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Federal Eye: March 29, 2009 - April 4, 2009

NASA's Controversial Inspector General Resigns

NASA Inspector General Robert Cobb, stepping down April 11. NASA's controversial inspector general Robert Cobb has resigned following bipartisan calls for his resignation and criticism from fellow watchdogs, most notably a recent Government Accountability Office report that determined he...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 3, 2009; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Oversight  
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Census 2010: Robert Groves Reaction

Whenever a president nominates someone for a top government position -- like Obama's plans to nominate Robert M. Groves for census director -- it sets off a flurry of press releases from lawmakers and interest groups for and against the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 3, 2009; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Spotted: Oldest Living Ex-Cabinet Secretary Releases Book

Former labor secretary Willard Wirtz with the current labor secretary, Hilda Solis, Thursday at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Shawn T. Moore, U.S. Dept. of Labor) Labor Department employees got a glimpse into the history...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 3, 2009; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Public Service, Spotted  
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Explaining Employment and Unemployment Stats

It happens on the first Friday of every month: Government economists release new employment and unemployment statistics that gets widely quoted on television, on the Internet and in newspapers. But what exactly is that data? And who analyzes it?...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 3, 2009; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Nuts and Bolts, Video Report  
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Collective Bargaining Rights for TSOs Proposed

By Steve Vogel A bill introduced in the House today would give collective bargaining rights to Transportation Security Administration officers who screen passengers at airports around the country. As reported by The Post today, unions representing the TSA complain that...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 2, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Unemployed Journalists Key to Stimulus Oversight?

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) (Photo by Post) Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) suggested today that the team tasked with overseeing distribution of economic stimulus funds should consider hiring recently laid-off journalists to help craft the tone and message of the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 2, 2009; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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Obama Picks Robert Groves for Census Director

Updated 12:59 p.m. ET President Obama intends to nominate University of Michigan professor Robert M. Groves today to serve as the next Census director, a long-anticipated announcement made less a year before the 2010 census begins. If confirmed, Groves faces...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 2, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Geithner Grilled on GAO's TARP Findings

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sat for several television interviews yesterday, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in London. On the "CBS Evening News," Katie Couric pressed the secretary (starting around 1:10) to justify the Government Accountability Office's findings...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 2, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Oversight, Video Report  
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Eye on The Cherry Blossoms

Millions of people will visit the National Mall this week to see the annual blooming of the cherry blossoms. While the beauty the trees demonstrate during their blooming period comes naturally, there's a small, dedicated team of federal employees...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 2, 2009; 5:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye On..., Video Report  
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Eye Opener: April 2, 2009

Happy Thursday! • Today's Big Story: There are several good "behind the scenes" stories about Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to drop the government's case against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). "The collapse of the Stevens case was a...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 2, 2009; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Senate Panel Confirms John Berry

Updated and Corrected 4:55 p.m. ET 4/2/09 The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee today unanimously confirmed by voice vote the nomination of John Berry to serve as director of the Office of Personnel Management. Committee staffers say he...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 1, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Confirmation Hearings, Congress  
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Obama Urged to Back New Whistleblower Act

Updated 10:37 p.m. ET A coalition of good government groups and federal workers unions called the Make It Safe Coalition is asking President Obama to support a House bill that strengthens whistleblower protections for federal government employees. "As our country...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 1, 2009; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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HUD's Donovan Marks Passage of Fair Housing Act

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan met today with employees of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity as they marked the 41st anniversary since passage of the Fair Housing Act, part of the 1968 Civil Rights...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 1, 2009; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Census 2010: One Year Away

Census Day 2010 is exactly one year from today, and this week 140,000 temporary Census employees start fanning out nationwide to start accounting for every single American address. Originally designed for next year's follow-up visits, the GPS-enabled devices instead...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 1, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Census, Nuts and Bolts, Video Report  
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Eye Opener: April 1, 2009

Happy Wednesday! No April Fools jokes here, just the breezy review of headlines, as always. Today marks one year until Census Day 2010. You'll hear plenty about it in the next 365 days. Today's Big Story: Coming to a...

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 1, 2009; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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TARP Staffing Update

The Treasury Department anticipates it will need to hire 196 full-time employees to fully staff the Office of Financial Stability, established to handle elements of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The office is still less than hall full, with...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Oversight, Workplace Issues  
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GOP Claims Oversight Panel Got Stiffed

Updated 6:29 p.m. ET In what some might call a great example of "what goes around comes around," Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) are up in arms over what they consider a paltry budget...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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Suggested Questions for Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius starts two days of confirmation hearings today, so let's quickly review some suggested questions for her from the Government Accountability Office, as The Eye has done with every other cabinet nominee....

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Confirmation Hearings  
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Government's Web Tips for Tough Economic Times

With many Americans trying to cope with the pressures of layoffs and plummeting economic fortunes, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration launched a new Web page last night with tips on how to cope with the stress and...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: March 31, 2009

Happy Tuesday! The Post's Lois Romano continues her must-watch, revealing conversations with Obama administration officials today, chatting with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who tells her he has played pickup basketball with President Obama since they both arrived from Chicago....

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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The Latest Obama Signing Statement

Talk about a minor technicality! President Obama issued a signing statement yesterday objecting to one minor item in the monster Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. At issue is whether Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has to consult with lawmakers...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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Senators Unveil Bill to Streamline Federal Hiring

A Senate bill introduced today would reshape the federal government's hiring and recruitment process, forcing agencies to post job announcements in plain writing and fill vacancies in no more than 80 days. The Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act of 2009,...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 30, 2009; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Locke Joins Census Bureau Outreach Efforts

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at a White House event on Monday. (AP Photo by Gerald Herbert) In his first official act as commerce secretary, Gary Locke urged the leaders of groups volunteering with the U.S. Census Bureau to increase...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 30, 2009; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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GAO Asks for Help Tracking Stimulus Fraud

The Government Accountability Office is asking Americans to join its effort to track potential waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement associated with stimulus funds by using its online FraudNet tool. "The Recovery Act has set aside billions of dollars to create...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 30, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Oversight  
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Live-Blogging the Census One-Year Kickoff

The Eye is attending the U.S. Census Bureau's National Partner Kick-off at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, marking one year until Census Day 2010. Updates throughout the morning. 12:10 p.m.: Wrapup: As the meetings wrap and participants prepare for a networking...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 30, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Overheard  
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Eye Opener: March 30, 2009

Happy Monday! The Eye will spend his morning at the Census Bureau's one-year kickoff event with its national partners devoting resources to encourage Americans to complete their Census forms. Updates throughout the day in the blog. • Today's Big...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 30, 2009; 7:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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