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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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Two Admirals Cleared of Charges of Illegal Lobbying

November 19, 2015 A Navy admiral and rear admiral accused of public comments that violated the 1919 Anti-Lobbying Act were within the law when they encouraged symposium audience members to contact Congress, a watchdog found. Adm. John Richardson, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, director of the...

Obscure Pentagon Small Business Program Gets a Boost from GAO

November 18, 2015 A mysterious Defense Department research project designed to test ways to encourage large contractors to hire small businesses earned a recommendation for permanent reauthorization from the Government Accountability Office on Monday, a move that surprised some inside the Pentagon and the small business community. The 25-year-old Test Program for Negotiation...

Say What? Agencies Continue to Wrestle with Plain Writing

November 18, 2015 In a sign of progress in the government’s effort to cease communicating in bureaucratese, two major agencies tied for top grades in the federal plain language report card released on Tuesday by the nonprofit Center for Plain Language. The Social Security Administration dominated for the second year running, tying for...

Contractors Predict Tightening of Federal Opportunities in Next 5 Years

November 18, 2015 Governmentwide spending on defense and civilian contracting risks being pinched over the next five years by growing mandatory spending on entitlements, according to industry research being unveiled Wednesday and Thursday at a conference convened by the Professional Services Council. Though the overall federal budget will rise from current $3.9 trillion...

Decision Time for Chief Financial Officers: Be Tacticians or Strategists

November 17, 2015 Twenty-five years after the CFO Act sought to modernize financial reporting, chief financial officers find it tough to recruit qualified analysts, integrate their data systems and maintain clarity on their roles within their agencies, a report released Tuesday found. “With the influx of additional CXOs across the government, the role...

Everyone Wants Transparency Until Their Agency Is On the Line

November 17, 2015 The Freedom of Information Act can be seen at once as a crucial tool, a major hassle and the law of the land. President Obama’s 2009 promise to run “the most transparent administration in history” is considered a joke by many in the so-called civil society groups—despite the efforts of...

Scholars Blast Obama’s Syria Policy

November 17, 2015 The Obama administration’s Syria policy is the product of “Barack Obama, full stop,” former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack said on Monday when asked whether the president’s national security advisers, Secretary of State John Kerry or the Pentagon shared responsibility for the administration’s approach in Syria. That policy took a beating...

Reported Terrorist Targeting of D.C. Has Not Altered Agency Precautions

November 16, 2015 Monday morning’s news reports of an ISIS video warning of a planned attack on Washington similar to the one in Paris have not altered the ongoing security precautions taken by federal and local authorities, according to agency sources contacted by Government Executive. The Homeland Security Department and the FBI “are...

Open Office Space at Heart of Plan to Further Cut Costs of DHS Headquarters Move

November 13, 2015 As budget talks with Congress near, the Obama administration is seeking to jump-start the stalled plan to consolidate the Homeland Security Department’s key offices on the St. Elizabeths campus, submitting a scaled-back strategy that seeks savings through open office space. The General Services Administration on Thursday unveiled an “enhanced plan”...

IRS Becoming a 'Self-Service Store,' Deputy Commissioner Says

November 13, 2015 The Internal Revenue Service unit at the center of the political bias controversy over the past two years has made “great strides” in speeding up processing of applications for tax-exempt status, its deputy commissioner said on Thursday. But overall budget cuts have turned the agency into a “self-service store” heavily...