On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- In just two months the government will be faced with sequestration. And that has everyone in and around government worried. But Michael Keating says there is some room to be optimistic about next year's budgets across all levels of government. Click here for the full recap.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- Enrollment in the Thrift Savings Plan’s Roth option spiked in December. Federal Times says the number of military service members with Roth accounts nearly quadrupled in December, from 6,364 enrollees in November to 24,695 in December.
- Auditors say examiners at the Veterans Affairs department overpaid 12,800 veterans $943 million from 1993 to 2009. Federal Times reports, according to projections by the VA’s Office of Inspector General if the error isn’t corrected, inspector general auditors said another $1.1 billion could be wasted by 2016.
- All the conference scandals last year have altered the Army’s AUSA conference. Federal Times says the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) moved quickly this week to reassure the defense industry that its annual winter meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is still scheduled after its president but will be paired down.
- Federal Times says House lawmakers want to overhaul how the federal government buys and manages information technology, starting with paring down the number of executives who are responsible for IT projects. At last count, the federal government has some 250 chief information officers. The Justice Department, for example, has about 40, and the Transportation Department has 35, House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said at a hearing Tuesday.
- Stars and Stripes reports, This time last year the Air Force unveiled a plan to cut Air National Guard strength by 5100 members along with more than 200 Guard aircraft, touting this as a reasonable efficiency, in part because Guard squadrons cost more to operate than active duty squadrons. That argument was dead wrong, says Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro, a retired Marine Corps reservist and chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board. In a new report, the advisory board he leads urges the Department of Defense to stop ignoring the true and increasingly “unsustainable” costs of active duty forces.
- Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue is leaving next month when his six-year term expires. Astrue is the third longest-serving commissioner. He takes credit for reducing the time to get a disability hearing from 540 days to 360 days, and with establishing a brand new data center scheduled to go online next year. Ray LaHood has also announced that he will be stepping down as the Secretary of the Transportation Department.
- And on GovLoop, are you looking for a government job? Want secrets to success from C-Level people? Come to our Virtual Career Fair on February 28th. It’s free. You can register here.
The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
- Will California Create an Earthquake Early Warning System? Senator announced legislation to build an $80 million early warning system that would alert state residents seconds before an earthquake hits.