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Charles S. Clark

Senior Correspondent Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.
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GAO Chief Dismisses 'Legend' that Agencies Can’t Escape High-Risk List

August 23, 2017 The Government Accountability Office’s oft-dreaded high-risk list “has become one of the longest-running good-government-supporting efforts in our history,” Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said on Wednesday during a discussion praising the biennial report card on agencies’ problematic programs and challenges. In recent years, Congress has enacted 12 laws built around the...

Trump’s Pivot on Afghanistan Follows Bleak Battlefield Reports

August 22, 2017 In the run-up to President Trump’s Monday night announcement of a stepped-up military effort to stabilize Afghanistan came several inspector general reports that paint a bleak picture of stalled progress by U.S. and Afghan warfighters in defeating the Taliban. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ comment to Congress in June that “we...

OMB Steers Agency R&D Budgets Toward Security, ‘Energy Dominance’

August 22, 2017 Agencies preparing their fiscal 2019 research and development budgets should focus on national security and energy dominance while improving interagency coordination, according to Office of Management and Budget guidance. An Aug. 17 memo to agency heads from Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Michael Kratsios, the deputy assistant to the president...

'Every Leak Makes Us Weak' Campaign Runs Risk of Discouraging Legitimate Disclosures

August 21, 2017 Wall posters at the Energy Department‘s headquarters warn employees that “Every leak makes us weak.” The campaign forms part of the governmentwide “insider threat” program aimed at deterring release of classified information, but whistleblower advocates are crying foul, pointing to the posters’ failure to distinguish between illegal leaking and employees’...

A Whistleblower’s Guide for the Trump Era

August 14, 2017 The federal whistleblower community in recent years has seen an array of new laws, headline cases and bipartisan calls from lawmakers for new protections. Whether its members turn out to be misguided attention-seekers or brave souls risking their jobs (and peace of mind) to call out waste, fraud or abuse,...

State Department Confronts North Korea With Rows of Vacant Positions

August 11, 2017 The rising tensions between President Trump and the missile-launching government of North Korea are playing out with a State Department that continues to operate with corridors of unfilled leadership jobs. The Trump White House has made only a third of the nominations needed to fill 130 key jobs at the...

Trump Agency Reforms Are Called the Most Exciting Opportunity in Years

August 9, 2017 Though their written plans remain shrouded from public view, agency officials charged by the Trump White House with making government more efficient say they are “excited” about what they see as a rare opportunity for systemic and lasting change to government operations. Speaking Wednesday in Washington at the “first annual...

Democrats Want to Know How Much Agencies Are Spending at Trump Properties

August 8, 2017 In perhaps their broadest document request yet, Democratic members on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel on Tuesday wrote to all major agencies seeking details on how they might be “spending federal taxpayer funds on products or services provided by businesses owned by or affiliated with the Trump Organization.”...

Former Pentagon Acquisitions Chief Belittles Reorg Plan

August 7, 2017 Just days after the Pentagon delivered a congressionally mandated plan for reorganizing its acquisitions management, the ex-undersecretary whose job the plan would disassemble gave the reform a thumbs-down. Frank Kendall, until January the Obama administration-appointed Defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, went on the WJLA “Government Matters” Sunday TV...

Democratic Lawmakers Challenge Secrecy of Trump Deregulation Task Forces

August 7, 2017 The regulatory review task forces set up by agencies under President Trump’s February executive order have secret membership and secret deliberations, according to a letter to the White House from four Democratic House members. The critics drew on an investigation published in July jointly by The New York Times and...