6:44 AM, Sep 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama was counting strokes on the golf course at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia last Saturday, but the day before a $91,318.76 contract was awarded to count something quite different at Fort Belvoir: bats. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will conduct the "Bat Population Survey" as part of Fort Belvoir's Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys:
At least part of the reason for the population survey is to determine if the "little brown bat" or other bats should be placed on the endangered species list. Were this to happen, the listing could impact "mission related activities" and "development" on the Army base. The documents say:
The little brown bat is being evaluated for listing under the endangered species act. Listing of this bat or other bats that are known to occur could have impacts on development and mission related activities. This survey is to identify roost locations and collect population information that can be used to monitor the bat populations on the installation in the future. Also, this information will be invaluable if any of the bat species on the installation will be listed under the endangered species act.
Also of interest to the Army in the survey is evidence of "white nose syndrome," which has been devastating bat colonies throughout the country in recent years.
The contractor's duties include "perform[ing] site investigations, preparation of reports and maps to assess the locations of bat roosts, determine the number of bats and species, population density and biological data collection, and population dynamics." The contract term is one year.
7:04 AM, Sep 25, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
These days, mentioning birth control and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the same sentence will likely draw some strong reactions. But a recent contractor inquiry by HHS for its National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland adds a new wrinkle.
8:34 AM, Sep 8, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The "busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere" is getting an upgrade, and according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), about a half a million dollars worth of new artwork will be part of the package.
10:43 AM, Aug 26, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The federal government issued sixty contracts from 2009 to 2014 in efforts to build Healthcare.gov, the federal insurance marketplace.
9:34 AM, Aug 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The legislative fix has been passed and signed into law, along with a generous appropriation of new money. Also, a new top person has been named and confirmed. So time to move on from the VA and its woes. But before doing so, consider the magnitude of the problems and their duration.
11:20 AM, Aug 13, 2014 • By PETE HEGSETH
With the overwhelmingly bipartisan vote for the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, Congress passed the most significant reforms to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in decades. And, right on cue, here come the grumblings from the second-guessers.
9:12 AM, Aug 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Thanks to the marvels of the digital epoch, citizens can now track the government’s spending of public money. On a website, of all things. Of course, while the technology may change and improve, the eternals still apply.
7:59 AM, Jul 22, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
There is a fairly robust debate about inflation going on these days. Is there too much? Not enough? Any at all? And just how much is too much? Can we hit the Goldilocks sweet spot?
7:04 AM, Jul 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Vice President Biden and his entourage visited Brazil in mid-June to attend the USA versus Ghana World Cup game, a trip that also included meetings with both the president and vice president of Brazil.
9:01 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By ELI LEHRER
As anyone who has visited New York City knows, getting a taxicab in the city can prove very, very difficult. And finding a driver that speaks English, has working air conditioning, will let a visitor pay by credit card, and knows directions to major landmarks can be even harder. That’s why it’s utterly bizarre that the city is trying to stop drivers from offering taxi-like rides in the city for free.
Get them where they drive.9:24 AM, Jul 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Washington needs more money and if it doesn’t get it, your morning commute will become:
a) more expensive
4:05 PM, Jul 1, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Another day, another national crisis. Yesterday it was immigration and another threat/promise to go it alone.