An Interior Department executive who dated a lobbyist involved with the agency was cleared of improper influence by the DOI inspector general in a Nov. 7 report. The IG investigated potential improper influence by Steve Black, at the time a senior counselor to former DOI Secretary Ken Salazar.
The Interior Department and CIA are among several federal entities praised for their ability to engage citizens on Twitter in a new guide for good government tweeting published by the social media platform. In the handbook (pdf), Twitter credits the DOI with an account that is responsive to Twitter users.
The Interior Department failed to accurately track its conference and could not provide actual cost information for 10 of its conferences, an Aug. 28 DOI inspector general report says. The IG looked at ten DOI conferences that exceeded $20,000 and found significant differences between estimated and actual costs, the report says.
The Interior Department will dole out $43.38 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to all 50 states and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects, Secretary Sally Jewell announced July 8.
Four agencies will take charge of creating financial management services to be used governmentwide, said the Office of Management and Budget in a May 2 blog post. The Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, Interior and Transportation will lead the administration's efforts to use shared services for future financial management systems across the government as part of President Obama's new management agenda, the post says.
Accumulated vegetation, the proximity of communities to wildfire-prone areas, human-caused ignitions and the high cost of response emerge as the four national challenges identified in wildfire strategy the Obama administration released earlier this month.
The Interior Department is develping an agencywide way of looking at the the environmental impacts of developing federal land rather than continuing the reactive, case-by-case approach the agency has employed in the past. The DOI is responsible for the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources on federal lands including the impact when developing those lands. It wants an approach to project planning that can be used across its 9 bureaus.
The Interior Department doesn't know if it's getting fair market value for the minerals it permits private firms to remove from federal lands because staffers are using outdated price lists, an April 3 DOI inspector general report says. DOI's Bureau of Land Management manages the sale of mineral materials on federal lands and is responsible for ensuring that the government obtains adequate compensation for the sales of minerals.
Agencies with large property holdings are failing to assess security risks at their combined 52,000 facilities across the country, a recently released Government Accountability Office report says.
House Natural Resources members criticized President Obama's budget request for the Interior Department for not prioritizing programs or making spending reductions.