President Obama nominated his last four open cabinet positions including the most recent, Penny Pritzker for Commerce Department secretary. All four nominations still need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Costs substantially increased and schedules were delayed for Veterans Affairs medical center construction projects in Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Orlando, a recently release April 4 Government Accountability Office report says. As of November 2012, the cost increases for the four projects ranged from 59 percent to 144 percent, with a total cost increase of nearly $1.5 billion and an average increase of around $366 million, the report says.
Federal prisons can release inmates early under the compassionate-release program, for reasons such as terminal illness, but the criteria for decisions are vague and inconsistent, a report from the Justice Department office of inspector general says. That results in "ad hoc decision making" at the Bureau of Prisons, the report says.
Office of Personnel Management and Office of Management and Budget plan to develop ways to streamline federal human resources policies and procedures including consolidating the way agencies measure employee performance, according to an OPM document.
The Unites States Postal Service will offer all non-career employees health insurance in a move to comply with the Affordable Care Act, a USPS press release says. USPS employs 35,000 non-career employees, USPS spokeswoman Sue Brennan said. That represents about 7 percent of the 495,000 total USPS employees.
The Defense Department would apply civilian furloughs with "consistency and fairness" should the be necessary, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an April 26 letter (.pdf) to Congress. Sequestration, which went into effect March 1, requires the DoD to cut approximately $40 billion in the current fiscal year.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services state-level Medicaid payment error rates could be invalid because CMS did not update state data collected more than 2 years ago to reflect corrections or adjustments in the way error rates are calculated, a recently released March 29 Government Accountability Office report says (.pdf).
As part of its unanimous decision in McBurney v. Young (.pdf), the Court said the state's freedom of information laws were designed to help Virginia citizens monitor the performance their state's government agencies.
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to eliminate airport weather observers due to sequestration cuts, according to an FAA document (.pdf). The move comes on the heels of Congress passing a bill to shift funds to save air traffic controls to be furloughed to help the FAA meet its sequester cuts.
The Smithsonian Institution has closed portions of three exhibits for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, due to across the board funding cuts known as sequestration.
A federal air marshal's disclosures to the media may have qualified for whistleblower protection, a federal appeals court ruled April 26. The Merit Systems Protection Board had upheld the air marshal's firing, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has now vacated that decision and sent the case back to the board.
Veterans Affairs Department senior officials who oversee disability claims won't be getting bonuses this year because they failed to meet goals in reducing the backlog of claims processing, VA Spokesman Randy Noller said. The withholdings apply only to executives of the Veterans Benefits Administration. Political appointees are not offered the bonuses.
Federal workers strive to be innovative, but get little encouragement to do so, says a Partnership for Public Service analysis (.pdf) of the Office of Personnel Management's 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Only 57 percent of federal workers felt encouraged to be innovative, the analysis says.
The Office of Personnel Management suspended all overtime for all employees working in retirement services due to sequestration cuts, OPM Associate Director of Retirement Services Ken Zawodny said in an April 29 blog post. Retirees should expect an increase in the time required to process their claims and respond to inquiries, Zawodny said.
President Obama said that after CMS came up with a 21-page form, "immediately everybody sat around the table and said: Well, this is too long, especially, you know, in this age of the Internet. People aren't going to have the patience to sit there for hours on end."
The Defense Department has revised its 1996 directive on non-lethal weapons with the intent of fostering their future development and procurement, although without specifying exactly how it'll do so. One non-lethal weapon s the Active Denial System, which delivers a man-sized heat beam to stop someone from approaching without killing the person.
There's too much focus on certifying disadvantaged businesses for a Transportation Department program designed to support them, and not enough on whether they actually receive any contracts, the DOT office of inspector general says. In Maryland, about 4,800 businesses are certified for the program, but only 560 have received work through it.
The Federal Aviation Administration has made minimal progress in developing metrics to measure progress in implementing the NextGen air traffic control modernization effort, which airlines need in order to develop cost-benefit analyses before investing in NextGen-enabling avionics, according to an April 8 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf).
Some taxpayers with offshore accounts undisclosed in previous years are quietly filing amended returns in an effort to avoid paying greater penalties, doing so likely at a rate greater than the Internal Revenue Service acknowledges, the Government Accountability Office says.