While many feds took time off to enjoy the holidays, big stories continued to unfold. President Obama signed the Defense Appropriation Bill and the GAO’s chief accountant explained why his office offered no opinion on the federal government’s consolidated financial report. Read these stories and others that you may have missed below.
Obama signs defense bill despite ‘reservations’ Administration officials said President Obama was only signing the measure because Congress made minimally acceptable changes that no longer challenged the president’s terrorism-fighting ability. Obama said to have “serious reservations” about provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.
Tighe follows Devaney as Recovery Board chair Kathleen S. Tighe, the inspector general of the Department of education, will succeed Earl Devaney as chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. She will oversee the board’s final 21 months, as Recovery process winds down.
Kane named ‘CHCO of the Year’ for online training, performance evaluation work The Energy Department is one of six agencies testing a framework aimed at revamping one of the thorniest issues in government: how supervisors evaluate employees. Chief Human Capital Officer Mike Kane led a working group of more than 100 union, management and government representatives who drafted the framework. He earned the “Chief Human Capital Officer of the Year” award from the CHCO Council.
VA: Happy feds saved $200 million in turnover costs The Department of Veterans Affairs avoided $200 million in turnover costs by investing in online training resources for employees, Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration John Sepulveda told Federal News Radio. He also explained how the VA plans to make veterans 40 percent of its workforce, weather the retirement tsunami and continue to be a federal leader on human capital issues in a wide-ranging interview.
DHS buys software as part of Einstein 3 deployment The department signs an enterprise license agreement for messaging software for all civilian agency networks as part of the intrusion detection system. Congress gave DHS $443 million for cybersecurity in the 2012 budget.
NASA listens as Voyager One nears edge of interstellar space Launched in 1977, the Voyager One space probe is approaching the heliosphere, the large bubble created by the sun, on a journey to a faraway constellation. Ed Stone has been the chief scientist of the Voyager program since its inception in 1972. He and other NASA scientists have been tracking Voyager for 34 years, listening to his transmissions and analyzing its scientific discoveries.
2011 a year of congressional showdowns The year can be summed up by a trio of showdowns, said Peter Schroeder, a staff writer with The Hill newspaper, in an interview on Federal Drive with Tom Temin. The near-government shutdown in April, the August debt ceiling showdown and the last-minute wrangling over the payroll tax cut.
Treasury to end paper savings bonds Beginning Jan. 1, the department will discontinue paper U.S. savings bonds in favor of an all-electronic format. The move has been planned for a number of months, but Treasury “reiterated” the move this week with an announcement on its website and a timeline presenting the 76-year history of the bonds.