Even though overall trust in the government is near historic lows, the public expressed favorable views toward the individual agencies in a Jan. 22 Pew Research Center poll. Wide majorities of people express favorable views of such government agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NASA and the Defense Department.
The Defense Department doesn't know if it employs the appropriate number of workers at headquarters because it doesn't determine personnel requirements as part of a systematic process and procedures aren't in place to make sure the department assesses its personnel needs periodically, says a Jan. 21 Government Accountability report.
Two Defense Department employees perpetrated a scheme to collect recruiting bonuses through a fake Army website, and though the DoD found out about it, both continue to work for the department, says a Jan. 20 statement by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). McCaskill says a retired Army sergeant and his wife, who both work for the DoD, set up a website called OfficialArmy.com that looked like an actual Army website.
Recommendations from audits conducted by the Defense Department's Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction allowed an estimated $1.1 billion to be put to better use and the sustainment or recovery of more than $11.1 million, according to a Jan. 20 report from the watchdog.
The Air Force plans to ask Congress again this year to let it close some bases and retire aging aircraft, even though Congress has continually rejected those requests over the last few years. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters in a Jan. 15 press conference that due to tight budgets, the service will need to make adjustments elsewhere when it proposes its fiscal 2016 budget request in the coming months.
A marketing campaign aimed at raising the profile of the Veterans Affairs Department's open source electronic health record is in full swing. The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA, now has a website, Twitter account and LinkedIn group- just as the Defense Department considers a VistA proposal for its new EHR.
The Defense Department updated the way it buys products by emphasizing a tailored approach to buying individual products and services in a Jan. 7 DoD memo. The DoD updated its Instruction 5000.02 document which lays out how the agency buys its goods and services.
With Congress continually denying the Defense Department base consolidation in the United States, the DoD has taken to consolidating bases in Europe to cut costs. While the DoD needs congressional approval for a Base Realignment and Closure round in the United States, it doesn't need that approval to consolidate bases abroad.
The Defense Department's contracting office didn't comply with government auditing practices when it rejected nearly $7 million in costs claimed by an unnamed contractor, a Dec. 23 DoD inspector general report says. The Defense Contracting Audit Agency determined in 2008 that there wasn't enough documentation based on a sample of 70 subcontractor invoices worth $13.5 million to justify the full payout, the report (pdf) says.
Most military members will be receiving a one percent pay bump in the new year, a Dec. 22 Defense Department statement says. The DoD announced its 2015 military pay and compensation rates Monday. Congress froze pay raises for general and flag officers so they won't be seeing a pay raise in 2015.