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Trade official nominated to be next OMB director

April 18, 2006 President Bush on Tuesday said he will nominate the top trade official to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Rob Portman has been the U.S. trade representative for nearly a year and previously served more than a decade in Congress, where he held influential positions on the House Budget...

Bush pick for federal procurement chief praised

April 18, 2006 Members of the federal procurement community on Tuesday praised President Bush's selection of an experienced contracting official to become the next federal procurement chief. If confirmed by the Senate, Paul Denett would take over as head of the Office of Management and Budget's procurement policy shop. Robert Burton has been...

Report: States need better guidance on improper payments

April 17, 2006 Both states and federal agencies would benefit from enhanced guidance to reduce mistaken payments in federally funded, state-administered programs, government auditors said in a report last week. The Government Accountability Office report (GAO-06-347) on federal and state coordination in estimating erroneous payments also found that few agencies used incentives or...

OMB: New 2005 regulations brought tens of billions in benefits

April 14, 2006 The benefits of major new federal regulations in fiscal 2005 far outweighed the costs, according to a draft report released this week by the Office of Management and Budget. The 13 major rules for which OMB was able to gather costs and benefits cost the national economy between $4.3 billion...

Agencies design state-of-the-art building for weather and climate prediction

April 13, 2006 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is slated to move to a state-of-the-art building in a new Maryland research center in early 2008. The new facility will boast advanced environmental and technological features, designed to enhance employees' productivity and help attract the best and brightest to the agency. Ground was...

Union continues campaign against outsourcing tax debt collections

April 12, 2006 A federal employee union on Wednesday stepped up its sharp criticism of an Internal Revenue Service initiative to outsource some tax debt collection, by announcing the launch of a new Web site about the effort and raising questions about taxpayer rights under the setup. During a press call, The National...

OMB: Agencies met March cost management deadline

April 12, 2006 All federal agencies met a recent deadline for starting independent reviews of their plans to implement a financial management tool for information technology projects, an Office of Management and Budget spokesman said Tuesday. Agencies had until March 31 to begin reviews of their plans to implement earned value management, a...

SBA critic stops short of proposing agency's abolition

April 7, 2006 Congressional overseers questioned the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration's guaranteed loan program at a hearing Thursday, but panelists stopped short of proposing elimination of the agency, as advocacy groups had suggested they might. Controversy over the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management hearing erupted...

Progress cutting improper payments may be overstated

April 6, 2006 Erroneous payments by federal agencies decreased in 2005, largely because of reductions in mistaken Medicare payments. But that drop primarily reflects improvements in record-keeping, government auditors said at a Wednesday hearing. A review of fiscal 2005 data reported to the Office of Management and Budget shows that agencies are making...

Feds see drop in jobs defended against contractors in 2005

April 5, 2006 Federal employees retained 90 percent of jobs placed up for competition with contractors under the Bush administration's competitive sourcing initiative in 2004, but only 60 percent in 2005, according to a soon-to-be-released report by the Office of Management and Budget. The stark difference between the figures for the two years...

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