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IRS lands a new Chief of Staff – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Many of us learned about the legislative process while listening to the School House Rock anthem in our elementary classroom. But if you want to take your knowledge of the legislative process a bit further, you only have to log on to Congress.gov. The site also allows you to track bills currently going through the Legislative process. Click here for the full recap.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. President Barack Obama wants to rein in companies that amass portfolios of patents with no intention of using them to build products. Instead they sue companies that do develop products the patent trolls claim violates their patents reports, the Wall Street Journal.
  2. The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee says he’s prepared to use the power of the purse to rein in the IRS. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) says Congress may consider making funding conditional upon how well the agency performs. His warning came during a hearing on the agency’s targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. The acting commissioner, Danny Werfel, acknowledged that the agency has lost the trust of the American people. He told Rogers he is committed to restoring it. Werfel went to the committee to request a 9 percent budget increase to cover the agency’s costs related to the Affordable Care Act, reports Federal News Radio.
  3. Meanwhile, Todd Grams will become the IRS chief of staff. He starts tomorrow. He’ll report to the acting commissioner, Danny Werfel. Grams will leave VA, where he is chief financial officer and executive in charge of the office of management. He spent two years as the tax agency’s CFO, and three years as its chief information officer, reports Federal News Radio.
  4. The Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a Virginia state court’s decision to allow the ex-wife of a deceased federal employee to collect life insurance benefits from the federal government. The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act specifically states that policy benefits go to a named beneficiary first and contains a pre-emption provision that declares its power over state law. GovExec reports a district judge in Virginia originally sided with Hillman — the second wife — citing a Virginia statute that automatically changes the beneficiary of a life insurance plan if the deceased has gotten divorced, regardless of whether the deceased had changed the listed recipient.
  5. The Air Force exempted some Oklahoma-based civilian employees affected by the recent tornadoes from planned Defense Department furloughs Tinker Air Force Base civilians whose homes were “destroyed or declared inhabitable” are being exempted from the 11 days of furloughs planned for Defense employees reports GovExec.
  6. The Defense Information Systems Agency’s enterprise collaboration tool, Defense Connect Online, is experiencing enormous growth as agencies try to cut travel costs. FCW reports, the system has lately been providing 35 million minutes a month of web-conference time, said Emily Timmerman, solutions consultant for Adobe, speaking at a recent FCW Executive Briefing event covering collaboration and telework adoption. Now DISA is preparing to double DCO capacity, according to recent DISA reports.
  7. And on GovLoop: Here is a staggering stat: 130 millions Americans own a smartphone, including roughly 1 out of 2 adults. That’s a technology that wasn’t even around 5 years ago. So how can government leverage this technology to connect, engage and empower government employees and the general public? Tune in to find out with the DorobekINISDER LIVE panel on June 26th at noon ET. Register for the free online webinar now.

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