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Federal Eye: March 7, 2010 - March 13, 2010

Coburn wants to repay furloughed DOT workers from Congress's account

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is blocking Senate passage of a bill that would compensate the roughly 2,000 Transportation Department workers furloughed during an impasse over federal funding for highway and transportation projects. He wants to pay the workers back with $1 million from the congressional budget, rather than tapping the federal coffers.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 12, 2010; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Legoland gets in on 2010 Census action

The Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, Calif. on Friday launched a census of all four-inch Lego people residing in its "Miniland USA" cities.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 12, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Census  
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OPM's Berry blasts Washington Times editorial on federal pay

Office of Personnel Director John Berry blasted a Friday Washington Times editorial critical of the federal pay system and bonus system.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 12, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Friday Feedback: TSA, IRS threats and federal salaries

A sampling of some of the comments from this week's most popular Federal Eye items. The thoughts expressed below do not represent the views of The Federal Eye or The Washington Post: Regarding President Obama's nomination of Ret. Army Maj....

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 12, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Eye Opener: March 12, 2010

Happy Friday! Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter and submit your news tips here. • More Obama Nominees Announced: On Thursday the president tapped W. James McNerney, Jr. to serve as chair of the President’s Export Council and Ursula...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 12, 2010; 6:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Justice Dept. picks new head for public integrity unit

Justice Department officials have selected a new leader for the public integrity unit, a special corps of prosecutors who investigate corruption in police departments, the judiciary and Congress, according to two department sources.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2010; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Administration, Revolving Door  
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Question of the week: Safety of federal workers

This week's Question of the Week focuses on federal worker safety. In light of last week's Pentagon shooting, if you're a federal worker do you feel safe at your place of work? If you're not a federal worker, do you...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  About the Blog, What Would You Do?  
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Use of private security guards under scrutiny

There's a saying among some private security guards in the Washington region: "There's no security in security." Poor job security and the potential dangers that come with protecting government buildings make it a risky line of work, yours truly reports...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Oversight, Workplace Issues  
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Michelle Obama almost thanks 'President Clinton'

Mrs. Obama accidentally referred to Mrs. Clinton as "Senator" and then almost used another term to describe the secretary of state.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Administration  
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Suspicious package near Treasury investigated

Authorities responded near the Treasury building in Northwest Washington early Thursday after a woman reportedly dropped off a suspicious package, U.S. Secret Service officials said.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Threats against IRS workers continue

Threats against Internal Revenue Service workers and facilities continue to pour in following last month's plane crash at agency offices in Austin.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2010; 6:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Astronaut families press NASA's case with administration

A group memorializing astronauts killed in the line of duty and their families has invoked their names in an effort to convince the Obama administration to drop its planned changes to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The group's outreach comes as lawmakers and other space advocates have called on the White House to continue with plans to return Americans to the moon by 2020.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Relief for furloughed DOT workers?

If you are among the nearly 2,000 Transportation Department employees who were furloughed last week because Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) temporarily blocked funding for federal highway and transportation projects, help is on the way.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2010; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Interior Dept. unveils new Ansel Adams photos

The Interior Department and National Park Foundation on Wednesday will put on permanent display 26 previously unseen prints of selected Ansel Adams photographs.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Peter Orszag defends federal salaries

Peter Orszag defended federal salaries on Tuesday, saying comparisons between private and public sector paychecks are "misleading."

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2010; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Eye Opener: Group warns of cutting DHS contractors

A contractor industry group has warned that the Department of Homeland Security should closely study the size and scope of its contracting jobs before it converts some positions to the federal payroll.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Contracting, Eye Opener  
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How the Smithsonian prepped the First Ladies Gown Exhibition

First Lady Michelle Obama officially donated her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian Institution on Tuesday, the latest addition to the newly expanded exhibition. In the video above, First Ladies curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy and museum costume conservation expert Sunae...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2010; 7:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Some Muslims, fearing backlash, worry about intent of Census forms

The idea of answering any questions posed by the government makes some Muslims uneasy, so community leaders are worried that many may avoid the Census altogether.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2010; 2:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Census  
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Napolitano rules out terrorism in IRS plane crash

A suicide plane crash that killed the pilot and an Internal Revenue Services worker at an office building in Austin, Tex., Feb. 18 was not a case of domestic terrorism, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday in a radio interview.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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Obama taps infographics guru for stimulus board

President Obama tapped Edward Tufte last week to join Recovery Independent Advisory Panel.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Revolving Door, Tracking the Stimulus  
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Are federal workers 'the enemy'?

The Federal Eye is a member of GovLoop, the so-called "Facebook for Feds" social media site that's an excellent way to take the temperature of public sector workers at the local, state and federal levels.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2010; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  What Would You Do?, Workplace Issues  
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Eye Opener: The government promotes more competition(s)

Private companies and philanthropic foundations use contests and prizes all the time to solicit new business ideas or product ideas, and now the government wants in on the action. The Obama administration on Monday released new guidance on how federal agencies can use contests and prizes to encourage more participation from federal workers and outside groups.

By  | March 9, 2010; 6:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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OMB staffer intimidated OPM's watchdog, will face disciplinary action

An Office of Management and Budget staffer intimidated staffers for the Office of Personnel Managements top watchdog in violation of federal law, according to an OMB investigation completed late last week.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2010; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Oversight  
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Senators seek to slash number of political appointees

By The Post's "In the Loop" columnist Al Kamen: Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Monday introduced a bill to slash the number of presidential political appointees, both full-time and part-time, from about 3,500 to 2,000 employees....

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2010; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Revolving Door  
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Explaining the Census sales strategy

U.S. Census Bureau Spokesman Stephen Buckner explained his agency's advertising strategy during an appearance on CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2010; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Census  
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Federal building security back in focus next week

House lawmakers will focus next week on federal building security in the wake of the recent Pentagon shooting and other attacks on federal facilities across the country. The hearing comes as union leaders have suggested that Washington isn’t seriously addressing recent attacks that have killed or injured federal workers.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2010; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Retired Army general to lead TSA

President Obama on Monday will tap retired Army Major Gen. Robert A. Harding to lead the Transportation Security Administration, according to administration sources.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2010; 7:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Administration, Revolving Door  
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Eye Opener: Obama to discuss NASA's future

Happy Monday! President Obama will head to Florida next month to host a conference on the future of American space exploration and defend his plans to revamp the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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