News

Air Force calls for debarment of FedBid

The Air Force suspended its contracts with FedBid, a Vienna, Va. reverse-auction company and is prosing the company be barred from doing business with the government in the future.

Report: Commission wants military health and retirement benefits to mirror those of civilian workers

An independent military commission recommended vast changes in the military's retirement and healthcare systems that could save the Defense Department more than $20 billion over the next four years, says a Jan. 28 Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission report.

USPS OIG values Postal Service brand for first time at $3.6B

For the first time, the Postal Service inspector general put a monetary value on the USPS brand, valuing it at $3.6 billion, according to a Jan. 28 USPS OIG report.

Report: Interior, State and Education fail to use plain language

The Interior Department, State Department and Education Department all fail to communicate in plain language with the public, while all other agencies generally communicated well with the public, says Center for Plain Language in its annual report card.

House committee approves bill to give newly hired disabled veteran employees sick leave

The House Oversight Committee Tuesday approved a bill that would provide newly hired service-disabled veterans in the civilian federal workforce with sick leave immediately upon starting work, says a Jan. 27 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee statement.

USPS plant closures would halt under Keystone XL bill rider

A Michigan Senator is trying to stop the closure of Postal Service processing plants by including a rider that prohibits the closures in a Senate bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Report: Obama to request boost in Defense funding

Obama plans to announce his budget request Feb. 2 and with that will come a $585 billion request for the Defense Department, a Jan. 27 Politico article says. That's a $38 billion increase over the current fiscal year's DoD budget. The request includes $534.3 billion for the base DoD budget and $50.9 billion in overseas contingency operations.

Americans less satisfied with federal gov't services for second straight year, says new report

The report shows that customer ratings of service, namely staff courteousness and professionalim, which has gone down about 6 percent, has had a signfiicant impact on the overall lower satisfaction score. The erosion in service quality isn't surprising since it's the "first casualty" of budget cutbacks.

USPS IG: International mail forwarding, continuity shipping would be boon for business

The Postal Service could gain some much-needed revenue with services such as international mail forwarding and continuity shipping, says the agency's watchdog in a report that explores the feasibility of non-postal products.

OSC rule would give contractors new avenue to report agency wrongdoing

A proposed Office of Special Council rule would give government contractors and subcontractors a new way to report agency wrongdoing across the federal government, according to a proposed rule published in the Federal Register Jan. 22.

VA construction overrun costs total $1.5B, officials tell lawmakers

Recent Veterans Affairs Department construction projects have overrun costs by $1.5 billion and been delayed by months, it was revealed in a Jan. 21 House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing. VA officials told the panel in the Wednesday hearing that they are working to finish overdue construction projects and fix the issue that caused the delays and extra costs.

OMB: Agencies came in under budget caps for fiscal 2015 appropriations

Agencies won't have to deal with sequestration related budget cuts this fiscal year because discretionary appropriations have come in under the budget caps established in the bipartisan budget deal back in 2013, says a Jan. 20 Office of Management and Budget report and letter to Congress.

VA takes first step in implementing agency wide reform

The Veterans Affairs Department is taking the first steps in an agency wide initiative to overhaul the way the agency interacts with its veterans. The program, called MyVA aims to reform the way the VA interacts internally and with the veterans it serves, said Bob Schneider, a former VA deputy assistant secretary who is heading up the MyVA implementation task force, in a Jan. 26 press call.

GAO: DOL didn't say how Job Corps should make budget cuts

The Labor Department didn't properly lay out how its Job Corps program should implement millions of dollars in budget cuts and transfers in 2011 and 2012, says a Jan. 22 Government Accountability Office report.

Miller bill would give VA authority to reduce executive pensions

The head of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee introduced a bill Thursday that would allow the VA secretary to reduce an SES employee's retirement pension upon conviction of a crime that influenced their work performance, says a Jan. 22 statement from HVAC chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.).

PSC: Agencies not taking advantage of training young acquisition workers

Agencies have been presented with the chance to make improvements to the acquisition workforce, but they have to move quickly before the new hires fall into step with the older ideas about federal procurement, a new report says.

Pew poll: Public expresses favorable opinion of most agencies

Even though overall trust in the government is near historic lows, the public expressed favorable views toward the individual agencies in a Jan. 22 Pew Research Center poll. Wide majorities of people express favorable views of such government agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NASA and the Defense Department.

GSA doesn't know how many employees telework, says IG

The General Services Administration doesn't know how many virtual employees it has and many telework arrangements are not fully approved, according to the GSA Office of Inspector General.

GAO: DoD doesn't know if it's staffing secretary offices at the right levels

The Defense Department doesn't know if it employs the appropriate number of workers at headquarters because it doesn't determine personnel requirements as part of a systematic process and procedures aren't in place to make sure the department assesses its personnel needs periodically, says a Jan. 21 Government Accountability report.

Bill would save agencies $35B by reducing federal workforce

Republican lawmakers from Wyoming and South Carolina introduced a bill Tuesday that would save the government $35 billion by cutting the federal workforce through attrition.