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Robert Brodsky

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IG faults locations of taxpayer assistance centers

March 23, 2011 With April 15 right around the corner, taxpayers across the country may have questions about preparing their return or abiding by the government's complex tax laws and regulations. But a new watchdog report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration finds that the Internal Revenue Service's free taxpayer assistance ...

Libya operation causing headaches for U.S. contractors, grantees

March 22, 2011 As U.S. and coalition forces continue to pound Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi defense systems from the air and sea, U.S. contractors and grantees operating in the embattled country have ceased their operations as they wait for the violence to ease, according to several interviewed by Government Executive. The federal government, ...

Army backs off plan to privatize medical bill collection

March 21, 2011 The Army has reversed course on a proposal to outsource bill collection at military treatment facilities nationwide after a federal labor union raised concerns about the legality of the effort. The initial plan could have nearly doubled collection amounts at the Army's Southern Regional Medical Command, according to a Feb. ...

Bill would toughen oversight of SBA contracting programs

March 21, 2011 Companies competing for federal dollars through the Small Business Administration's socioeconomic contracting programs soon could face toughened scrutiny from Congress and the Obama administration. Last week, a bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers introduced legislation to create a wide-ranging, cradle-to-the-grave oversight framework of SBA's entire contracting portfolio, beginning with contractor certification ...

Administration falling short on FOIA compliance, critics say

March 17, 2011 President Obama's call for transparency and openness in government is not resonating with all federal agencies, witnesses told a House panel on Thursday. In one of his first acts in office, President Obama issued a governmentwide memo instructing agencies to comply with the letter and spirit of the Freedom of ...

OMB, special counsel nominees approved in committee

March 17, 2011 The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved the nominations of two key administration positions. On Wednesday, the committee agreed by a 6-4 vote to move the nomination of Heather Higginbottom to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Higginbottom received the support of the ...

Lucrative sole-source contracts to 8(a) firms now require justification

March 16, 2011 Federal agencies that want to issue lucrative sole-source contracts to 8(a) small businesses now must justify the award to the public and to senior management. In a highly anticipated interim rule change published on Wednesday in the Federal Register, the Federal Acquisition Regulation Councils determined that contracts in excess of ...

Experts call on agencies to narrow performance goals

March 16, 2011 Federal agencies have far too many complex performance goals and should streamline their top priorities and objectives to bring about optimal results for taxpayers, witnesses told a Senate task force on Wednesday. Under the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act, agencies were required to set myriad goals encompassing virtually every ...

GSA building its brand as government’s consulting agency

March 16, 2011 Maybe the General Services Administration should consider changing its name to the General Consulting Agency. Faced with a host of new green buildings regulations, and driven by the steep governmentwide budget crunch, federal agencies are frequently turning to GSA for help on making their dollar go further, according to agency ...

Administration backs delay of contractor tax withholding

March 15, 2011 The Obama administration is supporting the delay of a controversial requirement that the government withhold a percentage of its payments to most contractors for tax purposes. The law mandates that federal, state and local governments with expenditures of more than $100 million withhold 3 percent of payments for products and ...