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IG says GSA chief may have broken ethics, contracting rules

April 26, 2007 General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan may have violated federal ethics and procurement rules when she awarded a contract to a friend, the agency's inspector general concluded in a recent investigation. Investigators found that Doan signed a no-bid contract to pay $20,000 to Public Affairs Group Inc., a company headed...

Lawmakers hear flurry of reasons for failure in Iraqi police training

April 25, 2007 Lawmakers seeking an accounting for problems in standing up an Iraqi police and security force were answered Wednesday with descriptions of poor contract oversight, excessive reliance on the military to teach civil skills, and the difficulty of tracking individuals who work for local-level Iraqi government organizations. At a hearing with...

Science agencies' media policy draws fire

April 25, 2007 A new media policy covering two science agencies has come under fire from advocacy groups, which argue the rules claim to allow scientific openness but require prior approvals that will chill scientists' speech. The Commerce Department on March 29 released a new policy on scientific and other communications at component...

Army Corps IT workforce to shrink 60 percent in overhaul

April 23, 2007 The number of federal employees providing information technology services for the Army Corps of Engineers will drop from a pre-competition high of 1,350 to 522, following the victory of an in-house team in a public-private job contest. The Corps' strategic sourcing program manager, Ray Navidi, confirmed Monday that last week's...

Bill would bar tax delinquents from federal contracting

April 20, 2007 A bill introduced in the House this week would bar companies that are delinquent on their taxes from receiving federal contracts. The Contractor Tax Enforcement Act (H.R. 1870) goes a step beyond a recently proposed federal contracting rule that would require companies bidding on federal work to certify their tax...

Senators question millions in defense firm's award fees

April 19, 2007 Defense contractor KBR Inc. received $256 million in award fees and glowing evaluations from a review board despite repeated negative comments on monthly performance reports about its logistics support work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lawmakers have asked for an accounting of millions of dollars in reported overcharges. At a...

Settlement allows Army Corps to shift IT work

April 18, 2007 A losing bidder in a long-running Army Corps of Engineers public-private competition has agreed to settle its appeal, clearing the way for the agency to immediately begin shifting its information technology services to the winning team, Corps officials announced Wednesday. Last July, Northrop Grumman Corp. filed an appeal with the...

NASA waiver to job competition rules brings in more outsiders

April 17, 2007 An exception to the standard procedures for public-private job competitions for new NASA research and development has resulted in an unusually high number of jobs going to contractors and other nongovernment organizations, according to a Government Accountability Office study. Of 38 contests that NASA conducted under the special authority from...

Clinton’s management ideas echo ‘reinventing government’ effort

April 13, 2007 Observers of the federal government cautiously welcomed a Friday speech by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., in which she said if elected president, she would cut contractors and seek to boost the adoption of technology. In what Clinton's campaign staff described as "a major policy address" at the New Hampshire...

IRS seeks to guide taxpayers to Internet and phone help

April 12, 2007 The Internal Revenue Service plans to test a new model of walk-in assistance centers where taxpayers are helped to use phone and Internet services, in an effort to direct people to the more efficient forms of service and minimize expensive face-to-face contacts. Using "facilitated self-assistance," 15 of the agency's Taxpayer...

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