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Academics urge Congress to go beyond acquisition panel proposals

March 14, 2007 The recent recommendations of an acquisition panel represent useful steps but should be pushed further to improve federal buying, according to two procurement law professors. In a paper on emerging contracting policy and practices, Steven Schooner and Chris Yukins, co-directors of The George Washington University's Procurement Law Center, reviewed suggestions ...

OMB: Benefits of 2006 regulations outweigh costs

March 13, 2007 Seven major regulations adopted over the past year provide between $6.3 billion and $44.8 billion in benefits annually, while costing just $3.7 billion to $4.2 billion per year, according to a draft report by the Office of Management and Budget. In an initial draft for comment of an annual report ...

Army medical commander retires over Walter Reed fiasco

March 12, 2007 The bloodletting continued at Walter Reed Army Medical Center Sunday with the retirement of Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, whose selection as temporary chief of the beleaguered facility two weeks ago caused an outcry and contributed to the departure of then-Army Secretary Francis Harvey. "I submitted my retirement because I think ...

Halliburton retreats from Iraq logistics work

March 12, 2007 Halliburton Inc. has recently taken steps to back away from its prominent role in federal contracting in the Middle East, with a late February announcement that it would sell its subsidiary KBR Inc. and a notice this weekend that it would move its corporate headquarters to the United Arab Emirates. ...

SBA official opposes proposed disaster lending reforms

March 8, 2007 A Small Business Administration official on Thursday expressed strong opposition to elements of a House bill that would require the agency to develop a comprehensive disaster response plan and let some banks make disaster loans on its behalf. Herb Mitchell, associate administrator for SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance, testified against ...

Defense officials catalog acquisition initiatives

March 7, 2007 In a recent jargon-packed report on new initiatives, Defense Department officials assured lawmakers they would transform contracting practices that have been criticized as slow and disjointed. The report, prepared in response to the 2007 Defense authorization bill, amounted to a laundry list of new and old initiatives and programs. The ...

Study recommends sweeping overhaul of Army Corps budgeting

March 6, 2007 The Army Corps of Engineers must drastically reform how it plans and budgets for major projects if it is to effectively protect against future engineering failures like the collapse of the New Orleans levee system after Hurricane Katrina, according to an independent panel. In a study produced at the request ...

Officials say outsourcing partly to blame for Walter Reed failures

March 5, 2007 During a Monday hearing to investigate widely publicized problems at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, lawmakers and Army officials placed partial blame on a public-private job competition that sapped the facility of workers, and on uncertainty about the slated closure of the center in the ongoing Base Realignment and ...

Senators explore federal finances at sparsely attended hearing

March 2, 2007 Lawmakers at a Thursday hearing on federal financial management engaged in thoughtful discussion with top administration and accountability officials, but poor turnout -- with only two senators present -- suggests grim prospects for advancement on long-standing issues. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chaired the hearing and traded time with freshman Sen. ...

Lawmaker urges higher pay, bonuses for acquisition workers

March 1, 2007 Agencies should recruit more acquisition workers, and give them better compensation and training, a key member of Congress said Thursday. During a discussion hosted by the Association of Government Accountants, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., said contracting experts provide one of the best returns on federal investments in hiring. "You've got ...