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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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Senate approves wartime contracting reform bill

November 30, 2012 The Senate on Thursday added broad overseas contracting reform to its version of the Defense authorization bill, handing Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a victory in her six-year effort to crack down on procurement waste in war zones. The Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act was introduced in February after a report ...

GSA acquisition chief returns

November 30, 2012 Stephen Kempf, the longtime commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service, has returned from two months of medical leave. But he has a new title. Followers of the zigs and zags of recent scandals over GSA’s extravagant spending at conferences might recall that Kempf took off in September ...

Alumni of 1990 fiscal talks offer lessons for 'cliff' walkers

November 30, 2012 If Washington’s budgetary gladiators are to avoid the fiscal cliff, then they need to work in smaller groups; avoid the media; dismiss objections from colleagues, core constituents and lobbyists; and put the good of the country before their own political futures. Such was the rough consensus among a panel of ...

Senate clears bill requiring Homeland Security to achieve clean books

November 29, 2012 The Senate on Wednesday night unanimously passed a bill to require the Homeland Security Department to pass a full financial audit, a step toward which DHS recently claimed progress. The bipartisan Department of Homeland Security Audit Requirement Target Act, championed by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del.; Scott Brown, R-Mass.; and Ron ...

Lawmaker pressures GSA on plan to trim obsolete contract offerings

November 29, 2012 House Small Business Committee Chairman Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., is pressing the General Services Administration to reconsider long-planned reforms to save money by trimming its roster of eligible vendors for multiple-award schedule contracts in such areas as office supplies. In a letter to acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini released Thursday, ...

Homeland Security counsel defends department’s progress

November 28, 2012 As it marks its 10th anniversary, the Homeland Security Department has made progress with “smart programs” by moving away from “one-size-fits-all solutions toward common-sense ones,” a top DHS official said Wednesday. Seth Grossman, DHS deputy general counsel, said the Obama administration “inherited a very new department,” that was “still but ...

Teams of experts game out strategic defense budget cuts

November 28, 2012 A sound strategy for cutting the defense budget during the next decade requires a willingness to risk short-term readiness to achieve long-term security improvements, says a think tank report. National security winners in the long-term strategic budgetary exercise performed by competing teams of experts convened this summer through the Center ...

At least one senator is optimistic about avoiding the fiscal cliff

November 27, 2012 Calling himself “heartened” by Republican colleagues who are distancing themselves from pledges against tax hikes, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he is “optimistic that a deal will get done” to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, but said he wanted to see “some willingness to step forward on the left” and ...

Nonpartisan research office pressed to disclose story behind withdrawn tax study

November 27, 2012 House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., is pressing the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service to clarify the status of a recently withdrawn study of the economic impact of taxation on the wealthy. In October, CRS managers responded to objections from Republican senators and ...

Former SEC inspector general challenges allegations of bias, sexual improprieties

November 26, 2012 In a lawsuit filed in federal court this month, the former assistant inspector general for investigations at the Securities and Exchange Commission said he was wrongfully terminated in October because he had forwarded evidence of misconduct to SEC commissioners, Congress and the agency’s oversight committee. In a sometimes graphic complaint, ...