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Federal Eye: September 27, 2009 - October 3, 2009

Obama Taps New CEO to Run AmeriCorps, VISTA

President Obama has tapped Patrick Corvington to serve as chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the independent agency that runs the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and VISTA programs. Corvington currently serves as senior associate at the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 2, 2009; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Revolving Door  
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Dear (Federal) Diary

Starting Monday and for the next two weeks, The Eye assumes double duty as a blogger and columnist, serving as author of the Federal Diary column while Joe Davidson continues his medical leave. (Colleague Steve Vogel has assumed Diary duty...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 2, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Eye Opener: 23,000 Postal Workers Opt for Buyout

Approximately 5,000 full-time Postal Service employees -- but not letter carriers -- stopped working this week after accepting buyouts. Happy Friday! Approximately 5,000 full-time Postal Service employees eligible for retirement ended their Postal careers this week, accepting $15,000 buyout...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 2, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Obama Bans Federal Employees From Texting While Driving

By The Post's Ashley Halsey III: President Obama has banned federal employees from text messaging when they are behind the wheel of government vehicles and from texting in their own cars if they use government-issued phones or are on official...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 1, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Justice Department's Online Revamp

The new home page for www.Justice.gov debuted on Thursday. The Justice Department has launched a redesigned Web site, as well as fresh MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts. Direct links: Facebook: Facebook.com/DOJ MySpace: Myspace.com/usdoj Twitter: Twitter.com/TheJusticeDept YouTube: Youtube.com/TheJusticeDepartment It's...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 1, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Latinos Kick Off Campaign to Counter Census Fears

The Post's Carol Morello reports: A coalition of prominent Latinos kicked off a nationwide campaign Thursday urging people to fill out the 2010 census forms. It is an attempt to counter fears that census data could lead to deportation and...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 1, 2009; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Census, From The Pages of The Post  
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Fiscally, Physically Fit at OMB

It's day one of Fiscal Year 2010 (woohoo!) but the White House is already thinking about Fiscal Year 2011. As of last night, the Office of Management and Budget had received 10,266 cost-saving ideas from federal employees hoping to win...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 1, 2009; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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The Future of Presidential Libraries

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. (AP) Updated 2:37 p.m. ET Presidential libraries and museums draw big crowds to otherwise less-than familiar places. Just ask folks in Abilene, Kansas., Little Rock, Ark., or Yorba Linda,...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 1, 2009; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Help Getting Emergency VA Payments

Happy Thursday! Thousands of student veterans who have not yet received tuition, housing and book payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill may apply online for emergency aid beginning Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday. "The agency announced...

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 1, 2009; 6:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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National Aviation Safety Reform Effort Stalls

The Post's Sholnn Freeman reports: Federal efforts to improve U.S. aviation safety after a deadly regional plane crash in February have hit major obstacles, sapping momentum for a reform effort that enjoyed broad political support earlier this year. A number...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 9:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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Senate Passes CR, Postal Service Breathes Easy

Federal employees and the Postal Service can breathe easy -- the government will not shut down at midnight, reports The Post's Ben Pershing. "Just hours before the official end of the fiscal year, the Senate voted Wednesday evening almost completely...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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Workflow Changes at Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria. In a move designed to improve morale and help reduce a growing backlog, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proposed changes Wednesday to its way of determining how long a patent...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Congressional Health Benefits Could Soon Change

Senators debating health-care reform legislation have unanimously approved a proposal requiring members of Congress and their staffs to obtain health insurance through new state-based purchasing exchanges set up by the health-care reform bill under consideration. Lawmakers and their staffs could...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 2:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Congress, Health Care, Workplace Issues  
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Did Ex-State Dept. IG Protect ArmorGroup?

Allegations of misbehavior and potential security risks at the U.S. embassy in Kabul first surfaced publicly in June, with more damning allegations revealed last month. The reports raised concerns about weapons shortages, poor training, lewd behavior and hazing incidents...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Contracting, Oversight  
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Interior Dept. Moves Online

A photo from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's Flickr account shows him during a recent visit to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. (Photo courtesy of Interior Dept.) For years, the Department of Interior has lagged behind other federal agencies...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Attacks on Federal Employees

Updated 7:03 a.m. ET Happy Wednesday! Local, state and federal officials continue to investigate the death of Census Bureau employee William Sparkman, 51, found dead on Sept. 12 in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Sparkman's son Josh has told...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 30, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Census, Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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NASA Scientist Pleads Guilty to Conflict of Interest Charge

The Post's Maria Glod reports: A NASA scientist pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a conflict of interest charge for directing government contracts to his wife's company, which develops science exhibits and educational tools. Mark R. Schoeberl, 60, of...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 29, 2009; 8:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Federal Employee Health Care Costs to Jump 8.8%

Updated 7:17 p.m. ET Federal government employees enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will pay an average 8.8 percent more in health-care costs in 2010, according to figures released Tuesday by the Office of Personnel Management. The increase...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 29, 2009; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Health Care, Workplace Issues  
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Smithsonian Offers Buyout Packages in Budget Crunch

The Post's Jacqueline Trescott reports: The Smithsonian Institution is offering all of its employees a voluntary buyout plan to reduce its workforce, meet its tightened budget goals and restructure the organization to match the principles of its new strategic plan....

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 29, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Hearing on Federal Contracting Databases

The Senate subcommittee on contracting oversight held a hearing Tuesday about problems with existing federal databases that contain information about government contracts. The Eye could not attend due to a scheduling conflict, but did obtain Sen. Claire McCaskill's opening statement....

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 29, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Contracting  
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Report Questions Security at National Parks

A new government report is critical of National Park Service security efforts at national parks and historic sites including Independence Hall in Philadelphia, above. Updated and Corrected Sept. 30 1:17 p.m. ET Security at the nation's national parks and...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 29, 2009; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Chat With The Eye!

The Eye took several questions earlier Tuesday on political and government news, especially on the recent apparent killing of a Census Bureau employee. Read the full chat here and review some of the highlights below: Census Worker Murder: OK, I'm...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 29, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Eye Opener: Sept. 29, 2009

Happy Tuesday! Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter and send your news tips and events notices here. • OPM to Continue Tracking Retirement Numbers: Officials at the Office of Personnel Management insist the agency will continue to forecast the...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 29, 2009; 6:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Recovery.gov Relaunched

Updated 4:19 p.m. ET Recovery.gov, the federal government Web site that tracks economic stimulus spending, relaunched Monday with several new features designed to improve the government's ability to prevent and stop potential waste, fraud and abuse. The site now...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 28, 2009; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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GovLoop Sold and its Founder Will Leave Gov't

GovDelivery.com, a provider of e-mail and Web services to local, state and federal government agencies, will buy social networking site GovLoop.com -- often described as "Facebook for Feds." GovLoop.com founder Steve Ressler The site launched in May 2008 and has...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 28, 2009; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Miscellaneous, Workplace Issues  
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Eye Opener: New Oklahoma City Bombing Footage

Happy Monday! The FBI has released soundless video recordings of the moments after the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The explosion killed 168 people in the largest single attack on...

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 28, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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