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2:34 am, April 18, 2014

Jack Moore Reports

Jack Moore is a web editor and general assignment reporter for Federal News Radio.

Regulatory czar nominee pledges to speed up review process

President Barack Obama's pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) pledged to clear up delays in the regulatory process if confirmed by the Senate. Appearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday, Howard Shelanski said improving the timeliness of OIRA's work -- which has come in for criticism from Republican lawmakers and transparency groups, alike -- is among his top priorities.

Wednesday - 06/12/2013, 06:21pm EDT
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Postal Service cost-saving initiatives fast-tracked under new rule

The cash-strapped Postal Service has proposed a number of service and delivery changes to right its financial ship and says it needs more timely decisions from the commission to implement them. The commission has been criticized in the past for taking too long to issue its opinions. Of the five major cases brought before the commission since 2006, three took more than eight months to complete and one took nearly a year, according to PRC.

Tuesday - 06/11/2013, 07:21pm EDT

Booz Allen fires employee involved in NSA leaks

Booz Allen Hamilton announced Tuesday it has fired Edward Snowden, the contractor employee who admitted leaking details about classified National Security Agency programs to reporters. The company said Snowden was fired June 10 because he violated company policies, including its code of ethics.

Tuesday - 06/11/2013, 01:17pm EDT

DoD using flawed approach to calculate $1.1B in improper payments

The Defense Department reported making just $1.1 billion in improper payments in fiscal 2011, a small fraction of the Pentagon's total outlays of more than $1 trillion. But, in a new report, the Government Accountability Office said those estimates are neither reliable nor statistically valid because of "longstanding and pervasive" weaknesses in DoD financial-management practices as well as specific deficiencies in the department's procedures for estimating improper payments.

Monday - 06/10/2013, 05:49pm EDT
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Performance.gov faces identity crisis

Nearly two years after the site launched, the Office of Management and Budget still hasn't clearly defined its purpose or its intended audience, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Friday - 06/07/2013, 06:05pm EDT

Pentagon preparing 2014 spending plan that factors in sequestration

By July 1, the Pentagon will provide the Senate Armed Services Committee its plan for managing reduced fiscal 2014 budget levels, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a speech Wednesday. The committee had asked DoD to provide a list of spending reductions after the White House submitted a budget proposal for next fiscal year that simply ignored sequestration, ostensibly in the hope that the automatic budget cuts would be canceled or otherwise avoided in 2014.

Thursday - 06/06/2013, 08:07pm EDT

GSA, Trump release plans for Old Post Office Building

After more than a year of negotiations, the General Services Administration and business magnate Donald Trump's organization have inked a deal to redevelop Washington, D.C.'s historic Old Post Office Building into a luxury hotel. Now it's up to Congress, which has 30 days to review the agreement, to finalize the deal.

Thursday - 06/06/2013, 05:11pm EDT

OPM processes fewer retirement applications than expected in May

The Office of Personnel Management's efforts to process retirement claims and reduce a longstanding backlog slipped last month, after the agency was forced to cancel employee overtime because of automatic budget cuts. OPM processed 10,954 claims in May, according to new data, 546 fewer than it had projected. That's only the third time in the past 16 months - since the agency rolled out a new plan for clearing the backlog that OPM failed to hit its processing goal.

Wednesday - 06/05/2013, 04:03pm EDT

OPM issues phased retirement guidance

Federal employees who choose to retire part-time and return to federal service under a new phased-retirement option will have to spend at least 20 percent of their time on mentoring activities, according to proposed rules from the Office of Personnel Management, which were released today in the Federal Register

Tuesday - 06/04/2013, 09:15pm EDT

IG: IRS violated few policies in spending millions on conferences

The Internal Revenue Service held 225 employee conferences between 2010 and 2012, at a total cost of $49 million, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The report also revealed the embattled agency used funding originally slated to hire front-line employees to foot most of the bill for a $4.1 million conference held in Anaheim, Calif., in 2010.

Tuesday - 06/04/2013, 06:21pm EDT

Analysis: Management reforms key to rebuilding IRS after scandal

The revelations of improper targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service has so far been isolated to lower-level offices. But the former head of the IRS says an overall failure of leadership must be corrected if the embattled agency wants to rebuild its reputation. Mark Everson, head of the IRS under George W. Bush, told Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp President Barack Obama should appoint a permanent IRS commissioner.

Monday - 06/03/2013, 08:12pm EDT
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TSP gains lag in May

After solid showings in March and April, Thrift Savings Plan funds lost a little steam last month, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. Overall, two of the five regular funds posted ended May in negative territory, including the F Fund (the bond market) and the I Fund (international stocks). The F Fund is down 0.76 percent for the year.

Monday - 06/03/2013, 03:17pm EDT

OMB takes first step toward comprehensive inventory of federal programs

The Office of Management and Budget took the first step Friday in attempting to compile a comprehensive list of federal programs with the launch of a new online inventory. Hosted on Performance.gov, the Federal Program Inventory aims to be a one-stop shop for information about the more than 1,600 programs agencies operate and how they complement -- or even duplicate -- the work of other programs.

Friday - 05/31/2013, 06:36pm EDT

Agencies fight uphill battle to retain critical knowledge and skills

Even though a massive federal retirement tsunami has been a no-show, even a moderate uptick in retirements could pose challenges for agencies -- especially as they face decreasing budgets and declining staffs. In part three of our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio examines how agencies plan to retain institutional knowledge and fill critical skills gaps as longtime employees head for the exits.

Friday - 05/31/2013, 02:41am EDT

Sequestration threatens OPM's low-tech plan to beat retirement backlog

Not that long ago, the Office of Personnel Management faced a crisis in processing retirement claims. In part two of our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio examines how OPM set out to beat its backlog, and how it can stay ahead of an unexpected surge in claims amid automatic budget cuts that threaten to derail progress.

Thursday - 05/30/2013, 07:40pm EDT

White House wants to scrap law allowing costly contractor salaries

The Obama administration has called on Congress to cap government-reimbursed contractor compensation at $400,000, a move that the head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy said would save hundreds of millions of dollars. Joe Jordan, the OFPP administrator, said the White House would send proposed legislation to Congress next week.

Thursday - 05/30/2013, 06:02pm EDT

DoD furlough decision driven by readiness concerns

Roughly 680,000 DoD civilians will be forced to take one day off per week without pay between July 8 and the end of the fiscal year as a result of the automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration. Jessica Wright, acting undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, told In Depth with Francis Rose the decision wasn't an easy one.

Wednesday - 05/29/2013, 07:04pm EDT
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Forecasting the retirement wave: What's behind the flubbed predictions?

A federal retirement tsunami has been predicted for years but never quite materialized. In our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio reexamines the trends and developments that led to the botched predictions and what it means today with a recent uptick in retirements reviving old worries.

Wednesday - 05/29/2013, 05:00am EDT
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White House wants to root out copycat programs - starting with STEM

The Obama administration's proposed fiscal 2014 budget called for consolidating or eliminating 116 of the government's 226 STEM initiatives and centralizing the coordination of STEM programs under just three agencies: the Education Department, the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. The administration's STEM proposal is one of the government's first visible steps in reversing some of the duplication that riddles the federal landscape and which some lawmakers have seized on as examples of government waste.

Friday - 05/17/2013, 01:45pm EDT
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Obama appoints Danny Werfel acting IRS head

President Barack Obama has appointed senior White House budget officer Daniel Werfel to be acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, a White House official says.

Thursday - 05/16/2013, 05:18pm EDT
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