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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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House Passes Financial Reform Bill that Remakes Consumer Bureau

June 9, 2017 The Republican-controlled House on Thursday passed a comprehensive bill to undo much of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Financial Reform act, including restructuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the name of accountability to Congress. The largely party-line vote for the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 10) was 233-186. Long in the works...

Newly Released Agency Ethics Waivers Leave Much Unanswered

June 8, 2017 As promised, the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday released a batch of ethics waivers granted to agency officials. While it appeared to contain no bombshells, the unveiling left both the ethics agency and outside critics hungry for greater detail. The copies of 17 letters or memos allowing waivers from...

State Department Defends Lack of Daily Press Briefings as Temporary

June 8, 2017 One salient characteristic of Secretary Rex Tillerson’s tenure at the State Department is the scarcity of the globally watched daily press briefings that for decades have been considered routine. “State Department press briefings go dark," read the headline on a June 5 “Secrecy News” blogpost by transparency activist Steven Aftergood...

Trump’s Budget Office Nominee Draws Fire for Partisan Stance on Oversight

June 7, 2017 Wednesday’s routine confirmation hearing for three Trump nominees turned into a platform for Senate Democrats to ratchet up resistance to a White House directive requiring agencies to favor Republicans when responding to congressional oversight inquiries. The policy of responding only to members of the congressional majority was justified in a...

Patent Office Chief Suddenly Resigns

June 7, 2017 Michelle Lee, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since 2015, on Tuesday surprised her staff with an agencywide email announcing her resignation, Government Executive has confirmed with the agency. After struggling with uncertain job security during the early months of the Trump administration, the former Google attorney told...

Executive Branch Vacancies Jeopardize Trump's Planned Reforms

June 7, 2017 For many senior government officials, June 30 is D-Day. That’s when the Trump White House wants leaders at every agency to submit proposals to “maximize employee performance” as spelled out in an April memo from the Office of Management and Budget. OMB’s guidance aims to make good on President Trump’s...

Five Plead Guilty in IRS Agent Impersonation Scheme

June 6, 2017 The Internal Revenue Service has long warned taxpayers not to be lured in by aggressive callers who phone cold and claim to be IRS agents seeking to collect outstanding taxes. On Monday, the agency got some help from Justice Department prosecutors who—working with inspectors general at the Treasury and Homeland...

Democratic Lawmakers Protest Trump Telling Agencies to Ignore Their Requests

June 5, 2017 This story has been updated. An all-but-official Trump administration directive seems to instruct agencies to respond to congressional oversight requests for information only from Republicans who control both chambers of Congress. But Democrats in recent days have begun to protest what appears to be an unusually bold statement of policy...

7 Tips from a Veteran IG

June 2, 2017 The tricky job of being a federal inspector general—the dual-hatted officials are independent, yet report to both their agencies and Congress—has been boiled down to seven key tips. Glenn Fine, who spent 11 years as a well-known Justice Department inspector general before taking on the role of acting IG for...

VA Secretary Launches Centralized Bid to Combat Waste and Fraud

June 2, 2017 Two days after his “State of the VA” address, Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin announced a stepped-up effort to reduce fraud, waste and abuse in VA payments. The Seek to Prevent Fraud, Waste and Abuse (STOP FWA) initiative will build on current efforts but add a more centralized approach...