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VA chief: Budget shortfalls are behind us

February 17, 2006 Senators and advocacy groups on Thursday questioned the projections behind a fiscal 2007 budget request that would significantly boost spending at the Veterans Affairs Department. But department officials said the proposal is sound and is not subject to the same problems that led to an unexpected shortfall last summer. In...

OPM employees defeat contractors in latest job competition

February 15, 2006 The Office of Personnel Management last week announced that it has decided to keep work performed by 15 employees in house, marking the 14th public-private competition that employee teams have won at the agency. The award was made under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 rules for streamlined competitions...

Report: DHS slow to enact border security recommendations

February 15, 2006 The Homeland Security Department has been slow to implement a series of recommendations for strengthening its visitor tracking program, increasing the chance that it will fail to meet goals on time and on budget, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released Tuesday. GAO has issued 18 management-related recommendations...

Better training needed for emergency purchases, procurement chief says

February 13, 2006 Government officials need more training to respond effectively to sudden purchasing demands in emergency situations, an Office of Management and Budget official said Monday. Shortcomings in contingency contracting capabilities surfaced during last summer's hurricane season, said Robert Burton, acting administrator of OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy, at a conference...

Panel supports recommendations to fine-tune small business contracting policies

February 10, 2006 A federal acquisition panel has given its initial stamp of approval to recommendations designed to improve small businesses' access to government contracting opportunities. The Services Acquisition Reform Act Advisory Committee, a panel created by the 2004 Defense Authorization Act, has preliminarily signed off on suggestions from its small business working...

White House unveils list of programs slated for cuts

February 9, 2006 President Bush's fiscal 2007 budget proposes to terminate funding for 91 programs and sharply cut another 50 from 2006 levels, for a combined savings of $14.7 billion, according to a document released by the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday. The Major Savings and Reforms document provides the first...

Report: Agencies making little progress in tracking real property

February 8, 2006 Two years after President Bush issued an executive order on reforming management of real property, federal agencies have made little progress in accounting for their holdings or ensuring they are aligned with needs and missions, according to congressional auditors. In testimony prepared for a hearing held Monday (GAO-06-248T), Mark L....

OMB touts progress at reducing improper payments

February 7, 2006 Agencies eliminated almost $8 billion in mistaken payments through federal programs during fiscal 2005, carving 17 percent from the previous year's error levels and surpassing a $5 billion strategic goal, the Office of Management and Budget reported last week. OMB said that programs participating in the first phase of a...

President's budget seeks to rein in discretionary spending

February 6, 2006 President Bush on Monday proposed a budget for fiscal 2007 that would hold overall discretionary spending below the rate of inflation and reduce nonsecurity discretionary spending below 2006 levels, in part by scaling back or terminating 141 programs. The president's budget proposal, released Monday, focuses on decreasing the federal deficit...

Report: VA uses faulty methods for savings calculations

February 3, 2006 The Veterans Affairs Department made unsubstantiated savings assumptions over the past few budget cycles, and has been unable to show that the estimated savings actually were achieved, congressional auditors concluded in a new report. VA lacked a sound method for estimating savings that would be achieved from more efficient health...

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