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Army cites progress at Arlington Cemetery

Army officials told Congress Thursday that they had made progress in reforming management at Arlington National Cemetery, an institution they said lacked a management foundation when a new management team took over in the wake of a scandal involving mismarked grave sites and other problems. Some members still are unhappy with the changes.

Tags: DoD , Congress , Arlington Cemetery , management , Army , John McHugh , Kathryn Condon , Karl Schneider , Patrick Hallinan , Mike Coffman ,

Friday - 04/15/2011, 07:05am EDT
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Bill to reduce Senate-confirmed positions advances

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee agreed to legislation Wednesday that would take roughly 200 presidential appointees out of the Senate confirmation process. The vast number of Senate-confirmable positions has become unwieldy for the upper chamber, and has deterred too many qualified candidates from accepting executive branch appointments, committee leaders said.

Tags: management , Congress , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs , Susan Collins , Joseph Lieberman , Rob Portman , Tom Coburn , Senate-confirmed positions ,

Thursday - 04/14/2011, 07:07am EDT
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Six-month budget slashes e-gov fund by 76 percent

The agreement between the White House and Congressional leaders to fund the government through the remainder of 2011 would strip the E-Government fund of more than three quarters of its dollars. The fund, managed by the General Services Administration, pays for several of the Obama Administration's government transparency websites.

Tags: technology , Congress , Vivek Kundra , David McClure , OMB , GSA , cloud computing , data center consolidation , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs , E-Government Fund , open government , transparency , TechStat ,

Tuesday - 04/12/2011, 08:20pm EDT
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Senator optimistic about major cyber bill this year

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who led a Senate Intelligence Committee review of cybersecurity policy last year, said he is hopeful that Congress will be able to pass an overhaul of cyber laws this year. Whitehouse has been critical of the pace at which the Obama Administration has moved to propose such changes to lawmakers.

Tags: Congress , cybersecurity , DoD , Sheldon Whitehouse , James Langevin , Keith Alexander , U.S. Cyber Command , DHS , James Baker , Douglas Maughan ,

Monday - 04/11/2011, 07:39pm EDT
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TRICARE sustains protest in $17 billion service contract

TRICARE, the Defense Department's managed healthcare organization, said Thursday that it will reevaluate a multibillion dollar award to administer health insurance services for military members in one of its three U.S. regions.

Tags: DoD , TRICARE , Humana , UnitedHealthcare , Health Net , industry , contracting , DoD Report

Friday - 04/08/2011, 06:56am EDT
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DHS's lack of financial clarity a huge liability

The Homeland Security Department's chief management officer said Tuesday that the lack of a departmentwide financial management system is a huge deficiency. Fixing that, he said, is among the department's primary management priorities.

Tags: Congress , DHS , management , technology , GAO , High Risk list , Rafael Borras , Joe Lieberman , Coast Guard , CACI , TASC , OMB , financial management , industry ,

Wednesday - 04/06/2011, 08:24pm EDT
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DOJ aggregates FOIA data in web portal

The Justice Department is taking information about how agencies are responding to the Freedom of Information Act, and putting it all in one place. FOIA.gov is a new web portal that takes each federal agency's annual FOIA report, and puts it into an online, customizable, searchable database with colorful charts and graphs. Users can compare one agency's FOIA performance to another, see how much each agency spends to comply with the open records law, and how big the backlog of unanswered requests is. It also gives members of the public information help with filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 04/06/2011, 01:13pm EDT

VA automation to increase accuracy of claims processing

The Department of Veterans Affairs is relying on the promise of technology to meet its goal of eliminating its backlog of claims for disability benefits by 2015. VA Secretary Erik Shinseki says they are hiring more people to process claims, but those new workers don't always have the experience to process claims accurately. To bridge that gap, the department is building IT systems that use a rules based engine to automate the results they'd get from a skilled, veteran claims processor. Their ultimate goal is to automate the claims process entirely, with a 98 percent accuracy rate.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 04/06/2011, 01:11pm EDT

Using IT to tackle improper payments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are exploring how they can use some of the technology used by credit card companies to cut down on fraud, by stopping improper payments before they happen. The agency plans to use money from the Small Business Jobs bill to test out technology known as predictive modeling. Banks use it to detect transactions that don't mesh up with a card holder's typical spending patterns. CMS thinks it might be a way to stop improper payments beforehand - rather than chasing down fraud after it's already happened.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 04/06/2011, 01:11pm EDT

USPS to defend union contract

The Postal Service will save more than $3 billion over the next several years under a labor agreement it negotiated with one of its largest unions, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe will tell Congress Tuesday. House lawmakers have called a hearing to examine the deal with the American Postal Workers Union and other USPS workforce issues.

Tags: management , pay and benefits , Congress , USPS , Patrick Donahoe , Darrell Issa , House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ,

Monday - 04/04/2011, 07:40pm EDT
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