With the release of the White House’s 2014 budget proposal last week, budget season on Capitol Hill is in full swing. But while Congress will be debating the merits of the President’s budget plan via a flurry of congressional hearings this week, the permanent director’s chair at the Office of Management and Budget remains vacant.
A group of Democrats and Republicans, called the No Labels Caucus, plans to introduce nine bills this week focused on government effectiveness and efficiency. The strategic sourcing legislation would require agencies to save at least $10 billion a year. Senators say agencies need the right incentives to buy smarter.
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.
Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel offered the administration’s first public comment since the major IT reform bill passed the House as part of the 2014 Defense Authorization bill. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) offered a blunt warning to the White House if it does not support the legislation.
Senate committee members introduced the Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2013 to address the management of federal real property. The government is the largest owner of property in the country, owning more than 1 million properties.
OMB reported agencies avoided spending $3 billion on travel and conferences in 2013 as compared to 2010. Senate lawmakers are concerned how to ensure agencies don’t slide back into old habits of lavish spending on conferences.
The Army’s audit arm finds huge accountability holes in a years-long program that recruited 130,000 soldiers. The program most likely violated federal law from the get-go, officials say.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) tries to get to the bottom of why, after a decade, contracting officers still do not have quality information on how contractors perform. GSA said it has a plan to integrate 10 databases by 2018 through a series of incremental improvements.
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.
In the fiscal 2015 budget request to Congress, the White House detailed 15 cross-agency priority goals and almost 100 agency-specific goals. The goals and new strategic plans are laying the groundwork for agencies to continue to improve mission delivery and operations over the next two years.