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Charles S. Clark

Senior Correspondent

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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from govexec

How to Stump the Smartest Man in Obama’s Cabinet

October 6, 2014 Billed as “the smartest man in President Obama’s Cabinet,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was a good sport during a Saturday appearance on the National Public Radio quiz show “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” Moniz, who has chaired the Physics Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, calmly took...

from govexec

Border Agency Improves Handling of Unaccompanied Minors

October 6, 2014 Customs and Border Protection has improved its handling of the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the Southwest U.S. border, a watchdog said in a memo released Monday after several unannounced visits to makeshift detention facilities. Updating an assessment of a situation that had drawn complaints from civil liberties advocates over...

from govexec

Did Budget Cuts Cause the Secret Service Failures?

October 3, 2014 On Friday, at the end of a tumultuous week for the Secret Service, two key House lawmakers wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson seeking to steer his coming independent review of recent lapses in protecting the president. During an angry oversight hearing Sept. 30 that prompted the resignation of...

from govexec

SBA Data Show Large Firms Are Nabbing Contracts Reserved for Small Businesses

October 2, 2014 Federal procurement data show that large companies, including leading defense contractors, last year received millions of dollars in contracts intended for small and disadvantaged businesses. The data was obtained last week by the American Small Business League, which fought a multi-year court battle to obtain the information from the Small...

from govexec

Controversial VA Procurement Officer Should Be Fired, Lawmaker Says

October 2, 2014 Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., a longtime critic of the Veterans Affairs Department, has asked newly installed VA Secretary Robert McDonald to terminate the deputy chief procurement officer of the Veterans Health Administration for her dealings with the private reverse auction company FedBid. Susan Taylor, it appears, “has violated numerous federal...

From War To Work

October 2, 2014 In 2011, Lauren Augustine was an Army specialist operating RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles from Camp Taji in Iraq. She knew that at the end of her deployment, the skills she’d learned wouldn’t translate directly to civilian employment. Enter the revamped Transition Assistance Program, designed to ease service members’ transition...

from govexec

GSA Presses Ahead with Homeland Security Consolidation

October 1, 2014 On the final day of fiscal 2014, the General Services Administration took a step toward launching the next phase of the seven-year-old plan to consolidate the Homeland Security Department’s headquarters at the Southeast Washington campus of St. Elizabeths hospital. GSA awarded a $139 million contract to renovate the historic Center...

from govexec

How Congress Could Help Agencies Resist Hasty End-of-the-Year Spending

September 30, 2014 As fiscal 2014 draws to a close, it’s a safe bet that managers across the government signed a few more contracts than usual in the past week or so under the “use it or lose it” budget mentality. In fact, agencies on average spend 4.9 times more in the fiscal...

from govexec

Special Counsel to Supreme Court: Don’t Unravel Whistleblower Protections

September 30, 2014 This story has been updated. In a first since enactment of the 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, the Office of Special Counsel on Monday filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court, siding with a former Transportation Security Administration air marshal whose pending case is a cause celebre among whistleblower...

Phoenix VA Whistleblowers Win an Undisclosed Settlement

September 29, 2014 Three Veterans Affairs Department employees who blew the whistle on patient scheduling problems and financial mismanagement at the VA’s Phoenix medical center have won settlements for their claims of management retaliation. The Office of Special Counsel on Monday announced it had obtained “full and fair” relief for Katherine Mitchell, Paula...