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Alyssa Rosenberg

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GAO Gaps

April 5, 2010 The New York Times' editorial calling for the appointment of a permanent head of the Government Accountability Office is a reminder that even if appointees aren't going the presidential-pick-Senate-confirmation route, getting them into office can still be torturous: By law, a bipartisan commission of House and Senate leaders is supposed ...

TRICARE enrollees face obstacles finding mental health providers

April 5, 2010 Participants in the Defense Department's TRICARE health insurance program might have trouble finding providers, especially for mental health treatment, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. "Concerns about the ability of TRICARE beneficiaries to access health care and mental health care from civilian providers continue," the report ...

Public Service Video Contest for DC Public School Kids

April 2, 2010 I like this idea a lot: the Office of Personnel Management has challenged DC Public Schools kids in grades 9-12 to come up with videos promoting work in public service for Public Service Recognition Week. The winners will get their videos played on the Mall. I teach some writing classes ...

The Atlantic v. TSA--And TSA's New Screening Policy

April 2, 2010 My colleagues at The Atlantic are, um, pretty hard on the Transportation Security Administration. And that's putting it mildly. So I was interested to read Marc Ambinder on why he thinks TSA's new use of intelligence-generated threat data to filter passengers for additional screening is smart. And I think he ...

Admitting Error Is the Better Part of Valor

April 2, 2010 Really, if an agency does something like accidentally leak the Social Security Numbers of several hundred employees, who decides it's best to wait a year to notify them? I understand that apologizing is embarrassing and painful. But it is always more painful if you wait. Because if you do, the ...

Report says military and private sector pay are not apples to apples

April 2, 2010 A comparison between military pay and private sector compensation is difficult because of the special benefits and risks of a career in the armed forces, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. "Military service is unique in that the working conditions for active-duty service carry the risk ...

Unions vie for TSA hearts and minds

April 2, 2010 On the administration's list of priorities, the Transportation Security Administration hasn't exactly come out on top. It took until September 2009 for President Obama to nominate an administrator for the embattled agency, Erroll G. Southers, only to see him withdraw in January. And recently, the president's second nominee for the ...

Why Yes, Health Care Reform Will Create Government Jobs!

April 1, 2010 The Republicans are in an awful tiff about it, too, raising the specter of thousands of armed Internal Revenue Service agents stalking the land to enforce the individual mandate to purchase insurance. I realize I'm being a little flip here. And I do agree that it will be good to ...

Health Care Questions

April 1, 2010 I've been getting tons of questions via email from you guys on health care. Today's column answers, I hope, some of them, as relates to child coverage. Consider this an open thread for more questions if you've got them: we'll try to answer them in subsequent posts and columns. One ...

April Fools!

April 1, 2010 Having successfully, if mildly, pranked my boss this morning (sorry, Tom!), I realized I didn't know if federal personnel policy includes rules on practical jokes in the workplace. After a little bit of digging, there doesn't seem to be a blanket ban, although the obvious and usual cautions about not ...