The Senate Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittee marked up a $158.8 billion fiscal 2014 military construction and VA bill June 18 that provides $74.4 billion in discretionary funding and $84.5 billion in mandatory funding. Discretionary funding in the bill is $2.5 billion more than fiscal 2013 enacted levels.
The national laboratories should emulate the Energy Department's innovation hubs, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said June 18 during a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. "This is the way the national labs, in my view, should do more of their business--with significant teams focused for an extended time on an important problem," Moniz said.
The Bureau of Land Management may have lost $60 million in undervalued leases of public lands to coal mining companies because it used its own land value assessors rather than the ones ordered by an Interior Department regulation, a June 11 Interior Department inspector general report (.pdf) says.
Dan Tangherlini encountered no apparent opposition to his nomination to head the General Services Administration during his Senate confirmation hearing June 18. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he would vote to confirm Tangherlini, whom President Obama nominated for GSA administrator in May.
Violance against federal employees who work in national parks and wildlife refuges rose dramatically in 2012 over 2011 levels, a statement by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says.
Greenhouse gas emissions by the Postal Service declined by 9.9 percent from fiscal 2008 to 2012, the letter annual sustainability report says. Transportation accounted for more than half of the agency's emissions in 2012. Facility energy consumed about a quarter, and the agency attributed another 17 percent to its employees' commutes.
The Supreme Court ruled June 17 that states cannot require voters to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote, but there could be a loophole that allows states to continue the fight. The 7 to 2 ruling (.pdf) rejected a 2004 Arizona law, known as Proposition 200.
Four Forest Service employees were able to rack up $13,700 in improper travel card charges without notice amid what auditors say is a manual tracking process that overwhelms travel management personnel's ability to monitor card usage.
The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal 2014 agriculture appropriations bill June 13 by a voice vote. The bill (.pdf) includes $19.5 billion in discretionary funding for programs related to food safety, nutrition, rural development and more. The committee said its funding was approximately equal to the current level after the sequestration cuts.
Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told Congress he wants to reorganize the Energy Department including more departmental oversight and better management of the National Labs. In a June 13 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Energy Department's fiscal 2014 budget, Moniz laid out ways to make the DOE more efficient.
Government programs lost significantly more money than private sector per billion dollars spent, survey says
Federal agencies lost over the past year $148 million for every billion dollars they spent due to ineffective program management, a Project Management Institute survey says.
The $638 billion National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014 passed the House June 14 in a 315 to 108 vote. The House authorized $552.1 billion in overall spending for base national defense and an additional $85.8 billion in overseas contingency operations. The fiscal 2014 NDAA (H.R. 1960) is consistent with the House passed budget which took money from non-defense budget to allow more money for defense while keeping overall spending below the Budget Control Act cap, according to an NDAA committee fact sheet.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took up his ongoing cause again this year: reforming the Postal Service.
The Drug Enforcement Administration must identify barriers to female agents moving up in the agency and lay out plans to eliminate them, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision (.pdf) says in a decision for a class action complaint filed in 1993.
The House Appropriations Committee marked up the Defense Department spending bill June 12, blocking several amendments from Democrats. The $512.5 billion bill is $28 billion above defense spending caps set by sequestration and after markup remained free from any major changes from the bill passed June 6 by the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense. The bill also includes military construction and nuclear programs under the Energy Department.
If confirmed as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Howard Shelanski would continue the regulatory look-back process emphasized by his predecessor Cass Sunstein.
Though the suspension and debarment system has been around for many years, there is little guidance for it, Government Accountability Office Acting Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management John Neumann said at a June 12 House Government and Oversight Committee hearing.
The Veterans Affairs Department is still on track to meet its goal of processing all claims within 125 days with 98 percent accuracy by the end of 2015, Director of Compensation and Pension Service Thomas Murphy told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in a June 12 hearing.