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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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GOP Lawmakers Fault Agencies for Issuing Too Much Guidance

March 14, 2018 House Republicans on Wednesday continued their effort to curb what they see as regulatory overreach, targeting the informal and non-binding “guidance” documents agencies publish to explain complex rules. The hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also highlighted Government Accountability Office findings that many agencies are derelict in...

Tillerson’s Reorganization Plan for State Department Now in Limbo

March 13, 2018 The Trump tweet heard round the world announcing the firing of the secretary of State vindicated reports leaked to the press last fall saying Rex Tillerson’s days were numbered. It also likely postponed further progress on his much-discussed but controversial plan to reorganize the State Department in ways that many...

Acting Inspectors General Can Get More Done Than You Might Think

March 12, 2018 Vacancies atop inspector general offices may not impede the watchdogs’ functions as much as previously thought, according to the Government Accountability Office. A new survey and results of interviews released on Friday posed the question of whether leadership by an acting IG negatively affected planning, work productivity, interaction with agency...

Intel Community Whistleblower Ombudsman Formally Fired

March 12, 2018 Longtime national security whistleblower specialist Dan Meyer finally got the word last week that he was officially out as intelligence community whistleblower ombudsman in the inspector general’s office. The long-threatened decision not to extend his probationary period was first put forward by acting intelligence community IG Wayne Stone, but was...

Comptroller: Pentagon's First Audit Will Be Worth Its Nearly-$1B Pricetag

March 9, 2018 The top financial managers at Pentagon this week assured senators that the nearly $1 billion audit now underway at the Defense department will be worth the price. Defense Undersecretary and Comptroller David Norquist—under questioning by Senate Budget Committee members seeking efficiencies and defense budget reforms—said the price of $367 million...

Watchdog: GSA Communications Policies Could Chill Whistleblowing

March 9, 2018 The General Services Administration’s communications policies are confusing, lack transparency and risk violating whistleblower protection laws by requiring centralized approval, a watchdog found. The agency’s efforts to respond to congressional inquiries in an “official” and consistent way appear to go against the intent of the 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act,...

Pentagon Managers Defend $1 Billion Price Tag of Largest Audit Ever

March 9, 2018 The top financial managers at Pentagon this week assured senators that the nearly $1 billion audit now underway at the Defense department will be worth the price. Defense Undersecretary and Comptroller David Norquist—under questioning by Senate Budget Committee members seeking efficiencies and defense budget reforms—said the price of $367 million...

Reading Between the Lines on Agency Mission Statements

March 9, 2018 Earlier this week, an executive at the Housing and Urban Development Department reportedly sent a memo to senior political staff announcing a change in the 53-year-old agency’s mission statement—one of a half-dozen agencies or offices to change, or consider changes, to their stated core values since the start of the...

Lawmakers On Both Sides of Aisle Ramp Up Pressure for Permanent SSA Leader

March 7, 2018 The official who has been acting Social Security commissioner since the second day of the Trump administration is now serving in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, the Government Accountability Office told Congress on Tuesday. The letter from the GAO counsel came on the eve of a Wednesday hearing...

House Approves Bill to Curb Spending on Official Portraits

March 7, 2018 In a move to curb what in days gone by was a common official perk, the House on Tuesday approved a bill that codifies a ban on taxpayer-funded official portraits of top agency officials. The Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting (EGO) Act, originally sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., cleared the chamber...