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The Eye Opener: Nov. 13, 2008

By Ed O'Keefe

Good morning!

In celebration of The Federal Eye's launch, a good friend and (newly?!) loyal reader passed along a clip of the Hall & Oates classic, "Private Eyes." Yes -- Eye-themed humor will be one of the blog's recurring themes.

Don't forget to send your news tips, event notices, questions, comments and Eye-themed humor to or leave links in the comments section below!

Great news! Wednesday was our first full day of existence and The Federal Eye quickly became one of's well-read blogs. This makes The Eye, his editors and Almost Mrs. Eye (the fiancee) very happy. Keep it up!

Now onto the news and events of the day...

  • Count Those Pennies: Starting in February, contractors that discover they have overcharged the government must tell on themselves or face suspension or debarment, according to Federal Times. The new rule was published in the Federal Register yesterday. This applies to government contracts performed in the U.S. and overseas.
  • Plum Book: The Eye spent a good part of yesterday providing extensive coverage of the Plum Book's release, and today The Post's A1 editors to put a Plum Book story on the front page. NYU's Paul Light tells The Post's Lois Romano and Lindsey Layton that the book is "really more like the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue -- a lot of people pick it up and say, 'Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have that tiara?'"
  • None Of Your Business! Or Is It?: Looks like the Obama-Biden team is also keeping a close Eye on potential hires. "A seven-page questionnaire being sent by the office of President-elect Barack Obama to those seeking cabinet and other high-ranking posts may be the most extensive — some say invasive — application ever," the New York Times reports. "The questionnaire includes 63 requests for personal and professional records, some covering applicants’ spouses and grown children as well, that are forcing job-seekers to rummage from basements to attics, in shoe boxes, diaries and computer archives to document both their achievements and missteps."
  • Agency Reviews: The Obama-Biden transition team announced the names of folks leading agency reviews at treasury, state and defense. They've also tapped OMB veteran Sally Katzen to review government operations agencies, reports Government Executive. “The person we worked closest when she was at OMB was Sally Katzen and she is a total professional," NTEU president Colleen M. Kelley tells The Eye. "They could not do any better.”
  • Events: If you've got time today, stop by Georgetown University for a discussion called, "From Dropouts to Disasters: Why Service is America’s Solution.” The forum is sponsored by the Center for Social Justice and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership and features David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service who retires on Friday. You could also stop by The Center for U.S. Global Engagement's discussion of the presidential transition and foreign policy, featuring Paul Begala, Michael Gerson and Jim Lehrer. The group will also release a "Global Plum Book" that identifies key foreign policy leadership positions that could shape the Obama administration’s foreign policy. To watch the event live, or see highlights later, click here.
  • This Day in HIstory: On this date in 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote to a friend, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Check back later today for more! Leave your thoughts in the comments section below...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 13, 2008; 7:55 AM ET
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