Federal oil and gas inspectors will likely always earn less than the private sector engineers they oversee, DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary Ned Farquhar told the House Natural Resources Committee subcommittee on energy and mineral resources in a Feb. 27 hearing. Office of Personnel Management data show the fiscal year 2012 attrition rate for petroleum engineers at BLM was more than 20 percent.
The White House federal budget request for the coming fiscal year will include a proposal to establish a new wildfire fighting fund for the departments of Interior and Agriculture, the New York Times reports.
Higher salaries in the oil and gas industry are luring employees away from the Interior Department and the agency can't retain staff with the appropriate skills, a recently released Jan. 31 Government Accountability Office report says. Office of Personnel Management data show the fiscal year 2012 attrition rate for petroleum engineers at BLM came in at over 20 percent – more than double the average federal attrition rate of 9.1 percent.
Obvious needs for more tribal law enforcement resources such as high crime rates and few police officers don't necessarily drive Bureau of Indian Affairs funding decisions, an Interior Department official told a congressional panel.
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker made her debut on Instagram Jan. 31, becoming the first cabinet official to have an account on the social media platform. The secretary's participation on the social platform is part of the department's efforts to increase digital engagement with consumers and businesses.
By the end of 2013, the Interior Department plans to make the first offers to buy back American Indian land from individuals in an effort to help tribes consolidate ownership.
Four agencies paid millions of dollars in fees in fiscal 2012 to hold reverse auctions that saw just a single bid or included only one bidder. The Government Accountability Office reviewed the experiences of the departments of Homeland Security, the Interior, Veterans Affairs and the Army, which held a total of 19,688 reverse auctions in fiscal 2012.
A government employee who stepped into a contractor's role is among the targets of a report criticizing contracting practices at the Bureau of Land Management. The audit stemmed from the OIG's prior discovery that BLM had made payments for costs that exceeded the amount agreed to in a contract and also for costs that the contractor incurred outside the period of performance.
The Bureau of Indian Education has a fragmented academic assessment process and unclear administrative roles, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs has no strategic plan for BIE or stakeholder communication strategy, finds a Sept. 24 Government Accountability Office report. Indian education could suffer as a result, say report authors.
Thousands of federal employees received their paycheck late because of a data entry error from the company that processes the government's payroll. A Sept. 13 statement (.pdf) from the Interior Department that was also sent out to the agencies affected says federal employees who would have received a paycheck Friday would get paid Sept. 17. About 40,000 federal employees across 23 agencies were affected.