The Postal Service lost $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012. Most of that was due to the Retiree Health Benefits Fund, which the Postal Service is required by law to pre-fund, but it still would not have been profitable without that obligation--its operating losses were $2.4 billion in 2012.
The assessment tool the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments use to assess cognitive function after a head injury, the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metric, lacks clear scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness, says a report from an Institute of Medicine task force.
The 2020 Census may cost billions of dollars less than anticipated if the Census Bureau can reduce its labor-intensive door-to-door canvassing and take more information from national records, a new report from the Government Accountability Office says.
If Congress does not fully-fund NIST, Ross Corotis, a member of NRC's laboratory assessments board, recommends the agency avoid an across-the-board cut to all programs as that approach would impact quality. Rather, NIST should prioritize what areas it wants to focus on. "They should cut out some things rather than trying to continue doing all they're doing," he said.
In its legislation, Congress references a provision that has been included in every spending bill since 1983 that requires USPS to make deliveries 6 days a week if the agency wants the $90 million appropriation.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed bills March 20 that would allow the Government Accountability Office to access federal agency information and make popular Freedom of Information Act requests more available.
The Veterans Affairs Department has nearly 900,000 pending disability claims, more than 70 percent of which have been pending for more than 125 days, according March 20 testimony before a House Committee. Still, Allison Hickey, under secretary for benefits at VA, said the Veterans Benefits Administration is actually making progress. "VBA employees are completing more compensation claims than ever before in the history of VA," she said.
Justice Department employees tasked with upholding voting rights harassed other employees based on race and political ideology and DOJ managers did not respond to the incidents appropriately, finds a departmental inspector general review (.pdf) of the voting rights section of the civil rights division.
Black federal employees continue to face a number of equal employment opportunity obstacles, concludes a study from a working group commissioned by the Office of Federal Operations within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Uncertainty in the federal governments budgeting process and temporary stopgap measures prevent agencies from planning for the fiscal year and wastes the time of federal employees while lowering their morale, witnesses said at a congressional hiring on the impact of crisis budgeting.