An Iowa lawmaker introduced a bill July 16 that seeks to set clear, measurable goals for government performance and evaluate bureaucratic systems on a continuing basis. The bill (H.R.5064), sponsored by Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), builds on the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, which set performance goals for agencies on a quarterly basis.
Systemic failures at the Veterans Affairs Department must be addressed to bring trust back to the agency, VA secretary nominee Robert McDonald told a Senate panel Tuesday. "The seriousness of the moment demands urgent action," McDonald said at a July 22 Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing. "The VA is in crisis. The veterans are in need. There is a lot of work to do to transform the department and it will not be easy, but it is essential and can be achieved."
A federal office created to be an "independent voice" for small businesses within the government needs to strengthen its research, regulatory and workforce planning activities to better serve that community, congressional investigators said.
While only 15 percent of Americans say they approve of Congress, it's a jump from last year's record low of 9 percent, a recent Gallup poll finds. The July 15 poll of 1,013 adults from July 1-10 is virtually unchanged from the 16-percent approval recorded in the prior month. The margin of sampling error for the poll is 4 percentage points.
The Postal Service needs a better plan to take advantage of the e-commerce boom by offering expanded services to businesses and consumers shipping packages, a July 21 USPS inspector general report says.
Since the bureau was created in 2011, it's handled more than 400,000 complaints about credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, student loans, credit reporting, money transfers, debt collection, payday loans, vehicle and other consumer loans and prepaid cards, according to a July 21 blog post.
Of the more than 158 billion mailpieces it processed in fiscal 2013, about 6.8 billion, or 4.3 percent, were so-called "undeliverable as addressed," or UAA. Reasons include incorrect or illegible addresses or people moving, according to the USPS inspector general audit released July 14.
The House unanimously passed a bill Monday that would change the requirement that the Federal Register be printed every morning. The bill (H.R.4195) would change the word "print" to "publicize" so the Federal Register could be distributed electronically rather than on paper.
Top administration personnel officials called for changes to the federal general schedule pay system and it needs a complete overall rather than the tweaks it's gotten over the years. "We really need to take a look at the whole system," Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta said at a July 15 House Oversight and Government Reform federal workforce, Postal Service and the Census subcommittee hearing.
The Air Force plans to reduce costs and personnel by offering early retirement to 3,500 civilian workers, a July 14 Air Force statement says. The reduction is part of a Defense Department initiative that requires each military branch to cut costs and staff by at least 20 percent by 2019, saving the Air Force about $1.6 billion over the next five years.