The Postal Service must cater to those who grew up in the digital age by encouraging digitally interactive mail pieces, such as those containing QR codes, and by capitalizing on an interest in parcel mail, a Nov. 18 Postal Service inspector general report says.
Through the administration proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, the government can play a role in innovating the way products are manufactured in the United States by getting business to invest in new ideas behind manufcaturing methods, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker told a Senate panel Nov. 13.
Members of the science research community took umbrage with proposed legislation that would force research to be in the national interest to receive a grant and give the National Science Foundation Director the power to affirm all grant awards, at a Nov. 13 House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee on research and technology hearing.
Federal employees don't think pay raises have anything to do with how well they perform their job tasks, a feeling that has been getting worse over the last three years, the 2013 Office of Personnel Management Viewpoint Survey says. Only 19 percent of federal employees say pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs. That number is down from 22 percent in 2012 and 24 percent in 2011, the survey says.
The Postal Service and Amazon.com struck a deal to deliver packages on Sundays, starting in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas, Amazon said in a Nov. 11 press release. The deal went into effect immediately, Amazon says.
The National Science Foundation had enough flexibility in its fiscal 2013 budget to mitigate some of the cuts made due to sequestration, but going forward that will not be possible, said Kelvin Droegemeier, vice chairman of the National Science Board, during a Nov. 6 hearing.
The government could save between $540 million and $770 million annually by moving to a shared service model for financial systems, an Oct. 30 Association of Government Accountant's report on a September AGA panel on shared services. With shared services, financial management systems become standardized across agencies, use fewer resources and a central staff.
While science research programs received less funding 10 years ago than they do today, they benefitted from the fact that the Energy Department had a better feel for how much money was coming. Today, however, funding levels are in flux, making long term planning difficult, said Pat Dehmer, deputy director of science programs at the DOE's office of science.
As developers scramble to fix problems with healthcare.gov, the federal website for healthcare insurance exchanges, President Obama vowed to improve the website. He also said the product was good, even if the delivery system was flawed.
Research at some Energy Department's national laboratories continues, but will be halted if the government shutdown continues. The DOE runs 18 laboratories that are federally funded, but managed and staffed by private-sector organizations under contract with the agency.