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Returns for most of the basic Thrift Savings Plan basic funds continued inching up in July, with only the S Fund, pegged to stocks of small and medium-sized U.S. companies, dipping into the red for the month.
Faced with congressional inaction in averting looming across-the-board cuts that take effect in January, the Office of Management and Budget will begin meeting with agency leaders to discuss how the cuts will be implemented. In a memo to agency heads, OMB Director Jeff Zients said his office will consult with agencies to determine which budget accounts and programs are exempt from sequestration.
Defense industry executives have spent the last few weeks warning that across-the-board budgets cuts that go into effect in January, could force them to issue notifications to employees in the fall to warn of impending layoffs. However, in a new memo issued Monday, the Labor Department said the lack of clarity about how the cuts would be applied means it would be "inappropriate" to issue Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notifications.
Legislation forcing the White House to explain how the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration will affect individual agencies is now waiting for President Barack Obama's signature. The Senate unanimously approved the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 Wednesday, which requires the administration to detail within 30 days how the $1.2 trillion over 10 years in automatic cuts will be applied. The House passed its version of the bill last week in a 414-2 vote.
The inspector general for the Social Security Administration estimated the agency is sitting on about $134 million for benefit checks that sit uncashed by recipients for more than a year - money subsequently returned to the agency. But the IG report found most of the recipients who didn't cash their checks are still eligible for the assistance and the SSA could take additional steps to ensure they receive them.
The House handily approved a bipartisan bill requiring the Obama administration to provide more information about how automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, will be implemented starting in January. While the vote cut across party lines, lawmakers continue to disagree about ways to come up with alternatives.
The Office of Management and Budget has reiterated to lawmakers that the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration will apply to wartime funding. In a June 15 letter, to Rep. Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeff Zients wrote that the Budget Control Act allowed no "flexibility" to exempt Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), from sequestration.
Defense contractors are growing increasingly worried about the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, which are set to take effect in January. Marion Blakey, the president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, said the cuts would hit the defense industry particularly hard.
The State Department's share of overseas contingency contracting has grown over the last few years as the department took on new activities and functions as the military departed Iraq. Still, the budget shows, the Defense Department is the main player in overseas contingency contracting. And there's no guarantee Congress won't turn to the foreign affairs budget in its efforts to dramatically reduce the deficit.
When the Defense Department began contingency contracting operations on a large-scale in Iraq in 2003 it was largely a trial by fire. Despite the best planning, DoD lacked the programs and practical solutions to handle the environment, officials say. Since then, commissions, panels and lawmakers have offered fixes and DoD has evolved to try to create "rock-solid" reforms. Federal News Radio examines these issues in the next part of our series, Inside the World's Biggest Buyer.
Tags: Dov Zakheim , Jacques Gansler , Alan Chvotkin , Gary Motsek , John Tierney , Harold McAlduff , Defense Acquisition University , DoD , State , acquisition , contracting , Commission on Wartime Contracting , Inside the Worlds Biggest Buyer ,