AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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Veterans Affairs’ overspending at conferences linked to poor contract execution

October 5, 2012 Among the many lapses the Veterans Affairs Department may have committed in planning two lavish training conferences in Orlando, Fla., in 2011 was a failure to adhere to contracting procedures. The inspector general’s report on the $6.1 million pair of employee gatherings, which led to the resignation of the department’s ...

Government doesn’t use bulk-purchasing initiative enough, auditors say

October 4, 2012 The government’s seven-year-old strategic sourcing initiative designed to save money through bulk purchasing of office supplies and services is achieving nowhere near its potential, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday. Agencies “leveraged only a fraction of their buying power through strategic sourcing and achieved only limited savings,” ...

Duplication in federal solar energy programs found minimal

October 3, 2012 Though overlap in federal programs has been criticized in recent years, a review of 65 solar energy programs spread over six major agencies found “no clear instances of duplicative initiatives” and uncovered evidence of regular dialogue among officials at separate agencies. The Government Accountability Office in a report released earlier ...

Homeland Security’s fusion centers lambasted in Senate report

October 2, 2012 The 72 state and local fusion centers that form a centerpiece of the Homeland Security Department’s domestic anti-terrorism strategy produce intelligence “of uneven quality -- oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, [and] sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections,” stated a Senate report scheduled for release Wednesday. Despite spending somewhere ...

Obama-era regulations less plentiful than portrayed, report says

October 2, 2012 Charges by Republicans and some in business that the Obama administration has unleashed a flurry of regulations during the past three and a half years do not stand up to careful analysis, according to a new study by the nonprofit OMB Watch. In a report titled “The Regulatory Tsunami That ...

Agencies flunk libertarian transparency tests

October 2, 2012 Executive branch agencies under President Obama are being outperformed by Republicans in Congress in a transparency competition judged by an analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute. “None of the grades are very good, but where Congress has weak grades, the Obama administration’s grades are horrible,” said Jim Harper, Cato’s director ...

Defense contractors diversify while eying sequestration

October 1, 2012 Like many in states with a heavy defense presence, South Carolinians are warily following Congress’ stalemated budget talks and hoping for a breakthrough that will head off the dreaded automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. Allowing sequestration to take effect would be a “national disgrace” that would jeopardize thousands of ...

Triaging Audits

October 1, 2012 In November 2009, Patrick Fitzgerald took the reins of a troubled Defense Contract Audit Agency. His predecessor director, April Stephenson, had stepped down after a series of critical reports from the Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon inspector general landed the agency in hot water. Contentious congressional hearings pointed to ...

House clears Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act

September 28, 2012 With most members out on the campaign trail, the House on Friday approved final passage of the long-awaited Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743), a set of 10 reforms intended to clarify the difference between policy disputes and whistleblowing. By unanimous consent, the chamber approved an amended version of the ...

Agencies should file better reports on their service contracts, GAO says

September 28, 2012 The Obama administration’s effort to better calibrate which functions are inherently governmental and which are better contracted out will require improvements in agency inventories of service contracts, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. Forty eight of the 49 agencies that GAO reviewed had filed the required lists of ...