Author Archive

Carten Cordell

Carten Cordell

Managing Editor, Government Executive

Carten Cordell is the managing editor at Government Executive. Cordell has covered federal government, technology and acquisition for Federal Times, FedScoop, Washington Business Journal and Nextgov/FCW. An Alabama native, Cordell holds bachelor’s degrees in history and journalism from Auburn University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Writer's Digest and many other publications. He came to GovExec after a stint at Sage Communications, a marketing services agency that focuses on the government contracting market.
Carten Cordell is the managing editor at Government Executive. Cordell has covered federal government, technology and acquisition for Federal Times, FedScoop, Washington Business Journal and Nextgov/FCW. An Alabama native, Cordell holds bachelor’s degrees in history and journalism from Auburn University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Writer's Digest and many other publications. He came to GovExec after a stint at Sage Communications, a marketing services agency that focuses on the government contracting market.
Management

OPM rule removes Social Security numbers from mailed documents

The federal HR agency finalized a rule Friday that would help prevent potential identity theft by restricting the inclusion of Social Security numbers in mailed documents and establishing criteria for protecting the information. 

Oversight

VA claims appeal board errors are the target of a new House bill

The Veterans Claims Quality Improvement Act seeks to mitigate errors made by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals with new training, performance evaluations and required reports to Congress. 

Oversight

Contentious FBI headquarters plan looms over House hearing on real estate footprint

The House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management sought to examine the FBI’s strategy for managing its overall office space requirements, but the ongoing controversy over its potential new headquarters again took center stage. 

Workforce

Coast Guard hasn’t assessed how many future aviation personnel it needs, report says

The service is in the midst of modernizing and consolidating its aircraft fleet, but it’s also facing workforce challenges that could alter how many vehicles the Coast Guard ultimately needs. 

Management

New bill would convert unused government buildings into affordable housing

Reps. Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., cosponsored legislation that would direct the Housing and Urban Development Secretary to help refashion certain federal, state and local government properties into affordable residential rental projects.

Management

OMB overhauls federal grant guidance to simplify it for recipients

The Biden administration offered new updates to the Uniform Guidance that governs federal grant programs, aiming to slice red tape and simplify the language recipients use to apply for funding. 

Updated Workforce

OPM issues its final rule for Schedule F protections

The federal HR agency finalized its rule offering protections for career civil servants meant to safeguard against the potential reemergence of the Trump-era Schedule F policy.

Management

Special Counsel’s office cites whistleblower protections in immigration judge gag order

The Office of the Special Counsel highlighted its recent enforcement actions of Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act provisions to curb agency efforts to chill employee speech.

Management

Nuclear regulators should weigh climate change risk to power plants, report says

A GAO report found the Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to factor more risk from the impact of more extreme natural events in how it licenses the safety of power plants. 

Oversight

Bill would axe classified access for feds charged with a crime

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., appears tailored to allegations of Donald Trump's retention of classified documents, but would remove almost any federal employee’s access if they were charged with specific offenses.  

Management

GAO: USPS international mail volumes fell due to higher costs, pandemic restrictions

A new report found that international mail volumes fell by roughly 64% between fiscal 2017 and 2022, driven by a mix of price increases and COVID-19 impacts, but the increases helped the postal service cover costs. 

Pay & Benefits

DOD, other agencies could better transition service members to civilian life

GAO officials said the Defense, Veterans Affairs and Labor departments could better collaborate to provide more at-risk veterans “warm handovers” to help transition them from military service to civilian life.

Oversight

House GOP members want info on IRS’ alleged AI ‘financial surveillance’ of citizens

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., requested more details about the tax agency’s use of artificial intelligence in its enforcement efforts in a letter published Wednesday.

Pay & Benefits

OPM taps insurance carriers to service new USPS benefits exchange

The federal HR agency conditionally selected 32 carrier applications to provide health coverage to U.S. Postal employees, annuitants and family members starting in 2025. 

Management

GOP bill aims to limit IRS’ use of AI

The legislation — cosponsored by Reps. Clay Higgins, R-La., and Eric Burlison, R- Mo. — could look to put new restrictions on the tax agency’s deployment of AI in its revenue enforcement efforts and require staff to launch new investigations. 

Pay & Benefits

Employee groups air their disappointment with Biden’s 2% raise proposal

Multiple groups representing federal employees expressed their displeasure this week at the White House’s proposed pay raise, noting that it falls both behind the cost of inflation and military compensation.

Updated Management

Biden’s FY25 budget tops $7.3 trillion with increases for defense, agriculture

The president’s budget request emphasized ongoing climate-based initiatives but leaned into gains for the Agriculture, Defense, Education, Energy and other departments. 

Management

A new federal office to gameplan for future crises?

A cadre of federal and industry officials are on a mission to scale the practice of strategic foresight across the federal government to help improve agency response to future challenges. 

Management

OPM offers data guidance to help inform new federal executives website

The recent guidance details how agencies are to collect and report data to the HR agency’s new public-facing website detailing the names, roles and pay levels of thousands of federal executives.

Management

GSA hasn’t performed asbestos inspections at 66% of buildings requiring them, GAO says

The watchdog found that more than 600 federal buildings weren’t in compliance with GSA’s own asbestos management policy requiring facilities to be examined every five years.