A few items that caught our attention today:


Don’t denigrate public servants. That’s what John Berry, head of the federal government’s human-resources agency, the Office of Personnel Management, told columnist Joe Davidson for a Federal Diary profile of the director.

Chuck Hagel’s job is not to “cut the heart out of the Pentagon.” The defense secretary made that point to lawmakers on Thursday during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, according to an Associated Press article.

FDA finds widespread issues at specialized pharmacies. Federal inspectors discovered dozens of potentially dangerous safety problems at so-called compounding pharmacies after tainted steroid shots made by one such organization in Massachusetts triggered the worst drug disaster in decades, according to a Friday Washington Post article.

Gun prosecutions are down under Obama, but they’ve never been a priority. That’s the conclusion of Washington Post Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler, who awarded One Pinocchio to a Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) claim that Obama’s Department of Justice has slacked on prosecuting felons and fugitives who tried to illegally purchase firearms. Read the column here.

Why Obama’s EPA pick drives Republicans crazy. Government Executive magazine explored that issue in an article about Gina McCarthy, Obama’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency. McCarthy is a strong advocate of the fight against climate change.

Contractor pleads guilty to bid-rigging and bribery.  Nova Datacom, a northern Virginia technology firm and its former president pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington to bribery charges. Prosecutors say the company was involved in one of the largest bid-rigging scams in federal-contracting history, according to a Federal Times article.

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