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1:43 am, April 21, 2014

Oversight News

Dead feds with credit cards!

Despite publicity and crackdowns, credit card abuse continues in federal agencies. Sometimes it's shocking, sometimes amusing, sometimes creepy ... as in dead men charging, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Thursday - 04/17/2014, 02:00am EDT

Beryl Davis, Government Accountability Office

Forty-one agencies don't have designated inspectors general of their own, according to Senate Financial and Contracting Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). She's sponsoring a bill that focuses on these small agencies that don't have the budget or resources for their own IG. Beryl Davis, director of financial management and assurance issues at the Government Accountability Office, testified recently before the subcommittee. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose about a recent GAO report on oversight at smal federal agencies.

Monday - 04/14/2014, 06:25pm EDT
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NASA fixing security holes in oversight of foreign nationals

Changes come in the wake of a NASA-commissioned report on the issue of foreign nationals' access to sensitive information. The study, which has not been released to the public, found the agency had failed to establish a central management structure for those workers' access to data and didn't impose consequences when its policies were violated.

Monday - 04/14/2014, 03:56am EDT
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McCaskill drafting new IG bill with focus on small agencies

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told a panel of agency IGs that she's currently drafting legislation that would pool together resources and establish an IG office specifically for the dozens of small agencies that fall outside the scope of the 1978 IG Act.

Thursday - 04/10/2014, 04:18pm EDT

OSC targets Hatch Act violations at IRS, improper hiring at CBP

A customer service representative at the IRS who repeatedly greeted taxpayers calling a help-line with a chant urging President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 could now be facing significant disciplinary action, according to the Office of Special Counsel. It's one of three cases of improper political activity at the agency recently uncovered by OSC. Meanwhile, three career officials at Customs and Border Protection are under fire by OSC for allegedly manipulating the hiring process to install job candidates favored by political leadership into career appointments.

Wednesday - 04/09/2014, 03:45pm EDT

Does your company need a board of advisors?

Stan Krejci of the SK Group discusses whether your company needs a board of advisers, and if so, how you should assemble one.
April 7, 2014

Monday - 04/07/2014, 07:07pm EDT
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Issa threatens subpoena over real property data

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the oversight committee, and John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee, want OMB to provide data to the committee on excess federal properties valued at $50 million or more. The committee has been seeking this information for more than two years, "yet these requests have consistently gone unfulfilled," Issa and Mica wrote in a March 24 letter to OMB Director Sylvia Burwell.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 05:07pm EDT

Debra Roth, partner, Shaw, Bransford & Roth

The strange case of Lois Lerner - a federal official pleading the fifth - and the IRS.

Thursday - 03/20/2014, 09:44am EDT
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Dan Metcalfe, adjunct professor of law at American University

Why can't the government do a better job at Freedom of Information Act requests?

Wednesday - 03/19/2014, 09:42am EDT
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Agency FOIA officers discontent with House reform bill

The FOIA Act of 2014 would amend the Freedom of Information Act in 12 ways. It calls for the online portal and requires more oversight by agency inspectors general. But some agency FOIA officers say the bill only would improve the information disclosure process minimally.

Wednesday - 03/19/2014, 06:19am EDT
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White House backs 13 recommendations to improve security clearance process

Six months after 34-year-old IT contractor Aaron Alexis opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard killing 12 people, concerns about missed red flags in his background and gaps in the security clearance process are now turning into action. The Obama administration released the findings of a interagency review of the federal security clearance process Tuesday. Among the 13 recommendations for shoring up the system are continuously evaluating clearance holders rather than relying on infrequent check-ups and improving investigators' access to state and local police records.

Tuesday - 03/18/2014, 04:28pm EDT

Time to fix the federal spending house of (reporting) horrors

Despite the billions spent investing in systems, financial processes are such that when you add up all the layers, it takes something akin to archaeology for a citizen to unearth a specific fact about where and how money was spent, says Federal News Radio host Tom Temin.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 12:46pm EST

OSTP asks agencies for 'bold, ambitious' open government initiatives

A new memo from CTO Todd Park requires agencies to update their open government plans by June 1. The plans should include new efforts as well as progress reports on current initiatives.

Monday - 03/03/2014, 12:22pm EST
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Senate bill blocks background-check firms from reviewing own work

The Preventing Conflicts of Interest with Contractors Act would block the Office of Personnel Management from contracting with companies to perform final quality reviews if those same companies are also responsible for conducting initial investigations. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta announced in early February that, going forward, only federal employees would conduct final quality reviews. The new bill writes Archuleta's decision into law. Otherwise it could be reversed by a future OPM director.

Friday - 02/28/2014, 11:32am EST

Performance ratings: Let's do something constructive for a change

Some HR practitioners say the process of identifying some goals, setting multiple levels of achievement, then judging employee performance annually is a best practice. That may be true, but that doesn't mean it is a good practice.

Thursday - 02/27/2014, 04:07pm EST

3 agencies reap benefits of shared support functions, report says

In times of constrained budgets, agencies are cutting and consolidating services to save money and resources. Could it be the key to transforming government? A new report looks at what three agencies are doing right.

Wednesday - 02/26/2014, 06:00pm EST

DHS Secretary Johnson offers few insights into management priorities

In his first appearance before House overseers, Jeh Johnson, the DHS secretary, said employee morale is among his top priorities, but didn't say how he would address it. Johnson said he's working to fill top leadership positions on a permanent basis. DHS has a vacancy rate at top positions of 38 percent.

Wednesday - 02/26/2014, 02:16pm EST

House committee chairman wants VA middle managers held accountable

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is the author of new legislation that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs Department to fire its senior executives. Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says the agency is too shy about cutting loose middle managers who are performing poorly.

Monday - 02/17/2014, 03:44pm EST
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Congress eyeing legislative fix for security clearances

President Barack Obama signed the OPM IG Act into law this week. The law provides the agency's top watchdog with an additional source of funding to conduct audits and investigations of the security-clearance process.

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 04:14pm EST

House bill would make it easier to fire senior execs at VA

The VA Management Accountability Act would give VA Secretary Eric Shinseki broad authority to remove Senior Executives Service (SES) members "if the secretary determines the performance of the individual warrants such removal," according to the bill. In addition to outright removal, the bill would allow the VA secretary to bump SES members down to the General Schedule at any grade level the secretary deems appropriate according to the bill.

Wednesday - 02/12/2014, 01:22pm EST
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