News

Government looks to deliver digital services around major life events

The government should be building its digital services through an approach that takes into account ways to help with major life events including colleges and having children, says a May 15 DigitalGov blog post. "Designing services to be responsive to be life events that drive public needs is a powerful way to deliver citizen-centered value," the blog post says.

OPM looks to improve the entire hiring experience, not just USAJobs

The Office of Personnel Management's rollout of the new USAJobs website will not come in one big launch, but rather a series of rollouts that constantly improve the user experience throughout the hiring process, said OPM's Innovation Lab Director Stephanie Wade at the May 21 DigitalGov Summit.

IG: USPS could make more than $1B annually by offering financial services to underserved communities

The Postal Service inspector general is again pushing the agency to consider offering banking options at post offices in communities underserved by financial institutions, saying the agency could make more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

IG: DoD footed the bill for nearly $1M of employees' personal casino and strip club purchases

Defense Department employees and military members used their government-issued charge cards to spend more than $1 million in personal expenses at casinos and strip clubs, says a May 19 DoD inspector general report.

New bill would create TSP fund focused on gender-diverse companies

Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.), introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow federal workers to choose to invest in businesses that have women in leadership through their Thrift Savings Plan retirement fund.

USPS should renegotiate some building leases in the Eastern Area, IG says

The Postal Service could save millions annually by renegotiating leases for 77 buildings in the agency's Eastern Area, says a May 12 USPS inspector general report. USPS leases more than 23,000 buildings nationwide, consisting of about 79 million interior square feet. It pays more than $800 million annually to lease those properties, the report says.

Air Force spent $14B on risky contracts over the last 5 fiscal years, GAO says

The Air Force spent $14 billion over the last five fiscal years on contracts to meet emergency needs. Such contracts are executed before the final terms are settled, making them considerably risky, says a May 19 Government Accountability Office report.

GAO: Cost of Kabul embassy expansion continues to rise into the billions

The State Department has already invested billions of dollars in the expansion of its embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan since 2002 and the spending continues to rise because the agency hasn't properly assessed the risk and cost of the project, says a May 19 Government Accountability Office report.

NARA records management guidance should have addressed metadata, says GAO

A program spearheaded by the National Archives and Records Administration to help digitize the federal record keeping process left out any provisions about metadata, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Report: Federal R&D funding was slashed in fiscal 2013

Federal funding for research and development fell dramatically in fiscal 2013 compared to the previous fiscal year, which includes about $10 billion in cuts to the Defense Department, says the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

POGO opposes GSA canceling price reduction clause provision

A government oversight group says a new General Services Administration proposal would make discounts available to the federal government less transparent – causing agencies to miss savings opportunities.

GSA tests aggressive recycling goals at Denver center as part of nationwide effort

GSA says that it has expanded recycling efforts at the Denver center by launching additional single-stream recycling and organic waste collection services for six of its 44 buildings there.

OMB official: Agencies need to cater to young talent with short term positions

Agencies need to focus on continually training federal workers as well as bringing in innovative young talent for short stays, said Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Beth Cobert at the Excellence in Government conference on May 14.

Cobert: OMB goals go beyond Obama's last term

Governmentwide initiatives launched by the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration are meant to extend well past 2016, said OMB Deputy Director Beth Cobert.

SASC approves bill to overhaul military retirement plan

The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced a bill May 14 that would fundamentally change the way the Defense Department handles military retirement. Part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act outlines the provision, which would change the military's retirement plan from a defined benefit structure to a defined contribution, or 401k-style, plan.

VA official: Agency spent $5B on medical supplies without written contracts

The Veterans Affairs Department has procured billions of dollars worth of drugs, medical devices and other supplies without using written contracts or full and open competition. 

McDonald: Investment in workforce, training key to reforming VA

Employees will be the ones to implement the programs that are part of Veterans Affairs Department Secretary Robert McDonald's vision to reform the VA. "The people who then serve those customers should be exalted, they should be trained," said McDonald.

Navy Secretary calls for extended maternity leave, more education opportunities for servicemembers

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus laid out a number of personnel initiatives in a May 13 speech, including a call to double the number of weeks of paid maternity leave for sailors and Marines and more education opportunities.

Auditor questions the sustainability of US-led Afghan forces

The auditor that oversees reconstruction in Afghanistan expressed concern about the capability and long-term sustainability of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, which the United States has spent $62.5 billion to build over the last 13 years.

IG: USPS wasting money on unneeded extra mail trips

One Postal Service district could have avoided more than 100 extra trips from its facilities in fiscal 2014 that cost the agency more than $100,000, says a May 7 USPS inspector general report.