Fewer workers at the IRS means less work getting done

In today's Federal Newscast, amid shrinking budgets and workforce cuts, the IRS has also seen a reduction in tax enforcement.

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  • Amid shrinking budgets and workforce cuts, the IRS has also seen a reduction in tax enforcement. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says the IRS cut more than 1,600 revenue officers between fiscal 2010 and 2017. That’s led to more than $3 billion not getting collected each year. TIGTA also found a 32% decrease in audits between 2013 and 2017. (House Ways and Means Committee)
  • The Defense Department may get $10.5 billion for its military construction accounts for 2020. It’s a slight increase from this year’s funding. The House Appropriations Committee budget for military construction and veterans affairs provides $1.5 billion for military family housing, which has faced reports of mold, mice and lead paint. The bill also puts in$2 billion of emergency spending for bases impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. (House Appropriations Committee)
  • One lawmaker wants a closer look at how the Coast Guard is retaining women. Representative Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) introduces legislation requiring USCG to provide regular reports on increasing gender diversity. The bill comes after the Coast Guard realized it’s losing more of its mid-career women. A RAND Corporation study found sexual harassment, poor leadership and family concerns were all reasons for women leaving the service. (Congress.gov)
  • The Office of Technology Assessment moves one step closer to resuming operations. The House Appropriations Committee approves the fiscal 2020 legislative branch spending bill, which gives OTA a $6 million budget. Congress defunded the scientific watchdog office in the mid-90s, but Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), chairman of the legislative branch subcommittee, says the funding will improve congressional oversight. (Rep. Tim Ryan)
  • Employees at the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service have voted to unionize under the American Federation of Government Employees. ERS professional and non-professional employees have decided to join a single union. Employees at ERS face relocation to somewhere outside of the D.C. area. Employees say they’ll receive a relocation notice and will have 30 days to decide if they want to move, and then another 90 days to arrive at the new space. (Federal News Network)
  • Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee are urging Transportation Security Administrator David Pekoske to allow collective bargaining to continue at TSA. Pekoske told lawmakers last month he couldn’t commit to doing so. He says a national advisory council with TSA officers is evidence the agency is communicating with its workforce. (House Homeland Security Committee)
  • A new plan is coming to transform federal financial management. The Office of Federal Financial Management is finalizing a new strategy bringing together several disparate financial management initiatives. Tim Solstis, the deputy controller at the Office of Management and Budget, says the financial management transformation roadmap will incorporate cross-agency priority goals, Treasury’s federal financial vision document and efforts around grants management, real property and enterprise risk management. Solstis says OFFM hopes the CFO Council will drive the strategy’s implementation. The roadmap also will help inform the effort to update the 29-year-old CFO Act.
  • 26 federal employees and teams are named finalists for the annual Service to America Medals. The Partnership for Public Service names the finalists which include those who uncovered the Fat Leonard Navy bribery scandal and helped spark a culture change at a beleaguered veterans hospital. The Partnership will name six award winners at a gala in the fall. (Federal News Network)
  • The government’s premier mapping agency has a new deputy director. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency names Doctor Stacey Dixon as its eighth deputy director. A long term member of the intelligence community, Dixon moves over from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, where she was director. This would be her second tour at NGA. Earlier Dixon was its chief of congressional affairs, among several other positions. She’s also worked for the CIA and for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (National Geospatial Intelligence Agency)
  • The Justice Department is brought charges against a former airman for leaking classified documents to the media. Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia allege Daniel Everette Hale shared classified information with reporters starting in 2013, while he was an intelligence analyst for the Air Force. They say he continued his leaks about drone strikes against foreign terrorists after he took another job at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Hale’s defense attorneys say his disclosures were legitimate whistleblowing. (Federal News Network)

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