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Moments to Remember

September 16, 2009 When National Journal asked former staffers to Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to share memories of their iconic boss, they remembered exciting policy battles, big legislative victories and challenging political times. But their favorite recollections had little to do with the substance of their work. Instead, they relished small personal gestures ...

Travel Warning

September 9, 2009 In March, the Agriculture Department sent employee Robert Teclaw from Washington to Atlanta on official business. Teclaw works for USDA in Washington, but his home is in Indiana. Normally, he travels back and forth on weekends. In this case, Teclaw's work in Atlanta wrapped up on a Friday, so he ...

Travel Warning

September 1, 2009 Managers and employees could end up footing hefty bills for work-related trips. In March, the Agriculture Department sent employee Robert Teclaw from Washington to Atlanta on official business. Teclaw works for USDA in Washington, but his home is in Indiana. Normally, he travels back and forth on weekends. In this ...

Join the Crowd

August 12, 2009 In recent weeks, members of Congress have been listening to their constituents' concerns about health care reform and have heard a common refrain: Whatever insurance program Congress creates, lawmakers should join. If there's a public insurance option, people want their representatives in Washington to enroll in it. Similarly, Washington-area Metro ...

Continuous Unimprovement

July 15, 2009 Anyone who has visited a lot of federal buildings likely wasn't surprised at the news July 8 that investigators found haphazard security procedures at government facilities nationwide. There's long been a frustrating lack of uniformity at entrances to Uncle Sam's workplaces. Security guards sometimes ask for identification, sometimes they don't. ...

Finding Flexibility

July 1, 2009 Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, has been on something of a one-man mission during the past decade to give federal managers more flexibility to manage. He's sought to give them more control over hiring, greater ability to reward hard workers and more discretion over benefits. Unable to get much governmentwide reform ...

Finding Flexibility

July 1, 2009 Why are the happiest workers in government so happy? Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, has been on something of a one-man mission during the past decade to give federal managers more flexibility to manage. He's sought to give them more control over hiring, greater ability to reward hard workers and more ...

Former Hill staffers keep working with Congress

June 22, 2009 The award for Worst Regularly Scheduled Meeting Time in Washington should probably go to the Obama administration's congressional affairs team. Each Friday at 4:30 p.m., the top congressional liaisons from the Cabinet departments gather at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a meeting with Phil Schiliro, the White House's main ...

Can You Hear Me Now?

June 17, 2009 As a manager, what kind of communicator are you? Are you a face-to-face type of person, preferring to have employees stop by your office to touch base? Or are you more of a phone and voicemail boss, managing via your cell phone as you dart around to various meetings? Maybe ...

Managing Risk

June 3, 2009 Many of the financial firms that saw their foundations crack during the past two years had extensive risk management programs in place. Using a variety of processes developed by risk management professionals, the firms identified problems that could threaten their business plans. They had procedures to ensure those risks were ...