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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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Highway Bill Forces Federal Union to Swallow Bitter Pills

December 4, 2015 The final version of the $305 billion highway bill that President Obama is expected to sign contains two provisions affecting agency staffing bitterly opposed by the National Treasury Employees Union and several travel industry groups. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act cleared by Congress on Thursday—which the Congressional Budget Office...

Pentagon Bought Itself $150M in Unnecessary Luxury Homes in Afghanistan, Watchdog Says

December 4, 2015 A Defense Department task force working to develop war-torn Afghanistan spent $150 million, or 20 percent of its budget, on luxurious housing and private security guards rather than housing employees at military installations, a watchdog found. The revelation from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction came in a Nov....

Ex-Pentagon Official Blasts Political Parties for 'Crisis' in Washington

December 3, 2015 Deploying rhetoric unusually charged for a think tank conference, former Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre on Thursday excoriated the Republican and Democratic parties for causing a “collapse in our political system” that risks becoming a crisis of government that discredits agencies in the public mind. “The Democrats are dying of...

Pentagon's Afghanistan Unit Spent $150 Million on Luxury Villas and Guards

December 3, 2015 A Defense Department task force working to develop war-torn Afghanistan spent $150 million, or 20 percent of its budget, on luxurious housing and private security guards rather than housing employees at military installations, a watchdog found. The revelation from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction came in a Nov....

Lawmaker Adjusts Climate Change Subpoena Demands on NOAA

December 2, 2015 Tacking a bit in his battle with the executive branch over climate change, House Science panel Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, on Tuesday redirected some of the demands in the subpoena he sent to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker seeking internal emails from scientists preparing a controversial study of global temperature change....

Watchdog Vindicates Whistleblowers Who Warned Navy Yard Was Not Secure

December 2, 2015 The White House and Congress on Tuesday received confirmation that two whistleblowers working at the Washington Navy Yard before the deadly shootings in September 2013 had warned of weaknesses in the facility’s security procedures but weren’t taken seriously. The Office of Special Counsel, which released the declassified and redacted report...

Contractor Who Delivered Faulty Weapon Sights Pays $25M

December 1, 2015 An Ann Arbor, Mich.-based weapons contractor agreed to pay the government $25 million last month for having knowingly delivered flawed holographic rifle sights to the FBI and the Defense and Homeland Security departments. EOTech, according to the government’s complaint released Monday by the Defense Department inspector general, knew during seven...

IRS Whistleblower Program Makes Money But May Be Underfunded

December 1, 2015 This story has been updated. Stepped-up reliance on private-sector whistleblowers has helped the Internal Revenue Service bring in $2 billion to the Treasury from tax cheats over the past five years, a watchdog said. But budget cuts and poor communication have prevented the agency from doing even more to reduce...

Senator Mocks Federal Funds Spent on Solar-Powered Brewery, Silent Shakespeare Plays

November 30, 2015 Questionable federal spending--on silent Shakespeare plays, solar-paneled breweries and highly localized music documentaries--came under attack in a compilation released on Monday by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. Taking over the “Wastebook” published for years by his Oklahoma Republican predecessor Tom Coburn, Lankford’s new inventory of fodder for headlines employs a football...

How a Digital Swat Team Drove Home Obama’s College Scorecard

November 25, 2015 Some problems call for technical wizardry, others demand policy choices that prompt never-ending debate. This September, the Obama administration released its much-anticipated college scorecard, an ambitious effort to present data to help students pick a school that’s worth their money. For nearly three years, the initiative had bogged down over...