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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Secret Service Credited for Progress Just as White House Fence Was Breached

March 28, 2017 Last Friday, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general released a summary of a classified report crediting the Secret Service with progress in improving White House security techniques in response to a disturbing 2014 fence-jumping incident. What was odd about the March 16, 2017, report from Inspector General John Roth to...

Banning Executive Portraits Might Save Half a Million Dollars

March 27, 2017 The once-common practice of spending agency funds on formal oil portraits of top officers has been banned from appropriations bill since 2014. But in January, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced the EGO Act (S 188) from a previous Congress to make the ban permanent. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office...

Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Trying to Bilk Social Security of $550 Million

March 27, 2017 This story has been updated. In a break for the governmentwide effort to thwart improper payments, the Justice Department on Friday announced a guilty plea by a Kentucky disability attorney involved in a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration of as much as $550 million. Eric Christopher Conn, 56,...

Intel Community Scientist Subjects Contracts to Frequent Review

March 24, 2017 Forget the traditional annual review. The top scientist for the intelligence community’s innovation grant maker says his agency reviews contracts every six months to decide whether the funding continues. “The bulk of time on my job is to review progress on new programs, and a fourth of our budget is...

Senate Whistleblower Caucus Backs Reappointment of Special Counsel

March 24, 2017 Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner found her name among 23 Obama-era nominations that President Trump withdrew in late February. Having run the Office of Special Counsel since 2011, she has continued since her five-year term expired last June under a one-year “carry-over period” allowed under Title 5, Section 1211 of the...

How Contractors View Trump’s Budget and Government Reform Agenda

March 24, 2017 The Trump administration’s “skinny budget” released last week after an executive order on reorganizing the government drew cheers as well as brickbats from the contracting community. The Professional Services Council, which represents 400 companies, said in a statement it backs the budget’s “increases for defense spending and believes that, if...

White House Plans Advance Disclosure of Its Own Appointees' Financial Forms

March 23, 2017 In a nod to transparency, the White House on Wednesday announced it will begin posting financial disclosure forms of its high-level appointees, eventually to be displayed on a public Web portal at which citizens can request documents. The posting of Office of Government Ethics form 278 for White House personnel...

GSA Finds No Fault With Trump's Washington Luxury Hotel Lease

March 23, 2017 After months of virtual silence amidst public controversy, the General Services Administration on Wednesday handed President Trump a major ethics victory by finding no problems with his three-year-old lease arrangement for the luxury hotel he opened in Washington’s Old Post Office. In a lengthy letter to the Trump Organization announced...

Pentagon Defends Quiet Response to Study Offering $125 Billion In Savings

March 23, 2017 One hundred and twenty-five billion dollars is a lot of money—even in Washington. That’s how much money the Pentagon could save over five years if only it reformed its back-office functions, according to a McKinsey & Co. study Pentagon officials last year allegedly “buried.” Lawmakers of both parties on the...

Ex-OMB Controller Praises Trump’s Agency Reorganization Plan

March 22, 2017 President Trump’s March 13 executive order on reorganizing government has some advantages over those offered during the Obama administration, in the view of former U.S. Controller David Mader. The plan, which calls on agencies to take six months to scour around for inefficiencies and then report recommendations to the Office...

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