Internal Revenue Service watchdogs say the agency could do more in terms of taxpayer services if it had more human and financial resources. The White House proposed a fiscal 2018 budget of $10.9 billion, a cut of roughly $300 million from 2017 funding levels.
The Senate is tied up with the 2018 budget and probing whether Russia influenced the 2016 election. But members still remain interested in the Veterans Affairs Department. The committee is marking up the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. If enacted, this bill could help the department attract the talent management says it needs. Kristine Simmons, vice president of government affairs at the Partnership for Public Service, joins Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more.
Dr. Matthew D. Harris, an associate adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, argues reducing the number of smaller OIGs will enhance the overall independence and effectiveness of the IG community.
Reducing the improper payment rate and making better IT acquisition decisions are among the Government Accountability Office’s top suggestions to find ways to run the government for less. Agencies shoulder much of the work, but Congress also has its role to play.
At the Interior Department, the Bureau of Land Management has discretion to grant exceptions to the rules for oil and gas drilling on federal land. Frank Rusco, director of natural and environment issues at the Government Accountability Office, tells Federal Drive with Tom Temin it’s impossible to tell how often the agency does so because it doesn’t keep track.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s CFO said offices should continue to follow April 2017 hiring guidance, while the agency prepares its FY2017 enacted operating plan for Congress.
The U.S. Postal Service’s independent regulatory body may raise the price of a postage stamp after it finishes reviewing the current rate-setting system later this fall.
The Government Accountability Office found that the Veterans Affairs Department doesn’t have a very effective process for aligning facilities and capital investments. Debra Draper, director of health care issues at the GAO, shares the details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Both the Veterans Affairs and Justice departments believe they can easily resolve some concerns with the constitutionality of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. DoJ is concerned, however, that VA will run into the same issues that ultimately rendered a controversial provision on firing senior executives unconstitutional.
Federal HR expert Jeff Neal applauds the efforts of lawmakers to investigate civil service reforms and calls for legislation that brings meaningful training for supervisors.
It is not uncommon for a federal agency to claim it is data-driven, but how true is that statement? The Securities and Exchange Commission is one example of an agency that uses large amounts of data for up-to-date analyses. Kevin Compher, lead data scientist in the Cloud Strategies and Enterprise Data Platform group within the SEC, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to give a true sense of how much data the agency depends on.
The Trump administration is calling on agencies to find new ways to improve services to citizens, including an overhaul of digital services. That’s where the Federal Agency Customer Experience Act of 2017 comes in. Mallory Barg Bulman, vice president for research and evaluation at the Partnership for Public Service, spoke on Federal Drive with Tom Temin about how things are adding up.
The Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which senators introduced last week, may have more momentum than previous bills. It now has 12 co-sponsors, including four Democrats and VA Secretary David Shulkin himself. Yet some federal employee groups and experts question whether the new bill has the teeth to truly tackle long entrenched cultural problems at the department.
The Senate is now in its second week since the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and is still in a bind. David Hawkings, senior editor of Roll Call, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss the likeliness that the chamber will be able to get things done regarding confirmations or any other business.
Open government and press organizations are fighting back against the new communications policy the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee recently set between his committee and the Treasury Department. The new policy says any communication between the committee and the department will be considered a “congressional record” and therefore isn’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act.