Report: State Department lacks files for $6 billion in contracts

A few items that caught our attention on Monday:

(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press).
(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press).

Government files lacking for $6 billion in State Department contracts: An inspector general found that the State Department has incomplete or missing files for more than $6 billion in contracts over the past six years, but the agency claims the money is not missing, according to an Associated Press report.

Department heads in the hot seat: Several of President Obama’s Cabinet secretaries will be busy on Capitol Hill this week, with Secretary of State John Kerry, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius all scheduled to testify before Congress about their departments’ funding needs, according to In the Loop’s weekly In the Hot Seat feature.

Rep. Jim Moran “very frustrated” as he prepares to leave Congress: The liberal Virginia lawmaker said he is “very frustrated, extraordinarily frustrated” with Congress in an interview with Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson.

OMB denies watchdog group’s request for charge-card records:  The Project on Government Oversight reported that the Office of Management and Budget denied the group full access to agency credit-card records it sought under the Freedom of Information Act, saying the information could be “exploited for criminal purposes,” according to a Government Executive report.

Federal agencies dropped 10,000 jobs in March: The federal government shed more than 10,000 civilian employees in March, continuing a trend in which agencies have lost more than 85,000 workers in the past 12 months, according to a Government Executive article.

Backlog shrinking for federal-worker retirement claims:  The Office of Personnel Management’s backlog of pending claims has shrunk for the first time this year, dropping from more than 23,500 claims to about 18,500 in March, according to a Federal News radio article.

A profile of departing White House counsel: Kathryn Ruemmler is the longest-serving White House counsel for President Obama, and although she entered the role in 2011 as a relatively young and obscure lawyer with no personal ties to the president, White House chief of Staff Denis McDonough considers her influence to be “highly consequential,” according to a New York Times profile.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks(at)washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, and The Fed Page for more federal news. Submit news tips and suggestions to federalworker@washpost.com.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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