GSA turns 65 the only way possible – by talking about how much things have changed


The General Services Administration is celebrating its 65th birthday by highlighting how much government work has changed over the decades. Ori Hoffer, social media strategist at GSA, said in a blog post that employees used to use manual typewriters and process contract bids by hand, but now use a wide array of technology to help shorten and simplify the process. The agency also has evolved from testing natural gas as a vehicle fuel to using electric and hybrid cars in its rental fleet. “While the people and the technology have changed, and the mission statement may be a bit different,…

70 years later: Remembering D-Day


Across the Internet today people will be posting their thoughts and remembrances of a day 70 years ago when the United States and her allies invaded France and helped lead to the end of World War II. Among the other articles and galleries you read, you should take a look a the picture gallery  built by our sister publications at Military Times.

7 famous people and their less famous federal jobs: You might be surprised


Federal employees have taken a lot of heat over the last few years. They are called overpaid and underworked. The fight over their pay and benefits has been well documented. Politicians have called for closing entire agencies, while others push bills to end the civil service . We did this list a few years ago, but I thought it was long due for an upgrade. So here are some now very famous people who at one point would have been considered federal employees. 7. Wanda Sykes This one is from reader Drew Fletcher, who pointed out that before she became…

A hat tip to a site you should know about: The Government Attic


I wanted to spend a moment today to tip my hat to the Government Attic. It’s essentially a resource for information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that is put up for anyone to look through. It’s been a fantastic source of stories for me and for others I know who follow the site. You might remember this story about Burning Man. It was made possible with the documents stored on the Government Attic site. The intended audience is the public, journalists, researchers and others.  It is entirely self-funded and does not accept any money from anywhere or any…

Attention small businesses, the Coast Guard is looking for some officer swords


The United States Coast Guard is asking small businesses for bids from small businesses for about 580 swords and accompanying scabbards, according to a solicitation posted on Fed Biz Opps on May 23. The solicitation is only for small businesses who are able to supply officer swords with specialized grips, pommels and blades with the appropriate insignia. Small businesses have until June 3, at 5 p.m. to submit their proposals. Here are some sketches of the scabbards in question. The rest are available here.

Committee passes bill to limit Oil paintings for government officials to $20,000 each


The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted May 21 to limit the federal dollars spent on oil paintings of government officials – and restrict who gets to have themselves painted. The aptly named Responsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars for Portraits Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would permanently cap the amount of each painting to $20,000 and would limit those eligible to those in line for presidential succession. While the government is currently prohibited from spending money on oil paintings of government officials the ban lasts only through this fiscal year,…

11 things you probably didn't know were in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015


On May 8, the House Armed Services Committee voted on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 – about 15 minutes after midnight. The committee voted on hundreds of amendments and debated the legislation for more than 12 hours before finally passing it. You have probably heard some of the highlights of whats in the bill, but here is a longer list of stuff that made it in that you might not have heard about. Now remember, the bill still needs to be voted on by the full House and then by the Senate, so there are still changes that…

Tensions high after masked men threaten Bureau of Land Management workers


Things are getting scary out west for federal workers. On May 6 on Interstate 15 in Utah a pair of masked men in a pickup truck rode up beside a Bureau of Land Management car and, brandishing a gun and holding a note reading “you need to die” before driving off. The license plate was covered with duct tape and law enforcement has yet to locate the vehicle or the suspects. Jeff Krauss, spokesman for BLM, said the agency is looking into the matter with the help of law enforcement. “Threats against BLM employees will not be tolerated.  We are…

SILVER SCREEN FEDS: Interior IG finds Leslie Knope abused authority


SPOILER ALERT: The NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation ended its sixth season last night with the endlessly-optimistic public servant Leslie Knope becoming a federal employee by accepting a job as the National Park Service’s Midwest Regional Director, and then talking her new boss into relocating the office to her hometown of Pawnee, Indiana. Which is great news for the show’s viewers, but raises troubling questions about multiple violations of civil service rules. FedLine has exclusively obtained a copy of the Interior Department’s inspector general report into Regional Director Knope’s activities: To: Jonathan Jarvis, director, National Park Service From: Mary Kendall,…

Not with a bang but with a high-pitched whimper. The slow death of the federal helium program


On Oct. 1, 2013 the federal government became the victim of a gridlocked Congress and began to shut down. Hundreds of thousands of workers were furloughed without notice while many more kept working – unsure of when they would be paid. Just one day later the 50 or so employees at the Bureau of Land Management’s Cliffside Gas Field – the last remaining federal helium plant – breathed a sigh of relief. The facility had only been allowed to operate until Oct. 7, but Congress had managed to finalize legislation that would keep the facility open for more than six…

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