Proposal to close more than 700 Farm Service Agency offices had run into widespread opposition on Capitol Hill.
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Proposed policy includes strict guidelines for approving construction projects.
Department defends decision, saying plan was meant for unforeseen disasters.
Various departmentwide initiatives would be included in agency’s portfolio.
The most successful civil servants tend to be people who successfully navigate the tricky terrain where political appointees and career officials meet.
In letter to lawmakers, Postal Rate Commission rejects criticism of legislation by agency's Board of Governors.
In emergency situations, informal relationships can be as critical as formal ones.
Many policies already in place are underused, observers say.
In tight budget environment, agency will look for ways to cut back.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection workers will choose between National Treasury Employees Union and American Federation of Government Employees.