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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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FEC Member Says it Aloud: We’re Dysfunctional

April 3, 2014 Seldom does a high-level agency official state baldly in a public venue that her taxpayer-supported regulatory authority is utterly failing to do its job. Ann Ravel, vice chairwoman of the long-controversial Federal Election Commission, came close to such Washington hari-kari in an op-ed in Thursday’s New York Times. The FEC ...

Civil Service Reform Might Not Be a Pipe Dream

April 2, 2014 Compared with the Affordable Care Act, civil service reform “is a walk in the park,” said former Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., on Wednesday. He spoke at a largely optimistic panel evaluating prospects for the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton’s new compendium of proposals to improve federal hiring ...

Good-Government Gurus Embrace, Expand on Obama Management Agenda

April 1, 2014 President Obama’s recently revitalized second-term management agenda earned a thumbs-up from a quartet of private and nonprofit reform advocates during a congressional hearing on Monday, though the good government experts had plenty of additional suggestions, ranging from focusing agencies on a few major problems to revamping the federal hiring process. ...

Obama’s Regulatory Chief: Businesses Will Always Criticize Us

March 31, 2014 Despite the Obama administration’s vow to apply “common sense” safeguards against agency rules that are too burdensome, the business community “will always be critical of regulations when there is a cost,” the head of the White House regulatory office said on Monday. Howard Shelanski, administrator of the Office of Information ...

Lawmakers Want to Know More About Why Feds’ Morale Is So Low

March 28, 2014 The pay freeze, furloughs and last October’s government shutdown have so deflated the federal workforce that it’s time for Congress’ watchdog agency to conduct a systematic probe of the impact on agency performance, according to three Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Stakeholders, including federal employee organizations, ...

A Teen, a Typeface, and $136M in Taxpayer Savings

March 28, 2014 As the world’s largest purchaser, the U.S. government must explore every savings opportunity -- down to the last serif on its millions of printed pages. But when a Pittsburgh sixth-grader recently detailed a proposal to save the feds $136 million merely by printing documents in a simpler typeface, the Government ...

An Unauthorized Leak on Unauthorized 'Zero Dark Thirty' Remarks?

March 28, 2014 The tangled tale of how former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 2011 may have inadvertently disclosed classified information took a new turn this week with a complaint that a longtime whistleblower ombudsman now working for the intelligence community inappropriately shared a document with Congress. Dan Meyer, who spent years at ...

Team Tomorrow

March 28, 2014 The nation’s current crop of sixth-graders contains an unknowable number of budding public servants who a decade from now will sign on to work for the federal government. The tail end of the so-called millennial generation (those born since 1982), these young professionals are apt to join agencies with reduced ...

Urgency Exceptions for War-Zone Contracts Mostly Justified, GAO Finds

March 27, 2014 Three agencies working in war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq have rightly taken advantage of urgency exceptions that allow single-source contracting, the Government Accountability Office found. Auditors did, however, fault managers for failing to post accurate procurement data in some instances. The Defense and State departments and the U.S. Agency for International ...

IRS Chief Warns Delivering Documents to Congress Could Take Years

March 26, 2014 After three months on the job, Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen faced a grilling on Wednesday from House GOP lawmakers who accused him of withholding internal agency emails demanded in a February subpoena. But Koskinen said his staff is fully responding to the request as originally defined, warning that a ...