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Postal Service defends executive salaries as lawmaker looks to cap pay

March 12, 2012 The U.S. Postal Service on Monday defended its top executive pay in the face of anticipated new legislation that would place a lower cap on executive salaries and bonuses. Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., announced Friday that she intended to introduce legislation reducing the salaries of the postmaster general and his...

Army suicides have risen dramatically since Iraq invasion, study shows

March 8, 2012 Suicide rates among Army personnel have increased by 80 percent since the military began sending troops to Iraq, a new study shows. Army suicides were trending downward from 1977 to 2003, but started rising in 2004, according to the study written by officials from the service’s Public Health Command and...

Two decades later, lawmakers move to revise Hatch Act

March 7, 2012 For nearly 20 years the Hatch Act, a law forbidding federal employees from participating in partisan political activity, has gone unchanged. Now a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers is seeking to remedy that. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., introduced legislation Wednesday that would update...

Lawmakers seek agency policies on email surveillance

March 6, 2012 Top congressional Republicans are pushing the Office of Management and Budget to investigate electronic monitoring policies across all federal agencies. In a March 5 letter to OMB acting Director Jeffrey Zients, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Oversight Committee chairman and Judiciary Committee ranking member, respectively, called...

Navy and Marine Corps to begin breathalyzer tests

March 6, 2012 The Navy and Marine Corps will soon institute breathalyzer tests in an effort to curb alcohol abuse, Federal News Radio reported Tuesday. The Navy will begin requiring every sailor reporting for duty on board a ship to take a test daily, while other sailors will be subjected to the tests...

Postal Service to lay off up to 2,000 employees

March 5, 2012 The U.S. Postal Service could eliminate as many as 2,000 employees through a reduction in force, according to Federal Times. The affected employees would face layoffs as part of USPS’ larger goal of shuttering more than 220 mail processing plants. USPS is delaying its facility closings until mid-May and some...

OPM asked to explain fellows program snafu

March 5, 2012 This story has been updated. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked Office of Personnel Management officials to explain a recent Presidential Management Fellows program mishap. In a March 1 letter to OPM Director John Berry, Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Dennis Ross, R-Fla., chairmen of the committee...

Senators go after waste in wartime contracting

March 1, 2012 Citing massive problems with waste and fraud, lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation to improve oversight of wartime contract spending. Co-authored by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Jim Webb, D-Va., the Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act would overhaul the federal government’s planning, management and oversight of contract spending in areas of...

After Deepwater

March 1, 2012 Among the framed photographs of boats, planes and a Red Wings jersey-clad Spirit of Detroit monument inside Michael Tangora’s office in Southwest Washington is a bookshelf crammed with binders, with one tucked back a bit farther than the others. The spine reads: ICGS, which stands for Integrated Coast Guard Systems,...

Around Government

March 1, 2012 Peace Corps alumni are on a quest to find their own. By Caitlin Fairchild The National Peace Corps Association, a nonprofit organization that supports the community of current and former Peace Corps members, has launched a campaign to track down every volunteer who has served since the agency was founded...