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Auditors question GSA's telecom transition cost estimates

March 28, 2007 The General Services Administration plans to announce the recipients of its massive Networx telecommunications contract on Thursday. The announcement may provide a clearer picture of whether the agency's projections for the costs of switching to the new agreements are on target, though the awards still are subject to bid protests....

IRS chief says 2006 tax season taxing the agency

March 27, 2007 The 2006 tax filing season has been unusually difficult for the Internal Revenue Service, thanks to late-breaking changes in the law, a one-time refund and a new deposit service, according to the top IRS official. IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said Tuesday during a televised address at the National Press Club...

Merit board seeks summary judgment powers

March 23, 2007 A top official responsible for overseeing the federal merit system wants new summary judgment powers and an exemption from some transparency law provisions, in part to streamline operations in preparation for workload increases projected over the next several years. Neil McPhie, chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board, argued at...

Reconstruction IG urges interagency coordination

March 22, 2007 Congress should pursue reforms that would better integrate the departments of Defense and State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. In a special report on the reconstruction effort, IG Stuart Bowen urged the agencies to focus on clearly delineating authority...

Long-awaited women’s contracting program may launch soon

March 21, 2007 A Small Business Administration official said Wednesday that progress is being made to implement a federal contracting program for women-owned businesses, even as House Democrats took the agency to task for dodging its legal obligations to implement it. SBA Deputy Administrator Jovita Carranza testified at a House Small Business Committee...

Defense agency, GSA weigh adopting Treasury contract shop

March 21, 2007 The Treasury Department is pushing to hand off FedSource, a fee-funded contracting shop hosted by its Bureau of Public Debt, by the end of this fiscal year, and the General Services Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency are the main candidates to take over that role. Treasury has not publicly...

Officials describe risks in Army transformation program

March 19, 2007 A Pentagon official described as "experimental" the Army's strategy to manage its ambitious Future Combat System, while government auditors have expressed concern over the approach of moving ahead aggressively despite major technology questions. Kenneth Krieg, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, spoke with reporters last week on...

Justice insiders give advice on job competitions

March 16, 2007 Competing on a team to keep work in-house can be one of the most stressful jobs in a government employee's career, but offers a unique opportunity to experience the proposal process, according to two Justice Department employees who led a winning bid for operations support work. Earlier this month, Justice...

House passes contracting reform bill

March 15, 2007 The House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would limit the use of certain types of federal contracts, boost oversight of procurement operations and take small steps to bolster the federal acquisition workforce. House members cleared the measure by a vote of 347-73, working from a version of the bill...

Bargaining for Drugs

March 15, 2007 Can federal agencies follow a formula for lower-priced medicines? Lawmakers this winter launched into debate over prescription drug pricing in Medicare's Part D benefit, one of the Democrats' priorities in their 100 hours agenda. Advocates for seniors would like to see the Health and Human Services Department's Centers for Medicare...

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