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Amelia Gruber

Senior Editor Amelia Gruber covered management and contracting for Government Executive for three years before becoming an editor. She also has worked as an editor at Roll Call newspaper and as a research assistant at the Urban Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, with a major in economics, and a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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Management of nuclear lab program draws mixed reviews

May 28, 2003 A program to maintain and upgrade nuclear weapons facilities is poorly managed, the Energy Department inspector general's office reported recently. But in February, the Office of Management and Budget rated the same program positively in an assessment that ties performance to agency budgets. According to a May report from Energy's ...

Under new budget process, Defense to focus on financial management

May 27, 2003 The streamlined budget process announced by Defense Undersecretary Dov Zakheim last week should free up extra time for managers to address the financial issues that have prevented the department from receiving clean audits, a Defense spokesman said Tuesday. Under the new budget system unveiled on May 22, Defense managers will ...

NASA chief: Shuttle program likely to resume in near future

May 22, 2003 NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe on Thursday reaffirmed his agency's desire to resume space shuttle flights by late fall or early next year. So far, an investigation of the Columbia tragedy has not unearthed any "show stoppers," O'Keefe said at a breakfast hosted by the Republican Main Street Partnership, a moderate ...

Widely criticized EPA administrator resigns

May 21, 2003 Christine Todd Whitman, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator who during her two and a half year tenure has often found herself at odds with environmentalists and the Bush administration, announced her resignation on Tuesday afternoon. In a May 20 resignation letter, Whitman said she would step down as EPA administrator ...

Federal employees less charitable last year

May 20, 2003 Civil servants donated $236.9 million to charities in the fall 2002 Combined Federal Campaign, about 2 percent less than the $241.4 million pledged the year before, according to figures released Monday by the Office of Personnel Management. Federal employee participation in the fundraiser also fell. About 35 percent of government ...

Guide teaches performance-based budgeting by example

May 19, 2003 A new guide by an independent management consultant walks agencies through concrete examples of how they can do a better job of connecting their budgets to both daily activities and broader performance goals. The guide, released last week by consultant John Mercer, demonstrates a technique called "cascade performance budgeting," which ...

Homeland security drill tests communications, emergency plans

May 16, 2003 A few years ago, the scenario for this week's homeland security drill might have seemed farfetched. Not today. The imaginary bomb that detonated in Seattle on May 12 sending a plume of radiological material across the city, followed by an attack with biological weapons 2,000 miles away in Chicago, seemed ...

Large contractors tough to ban from federal business, watchdog says

May 15, 2003 Banning large contractors from doing business with the government because of misconduct can be more burdensome for agencies than contractors, according to a watchdog group. The government rarely bans large contractors such as Boeing Co., currently under investigation for alleged civil and criminal offenses committed during federal transactions, said Seth ...

Agencies to receive guidelines this week on avoiding improper payments

May 14, 2003 By the end of the week, the Office of Management and Budget will provide federal agencies with guidelines on how to calculate the amount of taxpayer money wasted through erroneous payments to program beneficiaries, an OMB official told lawmakers Tuesday. The guide will arrive roughly two weeks ahead of a ...

Report recommends agencies use outside experts to evaluate programs

May 12, 2003 Federal agencies could benefit from hiring outside experts to help them analyze program performance data, according to a new report from the General Accounting Office. Agencies need specialists in statistical and research methods, as well as specialists in relevant academic fields, to help them assess how their programs are doing, ...