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EEOC to move call center operations back in-house

August 13, 2007 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted unanimously late last week to close its contractor-operated national customer service center and start redirecting calls to its field offices, a spokesman said. The customer service center, known as the National Contact Center, has come under fire from Congress recently, with language pending in ...

USDA agency launches inquiry into lobbying e-mail

August 8, 2007 The head of an Agriculture Department agency said Wednesday that she was prepared to take "appropriate action" against any employee who is found to have used government equipment to lobby against pending legislation. "Obviously, we take this very seriously," said Teresa Lasseter, administrator of the Farm Service Agency, in reference ...

Lawmakers back ousted hurricane center chief

August 7, 2007 Key Democrats on Capitol Hill expressed support this week for restoring an embattled National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official to the position he held before he was removed as head of the National Hurricane Center. Reps. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, and Brad Miller, D-N.C., suggested in a Monday letter to a ...

GSA raises lodging per diem

August 6, 2007 The General Services Administration announced Monday that it will raise the standard lodging per diem next fiscal year for federal employees who travel within the continental United States. The new rate will be $70 per night, up from $60 in fiscal 2007, according to an announcement in the Federal Register. ...

EEOC votes not to extend contract for customer service center

August 2, 2007 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted last week not to extend a contract for a national customer service center, meaning the commission will have to find another way to handle general phone inquiries after the contract's Sept. 20 expiration. The four-member commission split 2-2 in the July 26 vote, which ...

House lawmaker joins bid to end TSA contracting exemption

August 1, 2007 A House lawmaker announced Wednesday that he will introduce legislation to end the Transportation Security Administration's exemption from contracting rules that apply to most other federal agencies, joining a similar drive in the Senate. Rep. Christopher Carney, D-Pa., proposed the legislation shortly after a hearing Wednesday before the House Homeland ...

Lawmakers probe claims of improper influence over science

August 1, 2007 Participants in a House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing Tuesday examined allegations that Vice President Dick Cheney exerted undue influence over scientific decisions at federal agencies, and discussed ways to strengthen oversight of political appointees. The hearing focused on two recent disputes between scientists and policy-makers at Interior Department agencies. ...

Senators consider steps to enforce small business goals

July 19, 2007 Senators and witnesses at a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing Wednesday cited a lack of enforcement as one reason federal agencies may not be giving enough contracts to small firms. Witnesses agreed that the lack of measures to hold agencies accountable for meeting goals is the most significant ...

DHS to review $8 million in unpaid security contract invoices

July 17, 2007 The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau announced Tuesday that the agency will reform a "chaotic" invoicing system that has left the government nearly $8 million in debt to private security contractors. ICE owes the money to about 21 contract guard vendors, said Julie Myers, the agency's assistant ...

Undercover officials get license to buy dirty bomb materials

July 12, 2007 Undercover agents from the Government Accountability Office obtained a license to purchase enough radioactive materials to manufacture a dirty bomb, according to a staff report released Thursday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations in conjunction with a hearing. GAO's findings, published in separate testimony, exposed ...