New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Obama Administration Seeks to Curtail Award Fee Contracts

During a recent Senate hearing, a top official from President Obama's budget office detailed the administration's plan for curtailing the use of award fee contracts, controversial vehicles that, according to good government groups, are filled with waste, fraud, and abuse. This plan stems from the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) latest release of guidance to federal agencies on reforming the federal procurement process – part of a larger reform effort the administration is undertaking. During the same hearing, however, chief procurement officials from several federal agencies raised concerns over the possible consequences of further regulation.

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Complacency Breeds Corruption in Contracting


Oh, boy, this one is a doozy. If you haven't seen this yet, a WaPo article from last week detailed the incestuous, often corrupt, relationships that can exist between officials and contractors within the broken culture of government contracting, and highlighted the lengths to which agencies will go to safeguard that decayed culture.

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Redactio Ad Absurdum

We've been digging through $9.5 million rewrite contract the Recovery Board has signed with Smartronix, Inc., and it is taking us surprisingly little time...because most of the information has been redacted.

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OMB Watch Submits Contracting Reform Comments

OMB Watch recently submitted comments and recommendations on needed reforms to the federal contracting process in response to a presidential memorandum issued earlier in 2009. The Presidential Memorandum on Government Contracting directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to both collaborate with federal agencies to review existing contracts and to develop new guidance to help reform future government contracting.

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Has Something Funny* Happened on the Way to the Internet?

UPDATE: It's up. On the evening of Friday, July 31, the contract was posted on

Despite GSA's and the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board's "confirmation" that the $9.5 million contract with Smartronix, Inc. to implement 2.0 would be posted online, we're still waiting to see it on

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OMB Watch Submits Comments on Contracting Reform

White HouseOn March 4, President Obama released a Memorandum on Government Contracting, which instructed the OMB and other federal agencies to improve and strengthen federal contracting practices, including seeking input from the public. In response to this effort, OMB Watch submitted comments and recommendations on necessary reforms to the federal contracting system.

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Money for Nothing

Dire Straits

...and Chicks for Free

A report released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that few federal agencies follow recently revised guidelines set forth by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for awarding contract bonus fees, wasting billions of taxpayer dollars per year.

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Zients Officially Confirmed as first Chief Performance Officer

After clearing the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Jeffrey D. Zients was approved by the full Senate as the government's first-ever Chief Performance Officer.  In addition to his CPO duties, Zients will also serve as Deputy Director of Management at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 

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Zients Easily Clears Senate Committee Vote

Earlier today, Jeffrey D. Zients came one step closer to becoming the government's first-ever Chief Performance Officer when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination. 

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Senate Likely to Confirm First-Ever Chief Performance Officer

On June 16, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) voted to approve the nomination of Jeffrey Zients to serve as the nation's first Chief Performance Officer (CPO), moving the issue to the full Senate.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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