Costs have ballooned for the Energy Department's International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, nearly tripling since the project started in 2006, a June 5 Government Accountability Office report says. DOE estimated cost for the U.S. portion of ITER has grown by almost $3 billion, and its estimated completion date has slipped by 20 years, the report says.
The General Services Administration plans to use industry-created, open source technology to save energy and reduce costs governmentwide. In the private sector, Green Button allows commercial and residential users to download their energy usage and offers tools for saving money on electricity costs. It serves nearly 100 million people.
The Energy Department doesn't always share its research results with the public and the DOE's auditor says the problem isn't new. "The failure to obtain and disseminate the results of department-funded research has been a long standing problem that the Office of Inspector General has previously brought to management's attention," The DOE inspector general says in a May 22 report.
Sequestration in fiscal 2013 significantly reduced services provided by federal agencies, including public housing assistance, border inspections and military training. The Defense Department reported that canceled or limited military training and readiness activities due to sequestration could increase the number of non-deployable units, decrease surge capacity to meet additional requirements with ready forces and lead to skills gaps, a May 28 Government Accountability Office report says.
The Energy Department ended up paying more to contractors that brought their own mobile devices than it would have if it had paid to given them government devices, an April 15 DOE inspector general report says.
The General Services Administration has identified 19 renovation projects with a price tag of $67.4 million the agency says will lead to long term savings. The renovations, which include the creation of open work spaces, will allow agencies to rent 507,000 fewer square feet of space, saving them $17 million per year, GSA says.
The United States needs to make aggressive investments in supercomputing because other countries are gaining on us, said Patricia Dehmer, Energy Department's acting director of the science office.
President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget proposes $135.4 billion for research and development. The Defense Department would receive the largest chunk, about $64.4 billion.
Federal agencies learned new approaches to accountability amid their effort to oversee massive spending on grants under the 2009 stimulus law, a review by the Government Accountability Office found.
Businesses that already had considerable federal contracting experience were allowed to participate in the Energy Department's program to mentor inexperienced contractors.