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White House Releases Regulatory Reform Plans

Regulatory reform plans for federal agencies will save more than $4 billion over the next five years, the White House said Monday. Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, announced on the White House blog that federal agencies are releasing their final regulatory plans. The plans …

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NRC Starts Implementing Japan Task Force Recommendations

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has started the process of implementing recommendations made by a task force set up after the post-tsunami nuclear accident in Japan, the agency announced Friday. NRC staff are required to report by Sept. 9 on whether 11 of the task force’s 12 recommendations should be implemented. …

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CBO Gives Grim Outlook on Deficit & Unemployment

The U.S. is facing a $1.3 trillion deficit for fiscal year 2011 and an unemployment rate above 8 percent through 2014, according to a projection from the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO’s latest mid-term outlook, released Wednesday, was originally completed in July. The CBO updated its outlook in August to …

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NASA Helping to Publish Sci-Fi Book Series

NASA is partnering with Tor-Forge Books to develop and publish a series of science-fiction novels, the space agency announced Monday. NASA announced the “NASA Inspired Works of Fiction” will be based on concepts pertinent to current and future agency missions and operations. Scientists and engineers at the Goddard Space Flight …

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IRS E-Help Desk Not Always Protecting Taxpayer Privacy, IG Finds

Assistors at the Internal Revenue Service’s e-help desk are not always taking the required steps to protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information, a Treasury Department audit found. In a report dated July 28 and posted Monday, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found managers do not always hold employees …

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HHS Finalizes Conflict of Interest Rules for NIH

The Department of Health and Human Services finalized its conflict of interest rules Tuesday, requiring investigators at the National Institutes of Health to disclose all significant financial interests related to their responsibilities. The new rules also lower the threshold at which significant financial interests require disclosure, down to $5,000 from …

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Air Marshal BlackBerry Devices At Risk, OIG Report Says

Blackberry devices used by federal air marshals have a backlog of security patches, leaving them open to security threats, the Homeland Security Department inspector general found. In a redacted report released Aug. 22, the inspector general found scans of the air marshal program’s Blackberry service turned up numerous vulnerabilities. The …

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FCC Chair Genachowski Declares Fairness Doctrine Extinct

The Fairness Doctrine, formerly a cornerstone of broadcasting rules, will be deleted from the Federal Communications Commisssion’s regulations. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the action Monday, as part of a larger agency effort to review and revise media rules. Genachowski also announced the elimination of 82 other rules the agency …

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