Oversight

PEER sues to force OPM to implement administrative leave reforms

Though Congress enacted a law aimed at ending agencies’ abuse of involuntary administrative leave, the federal government’s dedicated HR agency has yet to implement its key provisions.

Detention facilities under U.S. Marshals Service lack proper oversight

GAO found that nearly half of the deputies who reviewed certain detention facilities in fiscal 2023 had not been trained.

Supreme Court blocks an EPA plan to curb ozone air pollution

Environmental advocates worry that future challenges to federal policies could similarly “short-circuit the normal process of judicial review” by appealing directly to the Supreme Court.

IRS services for underserved taxpayers are good but can be better, report says

While the IRS has focused on improving customer service for underserved taxpayers, TIGTA noted that the tax agency doesn’t currently have a definition for such taxpayers.

House GOP official bashes VA leader for ‘budgetary mismanagement’

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Bost’s letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough takes the leader of the Veterans Health Administration to task over recent hiring restrictions within the department and controversial but since-rescinded bonus payments.

Why do federal employee background checks take so long? Panel points to delayed IT system

The Defense Department agency responsible for vetting workers at most federal agencies originally planned to have a new background check system fully functional in 2019.

Colorado VA medical facility leaders created a ‘psychologically unsafe’ environment for employees

A pair of inspector general investigations substantiated claims that VA officials in Aurora, Colo., presided over a toxic work environment that also featured a year-long pause in certain surgeries due to staff departures.

Tax audits for some millionaires may be more effective than targeting a wider range, report finds

The TIGTA report compared a 2020 IRS directive that required annual audits on some individuals making more than $10 million to a wider income range, finding that the former yielded more assessments.

NSF’s ongoing major infrastructure project delays due to personnel, supply challenges, report says

Staffing challenges were partially at the root of delays for two of the agency’s construction facilities projects costing more than $100 million.

Divide and conquer improper payments

COMMENTARY| Fraud prevention and detection require a different level of focus, argues one former federal CFO.

DHS needs to improve how it collects employee hiring and vetting data, GAO reports

The watchdog’s analysis found that the department did not meet its average hiring time targets in fiscal 2022 for nine out of 13 priority positions.

Coast Guard's handling of misconduct allegations draws increased scrutiny from Congress

Congressional inquiries were spurred by a media report that the Coast Guard kept hidden a multi-year investigation into sexual assault at its service academy.

IRS is reducing its physical footprint but needs a better long-term plan, its IG says

The IRS has reduced its office space by 2 million square feet since fiscal 2018, but the watchdog said it could save millions in real estate costs with additional steps.

Telework questions pervade recommendation that GSA work on space utilization data

While the amount of office space required by federal agencies has been a longstanding issue, there’s more attention on it due to the increased use of telework since the pandemic.

Government watchdog reminds OPM about open HR recommendations

Some of the GAO’s priority recommendations include overhauling the General Schedule classification and pay system and simplifying agency hiring authorities.