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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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VA limits purchasing authority amid probe of pricey conferences

August 14, 2012 Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has rescinded the purchasing authority of employees in the departmental division under investigation for two conferences that cost $5 million and may have involved inappropriate gifts. Shinseki also has set up a 90-day independent review of Veteran Affairs Department training policies, VA announced. In a ...

Veterans Affairs faces probe of spending on two conferences

August 13, 2012 In yet another agency conference controversy, the Veterans Affairs Department is under investigation for allegedly spending $5 million on two human resources training conferences at which employees may have received improper gifts, according to a Federal Times story published Monday night. Citing unnamed sources in the VA inspector general’s office, ...

Sequestration could bring 'gridlock to the skies,’ industry warns

August 13, 2012 Across-the-board budget cuts slated for Jan. 2, 2013, under current budget law would devastate civil aviation, a new industry study asserts. Sequestration could cost as many as 132,000 jobs annually, the report said, in addition to $10 billion to $20 billion in slowed economic activity, and $1 billion in revenues ...

En Garde, State Department

August 13, 2012 If Newt Gingrich has any influence, the pinstriped crowd at Foggy Bottom would face some stormy days ahead if Mitt Romney becomes president. Appearing on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, the former Republican House speaker and primary opponent of Romney was asked about Romney’s approach to foreign policy ...

OMB to agencies: Ask users if your forms make sense

August 10, 2012 The White House is asking designers of federal information-gathering forms to pretest them for maximum simplicity. In an Aug. 9 memo to department heads, including chiefs of regulatory agencies, Cass Sunstein, the outgoing administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote that while government communicators have made progress ...

Lawmakers aren’t sorry for assuming GSA wasted money

August 10, 2012 Congressional critics of overspending by the General Services Administration were highly specific during an Aug. 1 hearing when they suggested GSA employees would abuse funds at a conference taking place that same day at the 2,881-room Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. "I understand the presidential suite is occupied today. ...

IRS under fire for making taxpayer identity fraud a low priority

August 9, 2012 Internal Revenue Service managers “created an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications” for taxpayer identification numbers, risking billions of dollars in improper tax refunds, auditors said. None of the IRS’ subdivisions made detecting fraud a priority because doing so would eliminate some applications and maintaining a large inventory ...

Obama's regulations save lives and money, Cass Sunstein says

August 8, 2012 In a parting shot before he decamps for the Harvard Law School faculty, President Obama’s regulatory chief took to YouTube to deliver a "white board" video lecture summarizing the savings in dollars and human lives that he attributes to careful rule-making that protects health and safety while remaining “sensitive to ...

Annual budget guidance stresses performance and priority goals

August 8, 2012 The Office of Management and Budget’s release of its annual technical guidance for agencies preparing their fiscal 2014 budgets includes new instructions on implementing the goal-setting and progress measures required under the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act. The 800-page policy compendium titled “Circular No. A-11” also urges federal ...

GAO Thinks Big

August 8, 2012 Though the Government Accountability Office is known for delving into the weeds of agency policy and performance, its analysts are no slouches at keeping an eye on the big picture. On Tuesday, the government’s chief auditing agency released a presentation titled “Anticipating and Meeting Accountability Challenges in a Dynamic Environment." ...