Browsing: White House

A group of House Democrats sent the President their written support of a draft executive order that would require contractors to disclose what they spend on lobbying and political campaigns. “Absent public disclosure, there will certainly be some contractors who would seek to influence the awarding of contracts through unreported political contributions,” says the letter, dated June 2 and signed by 25 members. “By requiring contractors to disclose such contributions, you will help to prevent the temptation to engage in inappropriate and illegal behavior.” Another group of primarily Republican senators have sent letters and issued statements in opposition of the proposed order, leaked in April. They say…

Buildup over a draft executive order that would require contractors to disclose their political contributions has led one voice for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to mimic the President’s charge in Libya. “We will fight it through all available means,” the Chamber of Commerce’s top lobbyist R. Bruce Josten told the New York Times Tuesday. In a reference to the White House’s battle to depose Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, he said, “To quote what they say every day on Libya, all options are on the table.” The proposal, leaked last week by a former Federal Election Commission official, would…

Whether the event is a dinner party or a rock concert, everyone knows that seating arrangements can be a touchy subject. But at a congressional witness table? That, though, was a not insignificant issue at a House oversight subcommittee hearing Friday. The session, dedicated to open government efforts, featured two panels. The first was made up of transparency advocates and federal departmental officials; the second featured just one person, Office of Management and Budget Controller Danny Werfel. The reason–as an agency spokeswoman later confirmed–is that OMB will not allow its staff to testify alongside people from outside the government. While…

The Energy, Commerce and Defense departments seem to be on the same page, at least when it comes to handling media inquires about a possible government shutdown. As a matter of course, here is what the Defense Department sent over: As a matter of course, the Department of Defense plans for contingencies. In fact, since 1980, all agencies have had to have a plan in case of a government shutdown, and these plans are updated routinely. We will do everything we have to do to continue to support the deployed troops. The Department must also continue many other operations necessary for the…

The staff over here at Federal Times are getting a sense of deja vu from agency responses to our questions about a possible government shutdown. Here is a response from the Energy Department (Emphasis added). As a matter of course, our agency plans for contingencies, but this is besides the point since, as the bipartisan congressional leadership has said on a number of occasions and as the President has made clear, no one anticipates or wants a government shutdown. The Department is working with both sides on Capitol Hill to fund the government and keep its vital services and functions…

Federal agencies are modifying their information technology portfolios to align with strategies released by the White House for government-wide adoption of cloud solutions. The Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, released Friday on cio.gov,  provides a framework for migrating to the cloud, redefining contracts with cloud vendors and addressing security and governance concerns. There are also case studies highlighting the agencies’ cloud adoption process. When selecting services to move to the cloud, agencies should consider the benefits (efficiency, agility and need for improvements through innovation) and how soon the service can move to the cloud (near-term, medium-term and long-term movers), according to…

The Senate on Saturday repealed the long-standing “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibited openly gay men and women from serving in the military. The final vote was 65-31 in favor of repeal. The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it next week. View our sister websites, including ArmyTimes.com, for more coverage.

OMB Deputy Director Jeff Zients just laid out some details on the two-year pay freeze for federal employees in a conference call with reporters: It’s expected to save $2 billion for the rest of FY 2011, and another $3 billion for FY 2012 alone. The White House expects it will save $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years. It will apply to all civilian federal employees, including Defense Department civilian employees and anyone under alternative pay plans. That means wage grade, SES, the few remnants still under NSPS, and others…

Federal Times will be streaming the video of President Obama’s announcement on the two-year pay freeze for federal employees at 11:35 a.m. We’ve embedded the video below, and also at this link. In the meantime, we’d like to hear what you think. Are you angry that you won’t be getting a pay raise for two years? Or do you think it’s a necessary sacrifice given the dire financial state the nation is in? [HTML1]

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