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Government rapidly depleting Deepwater Horizon cleanup fund, GAO finds

October 27, 2011 Continued federal funding of the BP oil spill cleanup effort may leave the government unable to address future spills, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The federal government is close to reaching its total expenditure-per-oil-spill cap of $1 billion on agency reimbursements for cleanup costs related to the ...

For researchers, high-performance cloud computing now a reality

October 26, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For scientists and researchers whose high-density data requirements make traditional, limited-capacity cloud storage an inconvenience, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has an alternative. At the GovCloud 2011 conference on Oct. 25, representatives from the Energy Department laboratory spoke about their work developing a high-performance computing cloud service as an alternative ...

Justice employees fight proposed office closings

October 24, 2011 Three weeks after the Justice Department proposed closing four of its antitrust division field offices, affected employees are calling for congressional hearings on the matter. The closings, along with the department's other budget-trimming proposals, are contingent on Congress, which must approve or fail to respond in order for the plans ...

FEMA urged to increase accountability

October 21, 2011 The Federal Emergency Management Agency and lawmakers considered less error-prone courses for the organization's future during a Senate hearing Thursday. "We want to make sure FEMA has a culture of accountability," said Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. "I think they're trying hard to get that accountability back." FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard ...

Justice plans to cut four antitrust division field offices, employee relocation time

October 18, 2011 As part of a larger initiative to cut department spending by more than $130 million, the Justice Department earlier this month proposed closing four of its regional antitrust field offices. In a press release, the department announced its intention to close antitrust offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas and Philadelphia and ...

FAA failing to keep airport terminal safety incidents grounded, GAO reports

October 14, 2011 Despite new Federal Aviation Administration precautions, the rate of safety-related incidents in and around airport terminals has risen since fiscal 2004, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report. In a study to measure the effectiveness of FAA's initiatives to curb terminal area incursions, GAO found that the rate ...

EPA plagued with poor budgetary and workforce organization, GAO reports

October 13, 2011 The Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to produce accurate budget reports and deploy its workforce in an efficient manner, the Government Accountability Office reported this week. In studies conducted from 2009 to 2011, EPA "has struggled for years to identify its human resource needs and to deploy its staff throughout ...

Workers’ Compensation Woes

October 13, 2011 The government's program to support federal employees injured on the job hasn't changed in nearly four decades, and some say that workers' compensation benefits are due for an upgrade. But as reform proposals languish, the program continues to place an unnecessary burden on agencies. Under the 1916 Federal Employees' Compensation ...

Lawmakers urge super committee to address contractor salary cap

October 12, 2011 A bipartisan trio of lawmakers on Wednesday sent a letter calling on the congressional super committee to recommend a stricter salary cap for federal contractors as part of its proposal for cutting the deficit. Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, along with Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., urged the ...

The IRS isn’t watching purchase card transactions closely enough, study finds

October 11, 2011 The Internal Revenue Service is not sufficiently monitoring its employees' purchase card transactions, according to a study released Tuesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The audit found that thousands of the more than 174,000 transactions made between Sept. 1, 2007, and March 31, 2009, by 4,200 IRS ...