A few items that caught our attention Friday:
The spending bill, agency-by-agency: Congress gave final approval to the 2014 appropriations bill Thursday. Which agencies will see in uptick in funding, and which will have to do some belt tightening? Find out with this Federal News Radio graphic.
Staples-Postal Service agreement stirs fears of privatization: A pilot project that allows Staples stores to sell U.S. Postal Service products has concerned postal workers, who worry that their jobs are going to private employers who can pay their employers less, all while USPS employment declines, according to the latest Federal Diary column.
Obama vows NSA reforms: In a speech Friday, President Obama promised to transition away from keeping phone records of U.S. citizens and end eavesdropping on friendly world leaders, among other changes in the government’s intelligence-gathering policies. Read the full text of his speech or check out the The Post’s report on his remarks.
Paul Revere could have been outed as a “terrorist” by metadata: The American Revolution patriot probably would have been caught before he could go on his legendary midnight ride if the British Redcoats had access to the type of metadata and processing power the NSA possesses today, according to an article from The Switch.
Sequestration, other factors reduced contracting by $58 billion in 2013: Budgets cuts, contracting reforms and the military withdrawal in Afghanistan have reduced contract spending to its lowest level in more than seven years, as federal-government contract spending fell about 11 percent in fiscal 2013, according to a Federal Times report.
One-third of State Department leadership roles are vacant: That’s what Secretary of State John Kerry said in a recent letter to Senate leaders, noting that he is missing 58 top officials, including some “absolutely critical national security positions,” according to an In the Loop article.
Congress forges ahead on security-clearance oversight: The House this week unanimously approved a bill to to increase monitoring of the federal government’s security clearance process, providing funding for inspector general auditing of the screenings conducted by the Office of Personnel Management, according to a Government Executive report.
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