News

Cruz and Donnelly announce bill to help Reservists get federal employment

Two Senators introduced bipartisan legislation Feb. 26 that would give members of the National Guard and Reserve a tiered preference in hiring for federal civil service jobs. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Military Reserve Jobs Act of 2015, the text of which has not been released, but is similar to a measure introduced by the pair in 2013.

GAO: Indian Affairs doesn't know the state of its schools across the country

The Bureau of Indian Education doesn't know the state of its schools across the country due to inaccurate or incomplete data collected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, says a Feb. 27 Government Accountability Office report. GAO's investigation shows that issues with the quality of data on school conditions – such as inconsistent data entry by schools and inadequate quality controls – make determining the number of schools in poor condition difficult.

Former NARA official comes out in support of new FOIA reform bill

A former National Archives and Records Administration official spoke out in support of a new bill that would strengthen Freedom of Information Act protections.

Official: IRS needs more money, but must also prove to Congress that the agency deserves it

An Internal Revenue Service official called on Congress to help the agency turn around its inability to provide adequate customer service due to budget cuts. But the IRS must also prove to Congress that it can properly manage the agency.

IG: Arkansas VA office changed disability claim processing dates, but were within VA guidance

Employees at a Veterans Affairs Department regional office in Arkansas changed the dates on disability claims to make it appear that the office wasn't falling behind in processing them, says a Feb. 26 VA inspector general report. The report says that staff at the Little Rock regional office claim they were following guidance handed down from the Veterans Benefits Administration.

GAO: DOE's ability to manage contaminated sites hindered by lack of data

The Energy Department's ability to manage contaminated facilities that need to be disposed of is hindered by limited data on those facilities, says a Feb. 25 Government Accountability Office report.

IRS Commish: Tax return audits at their lowest level in a decade due to budget cuts

Tax return audits fell to their lowest level in the last ten years because the Internal Revenue Service budget cuts have forced the agency to reduce its number of auditors, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the New York State Bar Association at a Feb. 24 event. "The math is pretty simple," Koskinen said in the speech, of which the IRS provided a transcript. "There are fewer audits because we have fewer auditors."

PSC comes out against contractor workplace executive order

The Professional Services Council came out against a 2014 executive order that PSC President Stan Soloway says would punish law-abiding federal contractors. Under the executive order, which President Obama signed July 31, 2014, contractors have to report any labor law violations to federal agencies.

Special Report: Reinventing the Postal Service

It's safe to say the Postal Service is in financial shambles after losing $5.5 billion in fiscal 2014 and already coming out of the first quarter of fiscal 2015 with a $750 million loss. FierceGovernment explores the root causes of USPS's financial woes, as well as some of the proposed solutions and business models gaining interest and support. Read the report

GSA acting administrator wants to continue advancing digital services and streamlined acquisition

In her first public message since she was selected as acting head of the General Services Administration, Denise Turner Roth said Monday she will work to make a better and more digitally-oriented workplace for federal employees.

IGs again tell lawmakers they need more help

Inspectors general from several agencies sounded off Tuesday at a hearing that covered the difficulties IGs face in getting information from agencies and the difficulties caused by long-term vacancies in IG offices.

More efficiency needed in oversight process for DoD weapon systems development, GAO says

The Government Accountability Office said the DoD programs it surveyed took more than two years completing information requirements that might be reviewed by as many as 56 stakeholders across eight organizational levels above the program office.

Chaffetz harshes the mellow of District smokers, says pot won't be legal come Thursday

Despite Washington, D.C. officials announcing that marijuana will be legal in the District come Thursday, the head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is saying Congress might have more time to act to block that legislation.

VA head apologizes for misstating service record

In the wake of NBC newscaster Brian Williams backpeddling on claims of the danger he faced covering the Iraq War, the head of the Veterans Affairs Department apologized Monday for saying he was in the special forces when he was not.

Rule change will allow same-sex spouses to get job leave to care for a family member

Workers in legal, same-sex marriages regardless of where they live will be able to apply for federal job-protected leave to care for a spouse with a serious illness, says a Feb. 23 Labor Department statement.

GAO: DOJ closed more than 70% of FBI whistleblower retaliation cases

The Justice Department closed more than 70 percent of its Federal Bureau of Investigation whistleblower retaliation cases within one year of receiving them, says a recently released Jan. 23 Government Accountability Office report. The DOJ closed 44 of the 62 FBI whistleblower retaliation complaints within one year, took up to four years to close 15 complaints and took nearly 11 years to close the remaining three, the report says.

Most senior execs scored in top two performance categories, finds GAO

Most agency senior executives scored in the top two performance categories when being evaluated for pay and bonuses between fiscal 2010 and 2013, says a recently released Jan. 22 Government Accountability Office report. But the gap in pay and awards between those top two ratings is dwindling.

Air Force lifts suspension of FedBid

Just a few weeks after the Air Force suspended contracts with  FedBid, a Vienna, Va. reverse-auction company and requested the company's debarment, the service lifted the suspension after reaching an administrative agreement, according to a Feb. 20 Air Force document.

DoD's nuclear safety board isn't following personnel policies or holding open meetings, says GAO

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board until 2013 had few written policies and procedures for its staff, but even when it developed policies, they weren't consistently followed, a recently released Jan. 20 Government Accountability Office report says.

IRS lost $6B to identity theft tax fraud, finds audit

The Internal Revenue Service paid out about $6 billion to one million fraudulently-filed tax returns in 2013, finds a recently released Jan. 20 Government Accountability Office report. But some groups are saying that number could have been a lot lower if the IRS was funded properly.