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Military struggles to identify false valor, lacks award-recipient database

February 29, 2012 House representatives admonished the U.S. military at a congressional hearing Wednesday for its inability to build a searchable online database of service members who have received medals or decorations. This lack of available public information has come under increased scrutiny in recent days because of a growing number of people...

State Department, others should consolidate overseas maintenance costs, GAO finds

February 28, 2012 Federal agencies are neglecting opportunities to cut costs when it comes to overseas posts, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. The report, dated Jan. 31 and released Monday, determined that agencies with international postings should be making more of an effort to use International Cooperative Administrative...

Watchdog finds tens of billions in cost cutting opportunities

February 28, 2012 This story has been updated. The Government Accountability Office on Tuesday issued a report identifying many overlapping or wasteful government functions, saying the government potentially could save tens of billions of dollars annually if the right remedies were pursued. The second of such annual reports, the 426-page document outlined 51...

Pentagon defends $1 trillion fighter jet fleet

February 27, 2012 The Pentagon insisted Monday that funding for 2,443 new radar-evading F-35 fighter jets is crucial, despite the fleet’s steep price tag of $1 trillion over the next 50 years. “It is needed to address projected future threats,” Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan, Defense Department spokeswoman, said of the fleet of Joint...

Take the DARPA challenge and win $40,000

February 24, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On Thursday, mysterious signs began popping up in metropolitan areas nationwide, accompanied by a challenge from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: Be the first person to track down and report the square quick response codes on all the signs across the country and win $40,000. The signs displaying the...

For Agriculture, increasing BioPreferred products is a challenge accepted

February 23, 2012 After President Obama directed the U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday to increase the categories of products eligible for its BioPreferred program by 50 percent during the next year, USDA said the goal is well within its reach. “Nothing’s ever easy in the federal government, but we have a plan to...

Postal Regulatory Commission chairwoman releases travel records

February 22, 2012 Postal Regulatory Commission chairwoman Ruth Goldway has submitted detailed accounts of her travel records and those of her last two predecessors to Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., in response to a Feb. 8 request. Goldway included a letter, dated Feb. 17, three days prior to Carper’s deadline. “This information demonstrates that...

FEMA Taps Behavior Side of Social Media

February 17, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Somewhere buried within the wealth of personal information on Facebook and Twitter is a basic, scientific need to communicate, and FEMA wants to work with that. At an event concerning the role social media plays in government crisis management co-hosted by Global Health Initiative, Inc. and the National Defense University,...

OSC: Reports of FDA whistleblower surveillance are ‘extraordinary’

February 16, 2012 The Office of Special Counsel responded Thursday to allegations that Food and Drug Administration officials had been monitoring whistleblower communications, with a spokeswoman calling the charges “extraordinary.” “We don’t typically have agencies intercepting complaints to us,” OSC spokeswoman Ann O’Hanlon told Government Executive. The Washington Post first reported Wednesday that...

SBA redefinition of small business draws mixed reactions

February 15, 2012 As the Small Business Administration redefines exactly how big a small business can be, it faces mixed reactions from lawmakers and small business groups. SBA published its new guidelines in the Federal Register on Feb. 10, with the rules scheduled to go into effect March 12. The comprehensive review in...