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Lawmakers see room for improvement in DHS diversity efforts

October 15, 2009 The Homeland Security Department has made progress toward increasing diversity in its ranks, but still has a way to go in reaching an optimal mix of employees, witnesses told a House panel on Wednesday. DHS is committed to building workforce that is "competent, effective and reflective" of the population, said ...

Obama prohibits feds from texting while driving

October 1, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Do you text while driving a government vehicle? Take Government Executive's Poll. The Obama administration on Thursday issued an executive order banning federal employees from text messaging while driving on government business. "This order sends a very clear signal to the American public that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable," ...

Obama prohibits feds from texting while driving

October 1, 2009 Do you text while driving a government vehicle? Click here to take our poll. The Obama administration on Thursday issued an executive order banning federal employees from text messaging while driving on government business. "This order sends a very clear signal to the American public that distracted driving is dangerous ...

VA to continue work on energy efficiency

September 30, 2009 The Veterans Affairs Department has taken steps to reduce energy and water consumption in its facilities, but still has room for improvement, witnesses told a House panel on Wednesday. "The VA has unique challenges given the fact that it runs health care centers, which have extreme demands in terms of ...

H1N1 vaccine expected in mid-October

September 11, 2009 Healthy adults need only a single dose of H1N1 flu vaccine to protect against infection, officials announced on Friday during a Health and Human Services Department briefing. Previous guidance suggested that two shots were required. "[This] shortens the window of worry, and more people can be protected much earlier," said ...

Homeland Security breaks ground at new headquarters

September 9, 2009 The Homeland Security Department on Wednesday held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new headquarters at the former Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast Washington. The renovation of the former psychiatric institution is the largest federal building project since the Pentagon was built, and will house nearly 14,000 DHS employees. The first ...

New FDA facility will oversee tobacco regulation

August 20, 2009 The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday launched the Center for Tobacco Products, which aims to reduce tobacco-related illness and death in the United States. The center's creation was mandated by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which provides FDA with authority to regulate tobacco products. It ...

HHS says grassroots efforts to fight Medicare fraud have paid off

August 18, 2009 A program to educate seniors about fraud in government-run health programs has saved taxpayers $100 million during the last 12 years, according to the Health and Human Services Department. HHS reviews of the SMP (formerly Senior Medicare Patrol) Projects, including self-reported information on funds recovered to Medicare and Medicaid programs, ...

Pilot projects could be the key to speeding discrimination complaint processing

August 13, 2009 Agency pilot projects could be the answer to developing a more efficient equal opportunity employment complaint process, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. But strong oversight would be critical to the success of that approach, the report (GAO-09-712) said. If the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission "approves ...

Immigration enforcement agency to overhaul detention system

August 11, 2009 The immigration detention system will undergo drastic changes to address concerns about living conditions and lax federal oversight, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced late last week. "We are improving detention center management to prioritize health, safety and uniformity among our facilities while ensuring security, efficiency and fiscal responsibility," ...