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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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'EPA Responded in the Only Way We Could,' Says Official at Center of Flint Crisis

March 15, 2016 The finger-pointing surrounding the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., expanded on Tuesday as the Environmental Protection Agency’s since-resigned regional manager told lawmakers her agency did nothing wrong and that she did not retaliate against a whistleblower. EPA “did not do anything wrong, but could have done more,” said Susan...

Senator Marks Sunshine Week, Blasting GOP Supreme Court Tactics

March 15, 2016 The Republican Senate leadership’s vow to ignore any Supreme Court nomination from President Obama flies in the face of the open government principles embodied in the Freedom of Information Act, a Democratic senator said Monday. Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, said the Republicans’ decision made...

Agency Collaboration Could Make or Break Next Presidential Administration

March 14, 2016 Sustained progress toward government efficiency will hinge on “increasing capacity to work effectively across agency boundaries to gain traction on pressing, inherently cross-boundary challenges,” said a report released Monday. Agency efforts at both mission-focused and mission-support tasks are “impeded by agency-centric mindsets and incentives, congressional barriers to interagency authorities and...

Democratic Lawmakers Accuse IGs of Bias in Clinton Email Probe

March 11, 2016 In a rare criticism of two inspectors general, seven Democratic lawmakers wrote to the State Department and Intelligence Community watchdogs accusing them of bias and errors in their review of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. In a March 9 letter to State IG...

Pentagon Financial Managers See Shrinking Staff, Swelling Workload

March 11, 2016 Defense Department financial executives—under pressure to meet the mandated goal of auditability by next year while keeping up with current military operations—are feeling under-resourced and worried about a coming retirement wave, a survey found. Concerns about budget cuts also raise anxiety about the Pentagon’s ability to maintain and modernize its...

Are Underqualified Congressional Staff Impeding Oversight, Wasting Agencies' Time?

March 10, 2016 Heavy turnover and declining policy expertise among congressional staff risk weakening the system of checks and balances with the executive branch while wasting agency time, according to a group of legislative branch experts. In a March 9 letter to House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders and committee chairmen, five...

Republican National Committee Joins Legal Attack on Clinton Email Practices

March 10, 2016 This story has been updated. Adding to the multiple agency investigations and private lawsuits under way over Hillary Clinton’s State Department email arrangement, the Republican National Committee on Wednesday announced that it has filed two suits of its own. The Washington political committee chaired by Reince Priebus decided—in the midst...

White House Would Curb Contracting Waste with Innovation Labs

March 10, 2016 The Obama administration is rolling out a new weapon in the perennial battle against contract cost overruns and agencies taking delivery of instantly obsolete software. Acquisition Innovation Labs, as announced on Wednesday by U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung, will “provide a pathway to test and implement more innovative approaches...

Congressional Watchdogs Ask Their Hill Masters for Budget Hikes

March 9, 2016 It’s not just ordinary Americans who are feeling financially pressed these days. The Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday appealed to lawmakers for more money in fiscal 2017. The extra money is needed to make critical investments in technology and personnel, they said. GAO is seeking...

The IRS’ Slow Response to Taxpayer Letters Is Costing Everyone

March 9, 2016 The taxpayer correspondence inventory system at the Internal Revenue Service too often allows letters to go unanswered for extended periods, delaying refunds and sometimes causing the agency to pay extra interest to taxpayers, a watchdog found. The “over-age correspondence” lists reviewed last year by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax...