Agencies don't do enough to stop program and services duplication, which costs the government millions of dollars, Government Accountability Office Comptroller Gene Dodaro told the Senate Budget Finance Committee during a May 16 hearing . For example, if the military services jointly purchased uniforms, they could collectively save up to $80 million, Dodaro said.
The federal courts system needs $72.9 million in supplemental funding this year to prevent layoffs and other repercussions from sequester-related budget cuts, says the Judicial Conference of the United States. "The judiciary is confronting an unprecedented fiscal crisis that could seriously compromise the constitutional mission of the United States courts," the letter says.
Under House Appropriations Committee spending bill for the coming fiscal year marked up in subcommittee May 15, the Veterans Affairs Department would be funded at a topline of $147.6 billion, with $63.1 billion of that being discretionary spending.
A House Appropriations subcommittee bill released May 15 would provide the Homeland Security Department with $38.9 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2014, a $617.6 million decrease from the fiscal 2013 enacted level. But, based on preliminary scoring from the Congressional Budget Office, that would be a $981 million increase above post-sequestration levels, the committee says in an overview of the bill (.pdf).
The House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee fiscal 2014 spending bill, to be marked up by the subcommittee May 16, proposes spending $786 million for Homeland Security Department cybersecurity operations, says a committee statement . That amount would total $24 million below the White House request and $30 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level, the committee adds.
The chained consumer price index method of tracking price inflation takes consumer spending habits into account better than the standard consumer price index currently in place, a May 8 Congressional Research Service report (.pdf) says.
The Defense Department will furlough its civilian employees for 11 days due to sequestration cuts, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a prepared statement May 14. Furloughs will begin July 8 at a rate of one day per week.
The $1.9 billion quarterly loss was up from the previous quarter, when the Postal Service lost $1.3 billion. But compared to the same period last year, its quarterly loss shrank by about 40 percent. The agency lost $3.2 billion in the second quarter of last year. The majority of the $1.9 billion loss during this latest quarter could be attributed to prefunding the retiree health benefits program, which cost the Postal Service $1.4 billion.
With time running out for the Defense Department to make an announcement about civilian employee furloughs this fiscal year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel may make an announcement as early as today.
Consolidating online services and integrating information technology sytems not only cut costs, but also made the Interior Department more efficient, Interior Chief Financial Officier Rhea Suh said May 13 at the Excellence in Government conference in Washington, D.C.