Browsing: President Obama

Chief performance officer's job now vacant; Senate proceeding with Deese nomination

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Four years after President Obama created the post of chief performance officer to some fanfare, the job is now vacant, a spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget confirmed this week. “OMB does not currently have a chief performance officer,” Ari Isaacman Astles said in an email to FedLine. “The responsibilities of the CPO are being handled by the OMB management team.” Back in April 2009, Obama had tapped  Jeff Zients, who became OMB’s deputy director for management, to also serve as chief performance officer. In that role, Obama said at the time, “Jeff will work to streamline processes, cut costs,…

Appearances notwithstanding, transparency board still at work

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Casual observers might be forgiven for thinking that things are a bit slow over at the Government Accountability and Transparency Board.  This is the 11-member panel, you may recall, created last summer by President Obama as “a critical next step” in White House efforts to cut costs, crack down on fraud and open up the government’s books to the public. Almost five months after the board’s chairman, Earl Devaney, retired, Obama hasn’t named a replacement. During the same time, the panel, made up mostly of inspectors general and financial management folk, has met just once, in April. But work on recommendations…

Fed issues warrant little attention in State of the Union speech (phew!)

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Perhaps to their relief, federal employees didn’t hear much that would directly affect them in tonight’s State of the Union speech. Last year, after all, President Obama used the prime-time address to call for a government reorganization and a five-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending, besides reminding Congress that he had already imposed a two-year freeze on base federal salaries. This year? Hardly a mention of overarching management and budget initiatives.  The closest that Obama came was almost an hour into the speech when he brought up his recent bid to get “fast-track” authority from Congress to restructure and consolidate federal…

Hatch Act photo restrictions in force as campaign season begins

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Attention, feds: Those cubicle photos, work computer screensavers and other shots of President Obama may have to go now that he’s formally seeking a second term. Under the Hatch Act, federal employees are generally barred from displaying workplace pictures of partisan political candidates, the Office of Special Counsel says in an advisory opinion issued after Obama announced his re-election bid earlier this month. There are just two exceptions. The first involves the standard portrait photo and other official pictures of the President meeting heads of states or conducting other official business (no adding halos or horns, however, the OSC warns).…

This means war

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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…

Obama threatens veto of GOP spending bill

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This probably comes as no shock, but President Obama is threatening to veto a Republican-backed bill that would slash a net total of $61 billion in agency discretionary spending for this fiscal year. Although the administration is committed to cutting spending, it “does not support deep cuts that will undermine our ability to out-educate, out-build and out-innovate the rest of the world,” the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement this afternoon. The administration also charges that the GOP legislation—which was introduced last Friday and is now being debated on the House floor–would reduce Defense Department…

Bypass OPM, postal groups urge Obama

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“Since OPM refuses to exercise this authority, we urge you to use your authority as President to do so,” postal labor and management groups said in a letter to President Obama.

Obama to SES: We need you

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President Obama is urging the Senior Executive Service to embrace his accountability agenda, according to a memo released today. “As the most senior managers in the federal government, you know how essential the work you and your colleagues do is to the nation,” Obama told more than 7,000 SES members. “You also are aware what happens when your best efforts are thwarted by outdated technologies and outmoded ways of doing business. “You understand the consequences of accepting billions of dollars in waste as the cost of doing business and of allowing obsolete or under-performing programs to continue year after year.”…

Donohue leaving HUD IG post

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After more than eight years on the job, Kenneth Donohue is stepping down Oct. 1 as inspector general for the Housing and Urban Development Department for a position with the Reznick Group, P.C., a national accounting firm, according to news releases from his office and the company. Donohue will be a principal in Reznick’s government services group, where he will focus on compliance, internal controls and other matters for the company’s federal, state and local clients. A former Secret Service special agent appointed by then-President George W. Bush, Donohue has served as inspector general since March 2002. Among other milestones…

New rule: contractors must give employees union info

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Government contractors and subcontractors are now required to post signs that “inform their employees of their rights as employees under federal labor laws.” Acquisition workers will have to write the provision into every contract they write from now on. The rule went into effect yesterday, about a month after the Labor Department published it in the Federal Register. It’s based on a Jan. 30, 2009 executive order from President Obama. The president wrote at the time that his order was “designed to promote economy and efficiency in government procurement.  When the Federal Government contracts for goods or services, it has…

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