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Recording raises questions about tax collection calls

May 23, 2007 House lawmakers heard first-hand on Wednesday the frustration of a taxpayer whose debt was referred to a private collection agency, but an Internal Revenue Service official said expansion of the controversial outsourcing program would proceed on schedule. House Ways and Means Committee member Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., played an audio...

Oversight of Iraq reconstruction winding down

May 22, 2007 As Congress and the White House wrestle over a firm timeline for withdrawal from the war in Iraq, plans are under way to wrap up reconstruction funding and oversight. Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, testified Tuesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that "the phase wherein...

SBA study shows perils of analyzing small business contracts

May 22, 2007 Federal small business contracting is never as simple as it seems. That was the lesson the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy learned with the publication of a new report on how small firms fare in outsourcing contests. On Friday, SBA released a new analysis of small business winnings in...

McCain pledges to reorganize federal workforce

May 21, 2007 Republican presidential contender John McCain outlined a comprehensive platform for government management reforms Monday, describing steps he would take to boost federal pay and speed firings, tie program funding to yearly evaluations and toughen acquisition rules. "I am a conservative, and I believe it is a healthy thing for Americans...

House passes 3.5 percent military pay raise

May 17, 2007 The House approved a 3.5 percent pay raise for military personnel Thursday, also approving measures to scale back the Defense Department's controversial personnel system and limit public-private competitions for government work. "There are many provisions in this bill that are good for our men and women in uniform, such as...

Lawyers prepare for October hearing on Indian trust fund accounts

May 17, 2007 Litigants in a long-running battle over management of American Indians' trust funds are laying the groundwork for an October hearing into the Interior Department's accounting for the funds. Lawyers in the 11-year old case, Cobell v. Kempthorne, met with U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson this week to begin working...

Study complicates debate on women’s procurement set-aside

May 16, 2007 An independent study gauging whether women-owned businesses are neglected in federal contracting found a wide variation in levels of representation, depending on the measure used. The study, completed by the nonprofit RAND Corp. for the Small Business Administration, was commissioned to help in the long-delayed implementation of a women's procurement...

IRS debt collection initiative set to break even next spring

May 15, 2007 A controversial Internal Revenue Service debt collection pilot program is performing at the high end of projections and is expected to cover its costs by next April, according to the IRS. In an agency briefing paper obtained by Government Executive, IRS officials said the program, which was launched last August,...

House panel puts new limits on job competitions

May 10, 2007 The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved provisions that would place new limits on efforts to put jobs at the Defense Department and other agencies up for competition from private firms. Panel members passed an amendment to the fiscal 2008 Defense authorization act (H.R. 1585) sponsored by Rep. Nancy...

Report: Navy outsourcing decision leads to higher costs

May 9, 2007 A Navy contract awarded two years ago with a creative performance-based pricing structure was poorly written and implemented, leading the government to pay too much for services and potentially making the contract more expensive than if the work had stayed in-house, according to a recent audit report. In early 2005,...

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