Eye Opener: GOP probes Bureau's printer program
Happy Tuesday! A top Republican lawmaker wants to know why the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is giving $75 gift cards to employees that turn over their government-owned individual office printers.
As The Eye first reported on Monday, the bureau wants employees with individual printers to switch to office-wide network printers in order to save on paper, ink and electricity costs. The incentive program is open to the 534 mostly senior bureau employees that have printers at their desk.
Angry employees that contacted The Eye about the incentive program say it unfairly benefits some workers while the cash-strapped offers buyouts to 227 other employees.
"I am going to need your assistance in helping me understand why your agency needs to spend in excess of $40,000 to recover its own property," Issa wrote, calculating the total cost if all 534 employees opt in to the incentive program.
Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (and the wealthiest member of Congress), wants answers by Dec. 15. The bureau plans to reward the gift cards once the program ends on Dec. 31.
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• Notice anything different?: Per the suggestion of some readers, the news articles listed after the jump are sorted by government agency, in an effort to better direct you to headlines of interest. Like what you see? Think it should be done differently? Let The Eye know what you think.
• More Obama Nominees Announced: The president on Monday tapped Ian C. Kelly to serve as ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; Allan J. Katz to serve as ambassador to Portugal; Bisa Williams to serve as ambassador to Niger; Raul H. Yzaguirre Sr. to serve as ambassador to the Dominican Republic; and Patrick K. Nakamura to serve as a member of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. Track all of Obama's nominees with The Post's Head Count.
• Cabinet and Staff News: Did an aide to Defense Secretary Robert Gates trade e-mails with the state dinner gate-crashing couple? Secretaries Hillary Rodham Clinton and Kathleen Sebelius review the administration's AIDS policy. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Arturo Valenzuela says the Honduran election was fair and transparent.
• Early retirements available At USDA: The department has received OPM approval to offer buyouts to a maximum of 100 employees affected by a recent management restructuring.
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
• Old buildings, dwindling rents: GSA faces financial crisis: The agency does not collect enough rent from agencies to cover costly repairs for an ever-aging inventory of more than 1,500 federally owned buildings.
• Is a lawsuit finally forcing transparency at the Department of Labor?: After stonewalling several attempts at transparency, a lawsuit and a some much-deserved public shaming may be spurring the department to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests.
NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD:
• NTSB plans probe of latest D.C. Metro crash: The agency will launch a formal investigation of Sunday's crash, in which a six-car train smashed into a parked six-car train at a Northern Virginia rail yard.
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION:
• NRC inks new contract, includes improved worker benefits: An agency widely considered "one of the best places to work in the federal government" has negotiated a new contract with its biggest labor union including significant new scheduling flexibilities for almost all its workers.
• Live chat on White House security breach: Ronald Kessler, author of "In the President's Secret Service," hosts a washingtonpost.com live chat today at 11 a.m. ET about last week's White House security breach.
• White House breach raises questions about pay and oversight: Gatecrash-gate prompts questions about whether the agency needs more staff.
• Could mobile technology have stopped state dinner security breach?: Some government technology specialists say improved networking of mobile devices could help prevent such security gaffes.
• Administration to shame lenders that don't offer to modify mortgages: The government would provide cash incentives to mortgage servicers that reduced monthly payments for distressed homeowners, and that way those who were facing higher payments or lower incomes could stay in their homes.
• VA makes progress in sharing health records: The department and Kaiser Permanente launch a pilot program to exchange electronic health record information using the Nationwide Health Information Network, which was created by the Department of Health and Human Services.
• Job seekers continue to value face-to-face interaction: The Office of Personnel Management and Partnership for Public Service have teamed up on a program that brings federal career days to college campuses.
• Overseas voting act could serve as model for future election reforms: The law's enactment is an object lesson in how framing an issue along non-ideological lines can transcend partisan splits so lawmakers actually get something done.
| December 1, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener
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