Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.
ARCHIVES

Education Department Cannot Elaborate on Trump’s Donation

The Education Department could offer few details on President Trump’s donation to the agency after Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the gift on Wednesday, saying only it would be going toward a camp.

DeVos briefly discussed Trump’s donation of his second quarter salary at a White House press briefing, explaining the $100,000 check would go toward a camp focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A spokesperson for the department declined to elaborate when asked for more details on the camp, whether it was a new program, if it would receive other funds and the mechanism by which Trump was making the contribution.

The announcement follows a $78,000 donation the president made with his first three months of salary to the National Park Service, which went toward restorations to the Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland.

» Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

“Today's and tomorrow's economy requires students prepared for STEM careers,” DeVos said Wednesday. “That's why we've decided to use the President's second-quarter salary to host a STEM-focused camp for students at the Department of Education. We want to encourage as many children...

What Senators Really Think of the Administration's Approach to Budgeting

After a Tuesday morning markup hearing of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, seemingly forgot to turn off her microphone before she began a short conversation with her colleague, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. It quickly got interesting. 

In what appears to be a moment of candor, the two questioned the sanity and knowledge of both the president and officials at the Office of Management and Budget.

As reported by the Washington Post on Tuesday, Collins wondered if White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and the Office of Management and Budget staff had a plan—other than to cut anything with the word "grant" in it—when releasing the administration's budget earlier this year.

"I swear, OMB just went through and whenever there was ‘grant,’ they just X it out," Collins said on the hot mic. "With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It’s just incredibly irresponsible."

Later in the conversation, Reed questioned the numbers released by Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin regarding the costs of Trump's promises.

"You’ve got Mulvaney saying we’re going to put in all sorts of stuff...

Trump Uses Major Foreign Address to Bash Bureaucracy

President Trump on Thursday used a major foreign address to rail against those in his government back home, using anti-bureaucracy rhetoric as a common Western democratic rallying cry.

In a speech in Warsaw, Poland, Trump spoke of the shared values between the United States and its allies. Part of that collective identity was a mutual disdain for red tape and public servants who stand in the way of national prosperity, the president said while listing a series of threats to the Western way of life.

“Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger, one firmly within our control,” Trump said. “This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.”

He went on to endorse what has been a defining policy of his presidency so far: deregulation. 

“The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies,” Trump said.

Trump has signed multiple executive orders to reduce federal agencies’ regulatory authority; one requires agencies to slash or streamline two existing regulations for every new...

Doing Bold Work? Share Your Story

Last year, in the inaugural weeklong Fedstival, Government Executive and Nextgov convened leading federal officials and thinkers to share ideas about tackling government’s biggest challenges.  

Now we’re deep into planning for Fedstival 2017, which will take place from Sept. 18-22 in Washington. The series of events culminates in Bold Friday, during which federal innovators from all corners of government tell about the important work they’re doing in a series of rapid-fire presentations.

At last year’s Bold Friday, experts from the National Defense University, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Park Service and many other federal organizations shared stories of their cutting-edge work. This year, a new group of federal leaders, selected by a panel of Government Executive and Nextgov editors, will take the stage to tell their peers and colleagues how they’re making a difference in technology, management strategy and workforce development across government agencies.

If you or someone you know fits that bill, we want to hear about it. Nominations are now open for this year’s Bold Friday presentations. This is your chance to highlight the important work you’re doing, share your ideas...

Honoring Great Ideas in State and Local Government

Last year, Government Executive’s sister publication Route Fifty, which focuses on state and local government, debuted the Navigator Awards to identify and highlight ideas and innovations that are being put into practice across the country.

The Route Fifty team carefully evaluated a pool of team and individual entries, choosing 50 finalists, and then 10 winners. They were honored at a special event in Pittsburgh in November 2016.

Route Fifty is bringing the Navigator Awards program back in 2017 and is actively seeking a new crop of great individuals and teams to honor in the following categories:

  • State and Local Executive Leadership
  • IT and Data Innovators
  • Agency and Department Leadership
  • The Next Generation
  • Government Allies and Cross-Sector Partners

Winners will be chosen on the basis of demonstrated ability to turn a great idea for improving public sector services at the state, county or municipal level into reality.

As Route Fifty Executive Editor Michael Grass notes, the program focuses “not just on good ideas in state and local governments, but how those ideas have been implemented and the impacts they’ve had.”

After finalists are identified, 10 winners will be announced in a ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the National...