bureaucracy

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Homeland Security's Big Problem: Staff Keep Quitting

Department grapples with morale problems

(Newser) - One of the biggest challenges faced by the Department of Homeland Security is an internal one: Top staff members keep quitting, and it's hampering officials in their efforts to fight external dangers. In the past four years, the rate of departure from the department has been almost double the... More »

Feds Say They'll Stop Seizing Some Tax Refunds

Social Security puts halt on collecting more than decade-old debts

(Newser) - No longer will a single sentence make tax day even more miserable for hundreds of thousands of Americans—for now, at least. Late last week, the Washington Post reported on a recent Treasury Department practice made possible by a single sentence lurking in the 2008 farm bill: seizing tax refunds... More »

How GM Screwed Up Its Ignition Investigation

Engineer struggled with internal roadblocks, changing management

(Newser) - How did GM mess up so badly in addressing its deadly ignition switch glitch? In part it's due to a snafu over a part number and coworker obstruction, documents released by the House committee investigating the recall reveal. The documents sketch the two-year plight of low-level engineer Brian Stouffer... More »

Feds Swiping Tax Refunds to Pay Parents' Debts

Many are told there aren't even records proving the debt exists

(Newser) - The Treasury Department has been seizing tax refunds or demanding payment from hundreds of thousands of Americans on some very old debts—some of which aren't exactly theirs in the first place. Many taxpayers are being forced to repay debts their parents allegedly racked up, the Washington Post reports.... More »

Working or Not, HealthCare.gov Has Ruined Everything

Matthew Yglesias reflects on the damage to the progressive cause

(Newser) - HealthCare.gov is working . Sort of . And certainly, some Democrats will take heart in that. But so what? Even if the modest fixes have saved the site and the law—as Dana Milbank argued today in the Washington Post —the problems have already done serious, lasting damage to the... More »

US Bureaucrats 'Kill' Thousands Each Year (by Typos)

Social Security mistakes cause huge hassles for the living

(Newser) - The Social Security Administration is killing off thousands of Americans every year, at least temporarily. About one in 200 deaths typed into the agency's Death Master File carries a misprint that officially terminates a living person, cutting off credit, bank accounts, and government assistance for the newly "dead,... More »

Feds Often Have 75 Programs Doing One Thing: Review

GAO recommends combining some

(Newser) - The government is positively brimming with overlapping programs and offices, potentially producing billions in waste, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. There are, for example, 82 federal programs for improving teacher quality, 80 for helping poor people with their transportation needs, 47 for job training... More »

Feds' Lone Dog-Mushing Job Opens Up

Must like Alaskan wilderness, dog poop and bureaucracy

(Newser) - Love dogs? Pristine Alaska wilderness? Then you’ll be pleased to learn that the lone federal dog-mushing job is open. The position at Denali National Park pays up to $66,542 (plus cost-of-living adjustment), but it’s not all easy sledding. The kennel manager is in charge of 31 dogs,... More »

Help Wanted: Fed Govt. Needs 600K New Workers

270K new hires deemed critical to make up for retirement

(Newser) - The federal government must hire 600,000 people over the next 4 years to balance a wave of retirement and keep pace with President Obama’s ambitions, the Washington Post reports. Nearly half of those positions are considered absolutely essential for agencies to provide their services, a new report states,... More »

DC Deficit Fixer: Print on Both Sides of Paper

$102M in painfully obvious cuts shows how outdated gov't is

(Newser) - A short while ago, President Obama called on his Cabinet to make budget cuts in their departments totaling $100 million. They came up with $102 million, but some of the cuts were so obvious one wonders why it took a presidential edict to elicit them, the Wall Street Journal notes.... More »

Little Left for Fiancée of Fallen Soldier

Unmarried loved ones have no standing, get nothing from Army

(Newser) - To the US Army bureaucracy, love means little without a marriage certificate—so the fiancée of a man killed in Iraq was left with nothing other than what his family was willing to part with. Now, the Washington Post reports, Kyle Harper, 27, is trying to forge a path... More »

Ex-CEO, Swift-Boaters Lead Attack on Health Reform

Rick Scott ties Democrats' plans to Canadian, British systems

(Newser) - As leading Democrats prepare for a health care overhaul, the loudest opposition isn’t coming from GOP leaders—it’s coming from investor and former hospital CEO Rick Scott, with the help of the team that “Swift-boated” John Kerry, the Washington Post reports. Scott is spending $5 million of... More »

For Bush Veterans, DC Jobs Are Scarce

Former administration officials find bad economy, overwhelmed job market

(Newser) - Former Bush administration staffers are feeling the economic pinch as acutely as other victims of the sagging economy, Politico reports. GOP job-seekers in Washington face a triple whammy of economic chaos, minority status on Capitol Hill, and an excess of qualified Republicans. “The Washington side is a bit of... More »

Foreclosures Draw Eager Buyers, but Banks Drag Feet

Red tape and bureaucracy hinder efforts to buy repo'd properties

(Newser) - Bargain hunters are turning to foreclosed homes for deals, but many are finding that buying repossessed properties from banks is a bureaucratic nightmare, the Washington Post reports. Though the housing market cannot stabilize until the unprecedented volume of foreclosures is sold off, banks are sluggish to act and fraught with... More »

Jargon Not a Best Practice, Brit Bureaucrats Told

Confusing phrases are keeping people from using services: agency

(Newser) - This recession requires the British government to drop its jargon and get consensually transparent, er, clear. A government agency frets that people are missing out on services because they don't understand bureaucratic lingo like the following phrases, per Reuters:
  1. Slippage: Why not just admit the delay?
  2. A menu of options
... More »

Clinton the Campaigner Moves to State—for Good or Ill

(Newser) - As Hillary Clinton takes over the State Department, it's worth remembering that her train-wreck presidential campaign followed an "audacious 2000 run for Senate" and an excellent record as a legislator, Michael Crowley writes for the New Republic. "The question—not only for Hillary's legacy but for US... More »

Astronaut Slams NASA Bureaucracy in Video

(Newser) - NASA is abuzz over a satirical video posted on YouTube that takes on the space agency’s innovation-stifling bureaucracy, reports NPR. Written, shot, and edited by astronaut Andrew Thomas and starring NASA employees and contractors, the video tells the fictional story of a young engineer’s frustrating attempts to propose... More »

Obama Fills West Wing With Powerful Czars

Critics warn of collision between Cabinet, top advisers in key jobs

(Newser) - Stories of agencies working on the same projects and not bothering to coordinate dog every presidential administration, but Barack Obama has an ambitious plan to avoid all that: He’s concentrating power over domestic issues in the hands of White House advisers. “It really is a way of him... More »

300 in Limbo as Houston's Last Ike Shelter Closes

Many still wrangling with FEMA, other agencies, blast 'ridiculous lies'

(Newser) - The Red Cross will boot nearly 300 Hurricane Ike survivors from its remaining Houston shelter Sunday, the Chronicle reports, leaving them to the care of federal and local agencies some accuse of “ridiculous lies.” The possibility of transitional housing does little for one FEMA reject, who was told... More »

Leave Washington Alone!

DC is unfair target of attacks, 'good place in which to live'

(Newser) - Politicians can make a career out of promising to “change,” “clean up,” “reform,” and “shake up” Washington. And while the District may not completely be a shining city on a hill, it’s doing just fine, thank you, Leonard Downie writes in a... More »

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