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Charles S. Clark

Senior Correspondent Charles S. 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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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...

GSA Updates Plan for Improving Employees’ Job Performance as Part of Reorg Strategy

August 4, 2017 While reorganizing to seek the efficiencies demanded by the Trump White House, the General Services Administration updated its internal employee performance improvement plan to focus on “linking individual performance to organizational goals, clarifying performance expectations, and providing appropriate and timely recognition of exceptional performance.” The plan, circulated among employees in...

Interior Watchdog Is Probing Secretary Zinke on Alleged Lobbying Violations

August 4, 2017 The Interior Department’s inspector general confirmed on Thursday that it has launched a probe into whether Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ran afoul of anti-lobbying laws when he phoned Alaska senators, one of whom voted against bills to repeal and replace Obamacare. In an Aug. 3 letter to Reps. Frank Pallone,...

GSA and FBI Promise Senators New Plan for Headquarters Consolidation

August 3, 2017 Senators from both sides of the aisle on Wednesday challenged hearing witnesses about the General Services Administration’s surprise decision last month to abandon the decade-plus-long effort to find a new Washington headquarters site so the FBI can move out of the decaying J. Edgar Hoover building. They raised questions of...

Ex-GSA Contracting Official Gets Prison Time for Nepotism

August 3, 2017 The director of a central contracting office at the General Services Administration has been sentenced to one year in prison for a nepotism conspiracy, while her husband received 18 months, the Justice Department announced. Helen Renee Ballard, 52, and Robert “Steve” Ballard, 56, both of Brandywine, Md., pleaded guilty last...

Democratic Lawmakers Protest Border Patrol Asylum Policies

August 2, 2017 Customs and Border Protection under the Trump administration may be violating U.S. and international law by turning away certain asylum seekers, according to two Democrats on the House Oversight panel and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., on Tuesday wrote...

Senate Clears Office of Special Counsel Reauthorization

August 2, 2017 The governmentwide Office of Special Counsel on Tuesday welcomed the Senate’s unanimous approval of its reauthorization bill designed to boost whistleblower rights and clarify agency obligations to respond to OSC information requests. The bill (S 582) would help the independent agency investigate prohibited personnel practices and retaliation against whistleblowers. It...

Daring to Defend the Federal Bureaucracy

August 2, 2017 In an age where “unelected bureaucrats” is a common Washington epithet, give credit to a law professor, former college president and experienced federal manager for cutting against the grain. “The need for a robust civil service has never been greater,” writes Paul R. Verkuil in Valuing Bureaucracy: The Case for...

Two Officials, Two Agencies, Two Exits with Harsh Words for Trump Team

August 1, 2017 With much of the federal workforce bracing for cutbacks and departures, two high-level officials who recently resigned are opening up about frustrations with their agencies’ direction under the Trump administration. Nancy McEldowney, who retired in June as director of the Arlington, Va.-based Foreign Service Institute, told Government Executive that Secretary...

Justice Department Touts Rise in Gun Crime Charges

July 31, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a 23 percent leap in federal charges against defendants illegally possessing firearms, a toughened approach in line with Trump administration priorities. “Violent crime is on the rise in many parts of this country, with 27 of our biggest 35 cities in the country...