GAO's advice to correct the 162 areas of inefficiency GAO has found in its three annual reports since 2011, it could save tens of billions of dollars, says this year's report, released April 9. The Defense Department, for instance, could save $82 million if its combat uniform acquisition process were less fragmented, the report says.
President Obama's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget stressed the need to reduce the deficit and increase efficiency during her April 9 confirmation hearing with the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.Sylvia Mathew Burwell, who currently heads up the Walmart Foundation and was previously president of Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, garnered promises of support from Senators of both sides of the aisle.
As part of the National Water Census, the first comprehensive look at national water availability since 1978, the U.S. Geological Survey has so far undertaken studies of three large river basins, the agency says in an April 3 report. Ultimately, the Water Census, which Congress called for in a 2009 law, will compile information about water availability in a way that states and other water managers can put to use.
Twice as many federal employees filed for retirement in March as the Office of Personnel projected, according to an OPM report (.pdf).According to statistics, OPM received 10,183 retirement claims but had projected only 5,000 new claims for that month. There was a similar trend in February. OPM received about 20,000 retirement claims in February, more than three times the amount it projected.
It is difficult to determine whether government information federal employees might give to political intelligence firms stems from public or nonpublic sources at the time of the information exchange, according to an April 4 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act.
Among law professors, "it's long been thought that the process of notice and comment is basically kabuki theater," said Cass Sunstein, himself a law professor for decades before heading up OIRA and who has since returned to academia. "That administrative-law sophisticated wisdom, it couldn't be further from the truth," he said at a Brookings Institution event.
Delayed mail declined by 56 percent during the fiscal 2013 fall mailing season and service achievement rose over 90 percent during the same period, says a United States Postal Service office of inspector general report (.pdf). But even with that drop in delays, USPS could lose $3.8 million in revenue is at risk if customers decide to use other methods of mail delivery.
The Environmental Protection Agency will furlough about 17,000 employees for 4 non-consecutive days starting April 21. The first phase of furloughs will run from April 21 to June 15 at which point the EPA will reassess to see if more days are needed. The Internal Revenue Service plans to furlough workers up to 7 days due to sequestration cuts after tax season ends.
The district's high concentration of federally employed residents, its unique position as the capital of the United State, and "the partisan nature of its elections for local public office," count as special circumstances, OPM says. An exemption for D.C. residents is also a requirement of the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-230).
Agencies should generally use any available flexibility to reduce operational risks and minimize impacts from sequestration on the agency's core mission, Office of Management and Budget Controller Danny Werfel said in a memo (.pdf) to agency heads Thursday.
Speculation about widespread layoffs if the Postal Service ends Saturday letter delivery is unfounded, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in his State of the Postal Service address April 3. He also dismissed the notion that if the Postal Service switches to 5 day delivery, 4 day delivery would follow, then 3 day and so on.
Raising taxes and reforming Social Security key parts of Obama budget proposal, President says in speech
Raising taxes on the wealthy, reforming retirement programs and investing in high-tech manufacturing will help lower the deficit, President Obama said in a weekly radio address previewing his upcoming budget proposal, set to be released April 10.
Changes such as warming ocean, soil, and air temperatures; melting permafrost; shifting vegetation and animal abundances and altered characteristics of Arctic cyclones are expected to affect traditional cultures in the region. Those changes put in danger the survival of polar bear and other animal populations, and raise risks of pollution, food supply, safety, cultural losses and national security, the report says.
Quatitiative and qualitative analysis led researchers to identify the most significant factors that cause erroneous conviction. Report authors claim their model can accurately predict an erroneous conviction versus a near miss nearly 91 percent of the time.