A few items that caught our attention Wednesday:

(Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post) - Matthew Goldberg, a retired Army special forces soldier who fought the VA for disability compensation. (Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post) – Matthew Goldberg, a retired Army special forces soldier who fought the VA for disability compensation.

Veterans face another type of backlog: The Obama administration has touted gains in clearing a VA backlog of disability claims, but appeals are now on the rise and causing what is perhaps an equally formidable problem, according to a Washington Post article.

Five ways to get your federal conference approved: Budget cuts and stricter scrutiny due to recent federal-conference scandals have put the squeeze on such events this year, but Government Executive has some tips on how to gain approval for the more-reasonable plans. Check out the recommendations in this article.

Surge in whistleblower cases means challenges for Office of Special Counsel: Business is booming for the OSC, but the agency is struggling to keep up, due to staffing levels that have remained essentially flat, according to a Federal Times report.

NSA broke privacy rules for 3 years, documents say: The agency searched a giant database of Americans’ phone records to identify terrorists, and a lack of technical know-how prevented the agency from fixing the problem, according to a Washington Post article.

U.S. officials identify extremist groups in Benghazi attack: The officials have pegged numerous people — some new to U.S. intelligence and others well-known — and have issued several sealed indictments in recent months, according to a Washington Post article.

Push for federal data transparency gaining momentum: House GOP leaders are promising a vote on the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act and have expressed optimism that the bill has the necessary support to become law, according to a Federal News Radio article.

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