Monthly Archives: June, 2013

What do you think of the Supreme Court's DOMA decision? Will it affect you?

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In connection with an upcoming story on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down much of the Defense of Marriage Act, Federal Times is interested in hearing from gay and lesbian feds (and their partners) on what they think of the ruling and of the Office of Personnel Mangement’s If you want to weigh in, please email Staff Writer Sean Reilly at sreilly@federaltimes.com or call him at 703-750-8684.

'Shame on you,' disabled vet Duckworth grills IRS contractor

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Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, lost her legs and the use of her right arm as a helicopter pilot in Iraq in 2004. She was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries. Braulio Castillo broke his foot in a prep school injury nearly three decades ago at the U.S. Military Preparatory School, which he attended for nine months before playing football in college. He owns a technology business certified as a service-disabled, veteran-owned company eligible for government set aside contracts. The two met at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing Wednesday in an exchange neither will forget…

IRS official pleads the Fifth

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An IRS technology official at the center of a House investigation into whether he pushed the agency to award contracts potentially worth up to $500 million to a company owned by a personal friend pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify at a House hearing Wednesday. A House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report Tuesday said Greg Roseman, an IRS deputy director, may have influenced the IRS to award lucrative IT contracts to Strong Castle, Inc. The same report also said the company had given the Small Business Administration misleading information to win approval so it could obtain…

Former Office of Special Counsel Director Scott Bloch sentenced

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It appears that the labyrinthine legal saga of Scott Bloch is over. Bloch, the former head of the government’s whistleblower protection office who once stood accused (incorrectly, he said) of retaliating against whistleblowers, was sentenced yesterday for having files erased from government computers, according to The Washington Post. Bloch’s lawyer, William Sullivan, confirmed the terms of the sentence to FedLine today: Two years probation, a $5,000 fine, 200 hours community service, and–as a special condition of Bloch’s probation–one day in prison to be served at a facility in the Eastern District of Virginia. The Post has a succinct wrap-up of the case; for anyone…

GSA to ask public for feedback on agency drivers

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The General Services Administration is launching an initiative to promote safer driving  by making it easier for the public to report the misuse of a government vehicle, according to the agency. GSA will place a “How’s My Driving?” decal on 1,050 GSA vehicles within its internal fleet that will direct the public to report improper use of a government car to driving.gsa.gov. The initiative will streamline the reporting process and give the public one place to voice their concerns, according to the agency. From the press release: GSA remains committed to promoting vehicle safety. This program allows the American people…

Probe finds personal ties, old injury aided IRS contractor

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A high school  injury nearly three decades ago enabled the owner of a contracting company to claim service disabled veteran status last year, opening the door to contracts worth up to a half billion dollars, a House investigation has found. Braulio Castillo, owner Signet Computers, which has been renamed Strong Castle, injured his ankle in the fall of 1984 during his year at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, but would later go on to play quarterback and linebacker the next year at the University of San Diego, according to a 157-page report Tuesday by the House Committee on Oversight…

Shelanski, Tangherlini nominations get the go-ahead from Senate committee

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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee gave quick approval this afternoon to candidates for two long-vacant executive branch positions. On voice votes, the panel endorsed the nominations of Dan Tangherlini to head the General Services Administration and Howard Shelanski to lead the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget. Both nominations now go to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote, according to a news release. Tangherlini has been acting head of GSA since April of last year, but President Obama picked him to permanently fill the job only last month. The OIRA post…

CFC hearing postponed

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Well, perhaps your humble FedLine correspondent should have held off on the previous Combined Federal Campaign post. The reason? We’ve just gotten confirmation that Wednesday’s hearing has been rescheduled until July 10. The reason is a conflict with a House Judiciary Committee markup session, according to a spokeswoman for the subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas.

Comey nomination draws positive reaction from two FBI employee groups

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President Obama’s choice of James Comey to head the FBI has been welcomed by two groups representing key elements of the bureau’s workforce. The FBI Agents Association had previously backed a former special agent—House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich.—for the job. But in a Friday statement issued shortly after Obama formally nominated Comey,  the association’s president, Konrad Motyka, said the former Justice Department official has an “outstanding reputation” among agents. “We believe that Mr. Comey understands the centrality of the special agent to the bureau’s mission of protecting our country from criminal and terrorist threats,” Motyka said. “We look forward…

Who's on deck to testify at Combined Federal Campaign congressional hearing

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[UPDATE AS OF 5:15 P.M EST TODAY: HEARING HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL JULY 10] For anyone who hasn’t seen it, here is the official witness list for this Wednesday’s House hearing on the proposed revamp of the Combined Federal Campaign. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., will lead off, followed by: Mark Lambert, Associate Director for Merit System Accountability and Compliance U.S. Office of Personnel Management Kalman Stein President and CEO EarthShare Debby Hampton President and CEO United Way of Central Oklahoma Ju’Coby Pittman President and CEO Clara White Mission Ken Berger President and CEO Charity Navigator The hearing is scheduled for…

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