News

Security clearance holders have decreased over the last year, says ODNI

The number of people holding security clearances for access to classified information decreased last year by about 12 percent or 635,000 people, says a recently released Office of the Director of National Intelligence report obtained by the Federation of American Scientists' Secrecy News blog.

GAO: State Dept. didn't justify reasons for leasing new embassy facilities over adding on to existing buildings

Three State Department embassies didn't provide a good explanation for why they decided to lease off-site facilities rather than adding to the existing buildings, says an April 24 Government Accountability Office report.

GSA suggests ways agencies can reduce water use

The General Services Administration shared three ways that agencies can reduce their water use over the next ten years, in an April 21 GSA blog post.

OPM will soon begin administering 2015 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey

Federal employees will soon see the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey dropping in their inboxes. The annual survey is meant to measure the job satisfaction of federal employees.

VA reinstates committee to help fix healthcare issues

The Veterans Affairs Department is reinstating an 11-member Special Medical Advisory Group composed of leading medical experts to assist the VA in figuring out the best way to delivering healthcare to the 9 million veterans enrolled in the VA health system, says an April 24 VA statement.

House Republicans blame IRS wasteful spending for customer service decline

The Internal Revenue Service has been calling for a stop to agency budget cuts that they say have caused poor customers service, but House Republicans came out Wednesday to counter that claim.

Miller introduces bill to give VA secretary broad authority to fire any employee

The head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee introduced a bill today that would give the Veterans Affairs Department secretary more authority to fire "corrupt or incompetent employees," says an emailed April 23 statement from the committee.

GAO: Indian Affairs needs to address systemic problems with the way it manages its schools

The Bureau of Indian Affairs needs to address systemic management problems to improve schools under the bureau's purveyance, says and April 22 Government Accountability Office report based on testimony to the House Education and Workforce subcommittee on early childhood, elementary and secondary education.

GAO outlines $5B in cost savings for the 2020 census

The Census Bureau could save billions of dollars if it put into effect Government Accountability Office recommendations to streamline the census taking process for 2020, says an April 20 GAO report that was part of testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Air traffic controller union calls for change to FAA funding

"The status quo of unstable, unpredictable funding for the National Airspace System has led to serious problems at the FAA," said National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi.

GSA touts federal vehicle fleet's energy efficiency

The General Services Administration has initiated a number of programs over the last several years to make the federal vehicle fleet more energy efficient, and the agency says the initiatives are working.

NSF: Funding for federal R&D centers has plummeted

The majority of the nation's federally funded research and development centers reported spending less on R&D in fiscal 2013 than they had the previous year, according to a National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics report.

OMB: New rule would create worker training program 'scorecards' for public workers

Last week, the Departments of Labor and Education published draft rules that the Office of Management and Budget says will for the first time require data to be available to public workers on different training programs, says an April 21 OMB blog post.

USPS IG: Recipients more engaged with advertising mail delivered directly to the door

Advertising mail delivered right to a recipient's door generates higher "read and response" rates than advertising mail delivered in other ways, says an April 20 Postal Service Inspector General report.

GAO: Army hasn't met own target of reducing on-hand excess inventory

The services are responsible for fourt-fifths of the Defense Department's $98 billion in secondary item excess inventory, which includes spare parts that can be repaired and reused and other supplies needed to maintain military equipment.

GSA seeks proposals for new leasing support services contract

The General Services Administration is seeking proposals for its third iteration of the GSA Leasing Support Services contract that is meant to provide the GSA's contracting officers with support for brokering and leasing property.

New DoD acquisition rules skipped public comment period, but still followed proper procedures, say auditors

The Defense Department issued 49 new acquisition rules between fiscal 2010 and 2014 that didn't include any public comment period. The department said "urgent and compelling" circumstances forced the agency to move quickly on a rule in order to make a procurement, says an April 17 Government Accountability Office report.

Study: OPM should track individual employee satisfaction in yearly viewpoint surveys

The Office of Personnel Management could make results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey more useful if the agency tracked how individual feds felt about their work at agencies over time, says a recently released study published in March in the journal Public Administration Review.

OGE outlines rules for feds' use of personal social media accounts

The Office of Governmentwide Ethics laid how federal employees should be using social media in their personal lives in a new memo released April 9. 

SES group raises concerns over VA firing bill

The Senior Executives Association has taken issue with a House bill that would make it easier to fire senior executives at the Veterans's Affairs Department.