The federal government could reduce the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years by modifying federal worker pay and retirement, a Nov. 20 Congressional Budget Office report says. The CBO doesn't formally endorse policy changes, but they can score those changes to figure out how much they'd cost or save the government.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called for an increased Defense Department budget, despite the looming threat of another year of sequestration related budget cuts in fiscal 2016. Chairman Martin Dempsey said even with the partial sequestration relief written into the fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 budget framework, the $535 billion spending cap isn't enough.
The federal government pledged to contribute $3 billion over four years to the Green Climate Fund which helps developing countries combat climate change. The Nov. 15 announcement marks a shift for the United States, a Brookings Institution blog post says.
The 2013 government shutdown impacted operations at three agencies the Government Accountability Office reviewed including closures of clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health, a recently released Oct. 15 GAO report says. GAO reviewed programs at the Health and Human Services Department, Energy Department and Transportation Department and found the October 2013 lapse in appropriations significantly hindered some programs at those agencies.
With the two year sequestration reprieve that came from the Murray-Ryan budget deal last year, the Defense Department has begun to rebound from the automatic spending cuts, but that could all be for naught if those cuts come back next year, DoD Deputy Secretary Robert Work said at a Nov. 12 Center for Strategic and International Studies event. The budget deal expires at the end of fiscal 2015 and if sequestration is reinstated in full, it would cause major problems for the DoD, Work said at the event.
The Postal Service lost $5.5 billion dollars in fiscal 2014, all of which came from USPS's cost to pre-fund employee healthcare. The loss comes in at about $500 million more than fiscal 2013, but nearly $11 million less than fiscal 2012 when USPS recorded a historic loss of $16 billion, a Nov. 14 USPS statement says.
Many federal agencies are not satisfied with the state of information governance at their agencies, according to a new survey. Seventy-six percent have an enterprisewide information governance strategy but only 22 percent say it's "very effective," finds a survey of 152 federal government attorneys, IT executives, Freedom of Information Act agents and records managers published by Symantec Nov. 6.
Federal agencies and departments work in an environment that supports a waterfall acquisition process, said General Services Administrator Dan Tangherlini, making a shift to "agile" extremely difficult.
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn released his own collection of what he calls wasteful spending in the government, ranging from never-used cars to party patrols provided by the Coast Guard. It will be his fifth and last, as the senator will be stepping down in January to focus on his fight with prostate cancer.
The federal government ended fiscal 2014 with a $483 billion budget deficit, the White House announced Wednesday. That's $197 billion less than fiscal 2013 and $165 billion less than what the White House predicted for fiscal 2014. The numbers, which were announced by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan, came in far lower than the trillion dollar deficits the administration announced during the financial crisis at the beginning of President Obama's second term.