New logistics programs to help manage Veterans Health Affairs medical supplies lack money and might not be implemented, an April 17 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) says.VHA started several programs to help manage medical supplies, but the administration has yet to fully fund the programs or staff them properly, GAO finds.
Hiring freezes due sequestration backlogged maintenance and repairs at parks across the country and will cost the government money in the long run, National Parks Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said in an April 16 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Many parks reduced maintenance and repairs, resulting in a backlog of maintenance, Jarvis said. Service-wide, the estimate of deferred maintenance needs is at $11.5 billion, Jarvis said.
The U.S. Postal Service needs to cut Saturday delivery, revise its employee healthcare plan and give more power to the board of governors to be financially sustainable, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in an April 17 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. This comes just a week after USPS backed off its fight for a modified 5-day delivery schedule that was set to start in August and would save USPS $2 billion annually, Donahoe said.
Agencies will rely on partnerships to support the programs facing the largest cuts. International cooperation around physics, for example, has presented opportunities for saving money, said Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren, during an April 17 hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Officials should impose a moratorium on 12 judiciary courthouse projects until they are evaluated under new rules to make sure it's fiscally responsible to pursue them, an April 11 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) says. Ten of the 12 courthouse construction projects do not qualify under project start rules, known as the Asset Management Plan, which requires courthouses to add a minmum of two courtrooms.
"These are people who have come to DARPA for a short time to do something big," DARPA's Arati Prabhakar said, "and when they see these program delays, when they're told under furlough that you can't work one day a week...those are enormous negatives for these driven individuals."
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew agreed during an April 16 committee hearing that corporate taxes should go down and the tax base should be broadened, but how to pay for those tax cuts was a point of contention.
Agency performance improvement officers say federal agency leaders need more training in measuring performance and managing information, says the Government Accountability Office in an April 16 report (.pdf). Among the categories needing work is performance measurement.
Agencies say they lack money for training acqusition staff, says the Government Accountability Office in a newly-released March 28 report (.pdf). Twenty of 23 agencies said it was difficult to obtain adequate funding for the training and 19 of 23 said it was difficult to acquire funding for sufficient staff to manage training, the report says.
Most of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's offices would close in their entirety for 4 days this summer under furlough plans the agency has developed with unions that represent some of its employees.
Contractor employees should make no more than the vice president, who is currently paid $230,700 per year, the administration says. President Obama called for a reduced cap in 2011 when the limit, based on private sector executive pay, reached $763,000.
If the federal government cracks down on state marijuana laws, it could create an unregulated market that states can't contain, according to Brookings Fellow Stuart Taylor at a Brookings talk.The federal government should declare a safe harbor in states that have legalized marijuana. Washington and Colorado both have legal, but regulated marijuana and 14 other states legalized medical marijuana.
The Superior Supplier Incentive Program could offer more favorable progress payments or fewer audits to Navy contractors who have excelled in the past, according to a notice in the Federal Register. During the planned pilot phase of the program, contractors would be judged for product quality, control control, management responsiveness and other factors.
Only 28 percent of Americans view the federal government favorably, according to an April 15 Pew Research Center poll (.pdf). In addtion, for the first time since Obama became president, more Democrats say they have an unfavorable view of the federal government in Washington than a favorable view, Pew data shows.
In 2011, the government forewent collecting about $181 billion in corporate tax revenue due to 80 tax code exceptions, says the Government Accountability Office in a newly released March 18 report (.pdf). The amount of money the federal government spends through tax code corporate loopholes--known as tax expenditures--has increased over the last few decades, as has the number of corporate tax expenditures, the report says.
The agency's revolving fund would receive $12.919 million in fiscal 2014, up from about $500,000 in fiscal 2013. GPO is requesting the funding mostly for information technology projects. About $6.5 million would fund four projects related to FDsys, GPO's system for online access to official government publications.
The National Science Foundation requested $7.63 billion for fiscal 2014, which is a 4.09 percent increase of the amount enacted in 2012, adjusted for inflation, according to an NSF budget document. The research portion of the NSF budget represents about $6.2 billion. It accounts for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array telescope and other observatories, investigations into novel materials, manufacturing processes and smart systems, advanced cyber infrastructure and sustainability science and engineering, the NSF said.