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Blog Profile / The Federal Eye

Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:3123
Posts / Week:16.2
Archived Since:April 20, 2011

Blog Post Archive

How long does it take to investigate an inspector general? A long time

Relatively speaking, federal inspectors general are not accused of wrongdoing that often, and a small number of complaints against them results in full-blown investigations. But since these public servants are high-ranking watchdogsShow More Summary

Meet the ‘elves’ who staff the Santa-tracker call center

Tracking santa is a tradition that spans generations for the Hines family. It all started four years ago, when Pat Hines, a retired Air Force intelligence specialist from Phoenix, volunteered with his daughter Sharon Nolan, of Colorado Springs, Colo., to staff a hotline that helps kids pinpoint Saint Nick’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve. Show More Summary

Helman’s firing upheld, a government ruling says

The government agency charged with making sure federal employees are treated fairly upheld this week the Department of Veterans Affairs decision to “formally remove” Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix Department of Veterans Affairs’ Health Care System and the leader at the center of the biggest scandal in the agency’s history. But the ruling by […]

House GOP leader’s final report on IRS targeting accuses agency of ‘culture of bias’

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released his sixth and final report on the Internal Revenue Service targeting scandal on Tuesday, charging the tax agency with allowing a “culture of bias” against conservative groups. The 226-page report from the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is Issa’s last stand on a controversy he elevated […]

No raise for you, guidance reminds appointees

The 1 percent pay raise for federal employees that was finalized by an order from President Obama won’t benefit the political appointees who work for him, nor members of Congress. Guidance that followed an executive order issued late Friday notes that under the budget law that allowed the raise, the actual pay for Cabinet members and […]

Nonprofit contracting official indicted on bribery charges

The former chief of contracts for International Relief & Development (IRD) in Arlington Va., one of the largest non-governmental organizations to work in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been indicted on federal bribery charges. George E. Green, 57, was charged with steering contracts to an Afghan subcontractor as part of an agricultural program funded by the […]

Not every GI is a Joe! VA works to help growing number of female veterans

“Not every GI is a Joe.” “Please, don’t call me Mister” These are the titles of a series of posters that the Department of Veterans Affairs has put up across its vast hospital system. It’s all part of an effort to help the fastest growing veteran population — women — feel more comfortable in a system […]

Obama gives federal workers a 2015 pay raise

President Obama on Friday ordered a 1-percent pay raise for federal employees, giving them only their second mandatory wage increase in the past five years. The salary bump will take effect on Jan. 1, marking the second year Obama provided a raise for the federal workforce after a three-year pay freeze. The 2014 increase was also 1 percent. […]

What Obama can do about Cuba, and how Congress can interfere

President Obama this week announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of restrictions, but lawmakers from both parties have opposed the new initiative. The administration can act alone on certain matters when it comes to Cuba, but congressional cooperation is required for other steps. Show More Summary

Growing portion of FEMA disaster funding goes to admin costs, auditors say

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is spending an increasing portion of its disaster relief budget on administrative costs such as salaries for government workers and could save hundreds of millions of dollars by better controlling such expenses, federal auditors have found. Between 2004 and 2013, FEMA spent $12.7 billion on administrative costs, which was 13 […]

Report: VA official inappropriately steered contracts before moving to Treasury

A former top procurement official at the Department of Veterans Affairs — who now holds a similar position at the Treasury Department — steered contracts to a company with which she had a personal relationship, according to a watchdog report. In concert with a VA colleague, Iris Cooper “preselected” the company, Tridec Technologies, then divided […]

Spending measure allows abortion coverage for Peace Corps volunteers

Congress and President Obama this week halted a 35-year ban on federal abortion assistance for Peace Corps volunteers with their approval of a government-wide spending bill. The legislation extends abortion coverage to Peace Corps volunteers...Show More Summary

HUD union parties with the boss

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ranks dead last among mid-size agencies, but you could not tell that from the good time its employees, including the boss, had at a union holiday party Wednesday. Members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 476 took over Carmine’s Restaurant on 7th Street NW, feasted […]

Federal government tweaks leave policy for snow days

Federal agencies will no longer grant excused absences for government employees who happen to be scheduled for paid leave when their offices end up closing because of severe weather or other emergencies. In the past, agencies would automatically swap excused absences for any paid leave on snow days. Show More Summary

Major messup: How the VA gave Congress and the media false information

The Department of Veterans Affairs this year issued false statements to Congress and the media about treatment delays and how many patients died or suffered as a result of wait times at its health clinics. The agency’s inspector general...Show More Summary

Lawmakers blast Social Security for targeting family members to collect old debts

Lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday blasted the Social Security Administration for its continued targeting of taxpayers for the decades-old debts of their parents, a practice that the agency promised to stop more than eight months ago. Show More Summary

How a popular government-transparency bill suddenly died in Congress

Nothing comes easy for the current Congress, which has already left its mark as one of the least productive in U.S. history. The Fighting 113th has agreed in principle on the need to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, a key government-transparency law that guarantees public access to federal records. But House leaders last week shrugged […]

What makes patriots perpetrators of torture?

CIA employees “are among the best and brightest our nation has to offer,” CIA Director John Brennan said last week. That’s true. It’s also true that some of them committed torture. With the approval of agency supervisors and George W. Bush administration officials, federal workers engaged in horrendous acts in the name of protecting a […]

Defense spending bill would put mental-health experts on discharge boards

Military personnel facing less-than-honorable discharge would have their cases reviewed by at least one mental-health professional under the defense-spending bill that Congress sent to President Obama late last week. The requirement,...Show More Summary

Issa subpoenas MIT economist Jonathan Gruber for Obamacare documents

Economist Jonathan Gruber apologized before a congressional panel this week for controversial comments he made about the political process behind the Affordable Care Act, but he declined to say how much the Obama administration paid him for consulting work on the health-care law. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) isn’t letting him off the hook. As one of his […]

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