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Charles S. Clark

Senior Correspondent Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.
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State Dept. Rebuffs Diplomats’ Plea for Release of Reorg Plan

September 19, 2017 The State Department remains unmoved by a request this week from an association of retired diplomats that it rethink its current position and publicly release its still-evolving reorganization plan. The nonpartisan American Academy of Diplomacy, led by ambassadors Thomas Pickering and Ronald Neumann, on Monday sent Secretary of State Rex...

New Whistleblower Group Offers Legal Alternative to Leaking

September 18, 2017 A new legal group called Whistleblower Aid is encouraging federal workers and contractors to report waste, fraud and abuse without resorting to criminal leaking of classified materials. Founded as a nonpartisan nonprofit law firm offering free services to qualified clients, the project is trumpeting its debut on Washington's Metro transit...

Diplomats Cheer State Dept. Spending Bill That Rejects Trump Cuts

September 15, 2017 Retired and current diplomats are heartened that a fiscal 2018 spending bill that cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee last week would not subject the State Department to the steep budget cuts President Trump is seeking. The $51.3 billion spending bill is $10 billion higher than Trump’s request, providing $30.4 billion...

Ethics Office Appears to Give White House a Break

September 14, 2017 The Office of Government Ethics, currently led by Trump-appointed acting Director David Apol, has infuriated some ethics specialists with an unpublicized change in long-standing guidance that banned donations from lobbyists to White House staff for their legal defense funds. But OGE says the policy is unchanged. As first reported by...

Marshals Service Accused of Wasting Funds on Fancy Furniture, Excess Office Space

September 13, 2017 The Assets Forfeiture Fund managed by the U.S. Marshals Service has wasted money on extravagant office space, misspent appropriations and misled congressional overseers, a key senator charged in a Tuesday memorandum to Senate appropriators. Citing tips from whistleblowers, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, blasted the Marshals...

Federal Hurricane Response Expands to Antitrust, Fraud Prevention

September 13, 2017 The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday released guidance to help businesses investing in helping rebuild southern communities ravaged by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But the guidance also contains warnings against anti-competitive agreements that “take advantage” of victims or those engaged in relief efforts. “The Department of...

White House Objects to Parts of Defense Bill that Curb President’s Power

September 12, 2017 The multi-layered $700 billion fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization bill now on the Senate floor has drawn a series of objections from the Trump administration, ranging from its initial rejection of a new round of base closures to a narrowing of presidential authority to set alternative pay rates for warfighters....

Spending Battles Are Likely Still Brewing Despite Bipartisan Agreement on Hurricane Aid

September 11, 2017 The bill President Trump signed on Friday providing $15.25 billion for hurricane relief efforts was at best a down payment. Damages from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still being tabulated, and between now and early December, when the threats of a debt-ceiling expiration and a government shutdown return, the White...

Agencies Told to Cut Regulatory Budgets in Fiscal 2018

September 11, 2017 President Trump’s point person in his push for deregulation has sent regulatory officers at all agencies instructions to submit a budget for fiscal 2018 that produces “a net reduction in total incremental regulatory costs.” In a Sept. 7 memo, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Neomi Rao called on...

Trump Justice Department Declines to Prosecute Ex-IRS Official

September 8, 2017 More than four years after accusations of political targeting rocked the Internal Revenue Service, the Trump administration’s Justice Department has rejected a request from Republicans on the House tax-writing committee that it prosecute the controversy’s main character: Lois Lerner. In letter released Friday by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin...