The Justice Department is trying a new mix of carrots and sticks to get agencies to process open-records requests. The department’s annual compliance report to Congress describes new outreach efforts and reporting requirements. For example, agencies now have to report quarterly on how many requests they’ve received, processed and backlogged. That’s the closest the government has ever come to real-time information. Melanie Ann Pustay, director of the Justice Department office of information policy, says the new accountability measures are working.
Tom Devine legal director Government Accountability Project
A court ruling is being called a victory for federal whistleblowers. The TSA fired security specialist Robert MacLean nine years ago after MacLean gave a journalist sensitive information about the number of air marshals on flights. MacLean argued that his comments were not illegal. The Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit recently agreed with him. The Government Accountability Project’s legal director Tom Devine is MacLean’s attorney.
Lorelei St. James director, physical infrastructure issues Government Accountability Office
The Veterans Affairs Department is staring down extensive problems with construction projects at major medical facilities. The average cost overrun of the 50 projects managed by the VA is $366 million and the average delay is a year and a half. The Government Accountability Office investigated the management of these costly and tardy projects and found inefficiencies in several places.
From Our Reporters
Agencies are launching new efforts to keep employees who have between five and 10 years of government experience. That’s about the time when many are ready to move up the career ladder or move on to the private sector. Federal News Radio’s Jason Millerexplains what agencies doing to retain these workers.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.