HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that connecting the management side with the budget side would better ensure financial and programmatic successes. Lawmakers pressed Donovan on his commitment to implement the DATA Act and reduce duplicative programs.
Senate lawmakers, White House officials and good government groups say the current way agencies develop regulations is broken. They agree it takes too long, is too complicated and not transparent enough.
Some agency leaders who would be charged with implementing the bill are unsure the DATA Act can be brought to life successfully. Officials said the government can improve how it makes data accessible and publishes procurement and other spending information. But the DATA Act may be asking for things that aren’t pragmatically possible.
OMB is set to begin next week a 120-day review of three broad areas around security clearances. DoD and ODNI are pursuing initiatives to create a continuous evaluation process for employees with secret and top secret approvals. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members say recent events show the process is broken.
Key senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are seeking answers into how the contractor employee responsible for the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people obtained his security clearance. In a Sept. 18 letter, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), requested the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general look into what type of clearance the shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, held as well as what federal agency conducted his background investigation.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced a bill to eliminate official time for federal employees. Official time is the paid time that employees spend on union work.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members pressed Katherine Archuleta on her qualifications, how she will address the retirement claims backlog and on the use of official time. Archuleta appears headed down the path toward confirmation.
President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) pledged to clear up delays in the regulatory process if confirmed by the Senate. Appearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday, Howard Shelanski said improving the timeliness of OIRA’s work — which has come in for criticism from Republican lawmakers and transparency groups, alike — is among his top priorities.
In a letter to Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini, a bipartisan group of senators called for an evaluation of the structure of GSA’s Public Buildings Service, tying it to the wasteful spending of the Las Vegas scandal.
Bipartisan legislation in the Senate aims to streamline the elimination of excess federal properties by setting up a council within agencies and the Office of Management and Budget and creating government-wide property disposal goals.