Briefing

The Golden Ticket

The IRS is turning to ordinary Americans to blow the whistle on big-time tax cheats. And, if the government gets paid, so do you.

The Tax Whistleblower Reward Program will pay big bucks rewards to any individual whose tip leads to the identification of more than $2 million in unreported taxes, including interest and penalties. Tipsters can earn between 15 percent and 30 percent of what the government actually collects.

The program, which was enacted as part of the 2006 Tax Relief and Health Care Act, recently cut its first reward payment-a whopping $5.5 million check to a whistleblower who disclosed tax fraud at several companies. The IRS says it is shortchanged roughly $400 billion in taxes every year.

But the road to riches won't come easy. The IRS requires "specific and credible" information on tax crooks, including documents such as bank statements and e-mails.

-Robert Brodsky

The Little Engine That Could

What a difference a year makes. As agencies move more services to the Web, seek to bolster cybersecurity, and reach out online to collaborate and involve the public in policymaking, the little engine that fuels these e-government efforts is struggling to keep up.

In fact, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., has asked congressional appropriators for $3 million to boost staffing at the Office of Management and Budget's e-government division in light of its increased workload. The e-gov office:

  • Employs the equivalent of 13 full- time workers
  • Manages a federal IT budget that is slated in the president's 2011 request to reach $79 billion-$4 billion more than the previous year
  • Employed five people when it was established in 2002
  • Grew from six employees to 11 during the last term of the Bush administration

-Aliya Sternstein

Fight Club

American women have contributed significantly to war efforts ever since Molly Pitcher carried water to soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Of course, credit is not always given when it's due. Recently, however, there's been some buzz about women's roles in the military-past and present.

The Navy in February ended its ban on women serving aboard submarines, while Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey has said he supports a review of the military's policy on women in combat.

But perhaps the most overdue recognition for service came during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony on Capitol Hill this spring for the first women who flew and tested military aircraft in World War II. At the event honoring the Women Airforce Service Pilots, Lt. Col. Nicole Malachowski, the first female Thunderbird pilot, described her initial encounter with the group at a "small display in a dusty little corner" of the Smithsonian in the summer of 1986. "Their story helped write my story," she said.

Until the government granted them veteran status in 1977, WASPs weren't entitled to the same benefits as male pilots. Thirty-eight female aviators died in service.

-Dawn Lim

Summer Stock

With summer just around the corner, students across the country once again are playing the internship game, applying to government agencies in the hope of nabbing a résumé-building gig.

According to the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, agencies with a bent toward intelligence and international service-such as the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development-continue to draw students. The Justice Department, especially the FBI, also attracts many interns. The Partnership, along with the Office of Personnel Management, manages Call to Serve, a program that connects students and government agencies.

But as students become more focused on the environment, the popularity of internships at the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are on the rise, says Tim McManus, vice president of education and outreach for the Partnership.

For business students, one agency with a low public profile remains a top destination for a career-building experience. The Government Accountability Office, the federal agency watchdog and performance evaluator, has forged strong connections with universities, especially business schools, and attracts students who are interested not only in civil service but in administration of any kind.

"A smaller type of agency is often seen as being more innovative in their approach to things," McManus says.

-Alex M. Parker

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.