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Robert Brodsky

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Senators aim to stave off 3 percent tax withholding for contractors

February 1, 2011 Senators from both sides of the aisle are attempting to preempt a controversial requirement that the government withhold 3 percent of its total payments to most contractors for tax purposes. Last week, Sens. Scott Brown, R-Mass.; Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., unveiled a bill to repeal a mandate ...

Bidders Bite Back

February 1, 2011 Contract award protests are on the rise, making for precarious procurement terrain inside government and out. High above the Potomac and Anacostia rivers in Southeast Washington, construction crews have begun the largest federal construction job since the Pentagon, transforming St. Elizabeths Hospital into the new consolidated campus of the Homeland ...

Reorganization effort to start with trade, export agencies

January 31, 2011 The White House's government reorganization initiative will begin with an examination of federal agencies and offices that deal with trade and exports, Obama administration officials announced on Sunday. But observers of federal management suggest the president's plan could face stiff resistance from entrenched public and private sector communities hoping to ...

Congressional committees target SBA programs for cuts

January 28, 2011 The Small Business Administration could look considerably leaner in the coming months if House and Senate lawmakers have their way. The lead congressional committees in charge of federal small business policy are planning to scale back or eliminate programs within SBA that might no longer be serving their intended purpose. ...

GAO: Defense business transformation showing signs of progress

January 27, 2011 After years of insufficient oversight and attention, the Pentagon has taken steps to reform its business operations, but more needs to be done to integrate those efforts with initiatives to reduce overhead costs and to eliminate troubled programs, a federal watchdog has concluded. In a Jan. 26 report to congressional ...

Reorganization: Lots of ideas, no details yet

January 26, 2011 Recent proposals from the Center for American Progress, a progressive Washington think tank, could offer a glimpse of possible outcomes of a proposed reorganization effort that could lead to the merger and consolidation of several federal agencies. During Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he would ...

‘Put your pom-poms on’: Report details Hatch Act violations

January 25, 2011 Some folks might need to reacquaint themselves with the 72-year-old Hatch Act. Perhaps it should be those senior officials in President George W. Bush's administration who repeatedly violated federal law by hosting political pep rallies in federal facilities and on government time in an effort to drum up support for ...

Afghan inspector general questions construction spending

January 24, 2011 Insufficient project management and weak contract oversight are jeopardizing billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded Afghan reconstruction monies, a top federal watchdog testified on Monday. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Maj. Gen. Arnold Fields, who recently announced that he will resign, told the congressionally chartered Commission on Wartime Contracting that ...

Contractor performance database goes public in April

January 21, 2011 A new government database that tracks contractor misconduct and performance, previously available only to federal officials, is expected to be made public by April 15, Government Executive has learned. In one of the most dramatic steps to date in shining a light on the conduct of firms that do business ...

Supreme Court approves background checks for contractors

January 20, 2011 The federal government can perform background checks on contract employees -- even those not involved in classified activities -- to determine their emotional stability and history with illegal drugs, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. In a unanimous decision, the high court held that NASA background checks of contractors at ...