None of the five agencies that the Government Accountability Office surveyed met all key elements of the government's customer service standards, an Oct. 24 report says.
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.
The Office of Management and Budget is pushing agencies to do more to reduce improper payments at agencies. Since coming into office, President Obama has signed two laws and issued three directives on how agencies can reduce improper payments. Those have culminated in improper payments declining governmentwide, an Oct. 20 OMB memo (pdf) says.
After an inspector general report criticized the General Services Administration's open office plan as susceptible to theft, the GSA says stolen property isn't a problem. In calendar year 2014 there were only five laptops that have gone missing at the entire GSA either through theft or loss, GSA Spokeswoman Jackeline Stewart says.
Except for a handful of instances, an internal audit has found that most NASA first- and business-class travel was properly authorized and complied with federal government policy. Still, the inspector general said the agency can improve compliance with travel policy and the accuracy of travel reports submitted to the General Services Administration.
The Veterans Affairs Department's number two contracting official, who allegedly funneled work to a Virginia contractor announced her retirement Tuesday, just more than two weeks after the allegations surfaced. Susan Taylor, Veterans Health Administration deputy procurement officer, said in an email to the VA that she would resign and retire effective Oct. 14 after 29 years of government service, an Oct. 15 Washington Post article says. Four of those years were spent at the VA.
The Defense Acquisition University developed a guidebook to help managers terminate programs effectively ahead of possible calls for shutdowns due to budget constraints. In lieu of a formal shutdown process at DOD, the "Smart Shutdown Guidebook" (pdf) addresses the handling of personnel, technology and data preservation, and program security protection, for example.
The Defense Department spent nearly half a billion dollars on aircrafts for Afghanistan only to end up destroying them and selling them for about $32,000 in scrap. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction wants to know why so much money was wasted. During a trip to Afghanistan, SIGAR John Sopko observed 16 of 20 planes in the G222 fleet parked unused on a tarmac at Kabul International Airport, a Oct. 3 letter (pdf) from Sopko to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says.
The Veterans Affairs Department continues to take steps to clean up its image after it punished whistleblowers for speaking out against doctored wait lists for veterans seeking healthcare. The VA says the Office of Special Counsel certified the agency under OSC's Whistleblower Protection Certification Program in an Oct. 8 statement.
The Office of Personnel Management continues to take small steps to decrease its retirement claims backlog, OPM statistics show. The agency received 6,350 new retirement claims in September which was almost a thousand fewer than OPM expected. And it ended up processing 6,680 claims, statistics (pdf) show.