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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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How VOA Pressed Ahead to Cover the Tiananmen Square Anniversary

June 5, 2014 Bejing’s Tiananmen Square, site of the 1989 Chinese Army massacre of democratization activists, was largely deserted during Wednesday’s 25th anniversary, while the closest commemoration of the event was likely the crowds that gathered in politically semi-autonomous Hong Kong. But Voice of America, the decades-old unit of the U.S. Broadcasting Board...

Investigators Are Looking Into 37 Whistleblower Reprisal Complaints from VA Employees

June 5, 2014 The Official of Special Counsel on Thursday announced it is looking into 37 cases of possible retaliation against whistleblowers at the Veterans Affairs Department, some involving precisely the type of complaints that triggered the current VA controversy. The announcement came as acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson traveled to Phoenix...

Cutting VA Bonuses Could Hurt Veterans More Than Execs

June 5, 2014 Bonuses have long been a sensitive and controversial topic at the Veterans Affairs Department. A 2011 Government Accountability Office report found that 80 percent of VA’s medical care providers together received $150 million in performance pay despite “no clear link between performance pay and providers’ performance.” Since then, as VA...

No Easy Cure for VA’s Ailing Bureaucracy

June 4, 2014 When President Obama announced new leadership at the Veterans Affairs Department on Friday, he sketched his view of the nature of needed reforms: “Part of that is going to be technology. Part of that is management,” Obama said, noting the need for a “change in culture” so that “bad news...

Construction Flaws in Afghan Prison Merit a Refund from Contractor, Says Watchdog

June 4, 2014 An $11.3 million prison built under U.S. auspices in Afghanistan’s Baghlan Province contains dangerous construction deficiencies potentially traceable to fraud by an embassy employee and Afghan contractor staff, an audit found. John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, on Tuesday released a report and vivid photos showing damaged...

Are Unions the Big Problem at VA?

June 2, 2014 Of all possible causes of the Veterans Affairs Department’s front-page woes -- corrupt managers, funding shortfalls, an exploding population of veterans, a poor communications culture -- there is one that has drawn perhaps the least attention. Too many highly paid VA employees spend their time on union organizing, some say....

Are Unions the Big Problem at Veterans Affairs?

June 2, 2014 Of all possible causes of the Veterans Affairs Department’s front-page woes -- corrupt managers, funding shortfalls, an exploding population of veterans, a poor communications culture -- there is one that has drawn perhaps the least attention. Too many highly paid VA employees spend their time on union organizing, some say....

Program to Pay Afghan Police Through Mobile Money Transfers Could Curb Corruption

June 2, 2014 The Afghan government’s pilot program to pay portions of its national police electronically through credits to their cell phone accounts should be stepped up to help avoid funds being siphoned away by corrupt officials, a special watchdog said on Monday. In a follow-up report to U.S. commanders preparing for the...

Intel Community Whistleblowers Enter the Post-Snowden Era

June 2, 2014 Among the many continuing shockwaves from last spring’s domestic surveillance disclosures by Edward Snowden is a concerted effort within the intelligence community to recast whistleblowing. Not that many officials grant hero status to the onetime National Security Agency contractor charged with espionage and now marooned in Russia. Many believe he...

It's Getting Easier to Reach IRS Employees

May 30, 2014 Some agency employees are reluctant to publish their phone numbers for fear, perhaps, of harassment. That appeared to be the case at the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organizations Division, which for months resisted efforts to obtain a phone list by tax attorney and newsletter editor Paul Streckfus. After pleas and...