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Federal Eye: March 6, 2011 - March 12, 2011

Obama's government reorganization memo

President Obama has formally signed and issued a memo instructing administration officials to provide him with plans to reorganize federal trade and export agencies in 90 days.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2011; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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Smithsonian opening a 'Made in America' gift shop

The Smithsonian Institution is planning to stock the shelves of a gift shop adjacent to its popular American presidents exhibit with goods only made in the United States. Visitors to other nearby museums in the coming months will also find more domestically-produced clothing, paperweights, magnets and wood carvings.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 11, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener  
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Obama expects trade, export reorganization plans in 90 days

President Obama is giving aides 90 days to find ways to overhaul federal trade and export agencies, according to senior administration officials familiar with his plans.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2011; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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TSA revises cost of using private security screeners

A long-simmering dispute on the use of private security screeners at U.S. airports boiled over again this week as the top House Republican on transportation issues accused the Transportation Security Administration of inflating the cost of using private security screeners in an effort to keep federal screeners on the job.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2011; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Oversight  
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Despite reports, Postal Service not cutting 30,000 jobs

Some misleading news reports published Wednesday suggested the U.S. Postal Service is slashing 30,000 positions by the end of September. Not so, according to postal officials.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2011; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Talking federal pay and benefits (Video)

The Federal Eye spent part of his morning with Peter Slen, fielding viewer calls on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal."

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Video Report, Workplace Issues  
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Battle royal over federal worker pay

All that Wednesday's House hearing on federal pay needed to be complete was an announcer with a booming voice asking the packed room, "Are you ready to rumble?"

By Joe Davidson  | March 10, 2011; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress, From The Pages of The Post, Workplace Issues  
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Darrell Issa probing how agencies balance the books

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and House Republicans are turning their attention to the less prominent, but arguably more important side of the Obama administration's ongoing transparency efforts -- specifically, how federal agencies balance their books.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 10, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Oversight  
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My travels with David Broder

Our friend and mentor David Broder died today at age 81 after a long illness.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2011; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Deputy U.S. Marshal dies from gunshot injuries

One of two deputy U.S. marshals shot Tuesday in St. Louis died of injuries last evening, making him the third federal agent killed in the last three weeks.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2011; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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OPM to expand hiring benefit for some military spouses

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) plans to give certain military spouses expanded benefits from special federal hiring provisions.

By Joe Davidson  | March 9, 2011; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Military, Workplace Issues  
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SEC porn sting netted workers in 7 cities

The 33 Securities and Exchange Commission employees and contractors reprimanded last year for accessing pornography on agency computers worked in seven locations across the country, according to documents released as part of a lawsuit.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2011; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Federal pay and benefits back in the spotlight

The Republican-led House is scheduled to hold its first hearing Wednesday on the compensation of federal employees, pitting the Obama administration and federal worker union leaders against conservative fiscal experts armed with detailed reports suggesting federal employees are paid too generously when compared to private sector workers.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 9, 2011; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  Congress, Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Report: Foreign Service officers poorly equipped for crises

At a time when some Arabic speaking states are in chaos and America is fighting distant wars, the United States is sending its foreign service officers abroad poorly equipped to deal with the critical situations they face.

By Joe Davidson  | March 8, 2011; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Security guards caught napping, watching TV on the job

Private security guards protecting the Social Security Administration were founding napping, watching television, chatting with coworkers, talking for hours on the phone and failing to check identification badges at security checkpoints, according to a new watchdog report.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Oversight  
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Why sending Gary Locke to China makes sense

Sending Locke to China however would greatly enhance his standing within the Obama administration by granting him an important diplomatic and economic role just when the United States needs to maintain relations with the world's second-largest economy.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 8, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Administration, Eye Opener, Revolving Door  
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Gary Locke, Commerce secretary, to be nominated as ambassador to China

President Obama will nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as the next U.S. ambassador to China, senior administration officials said late Monday.

By Anne E. Kornblut and Ed O'Keefe  | March 7, 2011; 9:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  From The Pages of The Post, Revolving Door  
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Katie Couric on government redundancies (Video)

It's rare that government operational issues score the attention of broadcast news, but CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric uses her Monday "Notebook" commentary to weigh in on last week's GAO report on redudancies across the federal government. Bottom...

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 7, 2011; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Video Report  
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The messy side of a government shutdown (Video)

The Federal Eye explains how even the National Zoo must prepare for a possible government shutdown on TBD's "Capital Insider."

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 7, 2011; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Government Shutdown, Video Report  
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Postal Service's #2 must have political, media savvy

Looking to lead a multibillion-dollar organization with more than 500,000 employees? Hoping to find a career allowing you to flex your political and media savvy? Are you good on TV and okay working for a money-losing company? Then the U.S....

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 7, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Troops have 10 more days to get stop loss benefits

Veterans and service members who had tours of duty extended between Sept. 2001 and Sept. 2009 have 10 more days to apply for one-time hardship pay.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 7, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Military  
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