Agencies are meeting governmentwide performance goals that President Obama set nearly a year ago, said the Office of Management and Budget in a Dec. 18 OMB blog post. In his fiscal 2015 budget request earlier this year, Obama established 15 new Cross-Agency Priority goals meant to improve agency performance governmentwide.
Despite NASA reporting the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, will launch as planned in October 2018, the Government Accountability Office says one of the agency's most complex and expensive projects in NASA history faces increased schedule and cost risks.
The Postal Service Board of Governors convened an emergency committee so it can do business since it doesn't currently have enough members to make a quorum, a Dec. 16 Federal Register notice says. The board needs six members out of 11 to be filled to make up a quorum, but with the retirement of Chairman Mickey Barnett on Dec. 8, the board is currently down to five members, the notice (pdf) says.
The General Services Administration is seeking industry feedback on best practices for its governmentwide commercial payment system, says a Dec. 10 GSA statement. The request for information is meant help the agency develop GSA SmartPay 3, a new iteration of the governmentwide payment and charge card program, the statement says.
A recent Defense Department report says the number of sexual assaults reported by military members rose by 8 percent in 2014 as compared to last year – an increase that Secretary Chuck Hagel attributes to confidence among survivors. DoD fielded almost 6,000 sexual assault reports in 2014, up 5,500 reported in 2013.
By 2016, the customer service initiatives that were set in motion in 2014 should "bear fruit," predicts Stephanie Thum, vice president of customer experience at the Export-Import Bank, which serves as the federal government's official export credit agency.
On Sunday the FBI issued its strongest warning about possible attacks from militant extremists associated with the Islamic State against the U.S. military, and asked servicemembers to scrub their social media accounts, according to a Dec. 1 ABC News article. The FBI issued the bulletin Sunday jointly with the Homeland Security Department and strongly urged military members to scrub their social media accounts of anything that could bring unwanted attention from extremists or help them learn servicemembers' identities, the article says.
A former second-in-command at the Pentagon is expected to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, according to CNN. Ashton Carter formerly served as deputy defense secretary under both Leon Panetta and Hagel.
Between April and September, the Postal Service inspector general issued 100 reports that identified $6.8 billion worth of possible savings for the agency, says the IG's semi-annual report to Congress. Broken down, the USPS IG identified (pdf) nearly $222 million in funds that could be put to better use, about $470 billion in questioned costs and almost $200 billion in revenue impact from recommendations.
The Veterans Affairs Department expanded eligibility for veterans in need of mental healthcare due to sexual assault or sexual harassment, a Dec. 1 VA statement says. As part of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, the expansion primarily pertains to Reservists and National Guard members participating in weekend drill.