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Rafael Enrique Valero

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Government's green purchasing program faces oversight challenges

August 14, 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain took a swipe at the federal government in June during a speech on energy and the environment. "Our federal government is never shy about instructing the American people in good environmental practice," the Arizona senator told an audience in Santa Barbara, Calif., at a campaign ...

Tracking Greenbacks

August 1, 2008 Now that a federal program to buy green goods is a reality, Uncle Sam is discovering the difficulty of measuring its results. Republican presidential nominee John McCain took a swipe at the federal government in June during a speech on energy and the environment. "Our federal government is never shy ...

OPM employee pitches winning idea in federal contest

May 9, 2008 A 29-year-old with the Office of Personnel Management in Denver on Wednesday won the first annual contest to improve federal government with an idea to electronically match applicants to available government jobs. Robyn Dingledine was the big winner at FedPitch 2008, an event designed to inspire better workforce management by ...

OMB aims to further streamline security clearance process

May 2, 2008 The Office of Management and Budget announced this week the details of its plan to streamline the security clearance process for employees and contractors working for intelligence agencies. OMB aims ultimately to reduce the time it takes to investigate and process such clearances from the current 112 days to 60 ...

Defense, VA urged to spend more on mental health, brain injury treatments

April 29, 2008 In a congressional briefing on Monday, RAND Corp. called on the Defense and the Veterans Affairs departments to lead a nationwide effort to care for the growing number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. A little more than half of ...

Hill probes allegations of ‘epidemic’ of soldier suicides

April 23, 2008 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Top officials of the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments faced harsh questioning from the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Wednesday about recently leaked e-mails written by the VA's head of mental health revealing that nearly 1,000 U.S. soldiers a month have attempted suicide after returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...

VA, Defense officials grilled on allegations of ‘epidemic’ of soldier suicides

April 23, 2008 Top officials of the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments faced harsh questioning from the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday about recently leaked e-mails written by the VA's head of mental health revealing that nearly 1,000 U.S. soldiers per month have attempted suicide after returning from service in Iraq and ...

House committee presses State and Defense officials on lack of coordination on nation building

April 17, 2008 Lawmakers told State and Defense department leaders at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that their lack of farsighted interagency coordination is blurring jurisdictions in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joints Chiefs Staff Chairman Adm. Michael ...

Joining Forces

April 1, 2008 Transformation artist Deborah J. Spero brought inspectors together to stand up a new border agency. In some ways, Deborah J. Spero's history is a contradiction in terms. As she neared graduation from the University of Maryland 38 years ago, her father told her it was time to look for work. ...

Ethics Enforcer

April 1, 2008 Matt Reres helped Defense officials negotiate the fine line between sanction and scandal. During the first Gulf War, the Army wanted to land helicopters in the desert without blowing sand back up into their turbines. Helipads would have to be built, ASAP. Matt Reres, the civilian deputy general counsel of ...